Miss Mabel’s School for Girls (Network Series #1) – Katie Cross

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Summary:

Never underestimate the power of a determined witch.

Letum Wood is a forest of fog and deadfall, home to the quietly famous Miss Mabel’s School for Girls, a place where young witches learn the art of magic.

Sixteen-year-old Bianca Monroe has inherited a deadly curse. Determined to break free before it kills her, she enrolls in the respected school to confront the cunning witch who cast the curse: Miss Mabel.

Bianca finds herself faced with dark magic she didn’t expect, with lessons more dangerous than she could have ever imagined. Will Bianca have the courage to save herself from the curse, or will Miss Mabel’s sinister plan be too powerful?

Miss Mabel’s School for Girls is the first novel in The Network Series, an exciting new fantasy collection. A gripping tale about the struggle to survive, it will take you to a new place and time, one you’ll never want to leave.

Review:

Ah, magical boarding schools! I’m a sucker for this trope, especially when it is done well. And here it truly is. Yes, the beginning is a bit reminiscent of Goblet of Fire except a) Bianca volunteers and b) it’s surprisingly not drawn out at all.  Since I’m going with the Harry Potter references here, in a way Miss Mabel strikes me a bit like Dolores Umbridge: sugar and spice and respected on the outside, but an otherwise awful person.

I like the lingering sense of dread and helplessness that Bianca has throughout this book. She’s trapped, and not only does she know it, but so does Miss Mabel. She hates what she’s doing, but has no choice but to press on. You want to cheer Bianca on as she continues the fight, she’s likable. It also helps that the tension is broken up by scenes between her are friends she has amongst some of the other first year girls.

A final nice touch is that even though it’s clear that there’s going to be a sequel, the end of the first book is satisfying in its own right: there story of the first book is wrapped up well, but there’s nice momentum to go forward. It’s not something that’s always done well, especially amongst indie writers who sometimes just pick an ending point so they can start another book.

Finally, as an indie book, this is definitely nicely polished, which is obviously a plus.

Overall, if you like the premise, you’ll like the book. And if you want to support an indie, this is definitely one to consider.

Verdict: Buy It

Available: Now

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