NOTE: This novel was was accessed through Netgalley and 47 NORTH for review purposes.
The Final Days of Magic is the third book in J.D. Horn’s series “Witches of New Orleans”. It mixes Western Christian notions of witchcraft with a Voodoo/Creole that feels very specific to New Orleans culture. This is the final novel in the series and it is supposed to tie up the narrative arc. I have been on a witchie book reading spree of late and I wanted to really like this book. I really did. But I just couldn’t get into it.
I finished the novel after really pushing myself through it and I felt more relief it was over than anything else when I got to the last page. For me, it wasn’t that the writing was terrible or that the novel felt sexist or anything of the sort. It simply felt mechanical. It felt like the equivalent of writing by numbers and I could not get invested in the plot or the characters.
The ending of the novel hints at a battle of witches—those for the darkness and sacrificing witches and those against—but even that fell flat. Just as everything starts to heat up and witches are dying and fighting left right and centre the chapter ends and what is the next section of the novel? An epilogue set long after the battle. The let down was real.
This hasn’t been the worst book I’ve read in 2019, but it is also not the best either. Fantasy novels have to have good writing and plot development, otherwise just relying on the characters and the ‘magic’ to take the plot somewhere will just not work.
So, for Horn’s last novel in this series, I have to give it a shrug. What fantasy books are you loving at the moment? As always, share the reading love.
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