Review: Society of Wishes by Elise Kova and Lynn Larsh

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Published: 29 January 2018

Publisher: Silver Wing Press

Category: Fantasy/New Adult/Urban Fantasy

First book in the Wish Quartet, a new-adult, urban fantasy series set in a near-future alternate reality

BE CAREFUL WHAT YOU WISH FOR.

Josephina Espinosa makes her living as a hacker-for-hire in the Lone Star Republic, a remnant of the fractured U.S.A. That is, until the day she and her best friend are gunned down in a government raid.

With her dying breath, Jo uses magical lore passed down from her grandmother to summon a wish-granter. Her wish? To save her friend’s life. Except wishes have costs, and for Jo, the price is the erasure of her entire mortal existence.

Now, as the most recent addition to the mysterious Society of Wishes, Jo must form a new “life” alongside the seven other members, one of which being her savior himself. Living as an occupant of the Society’s lavish mansion should be quite the perk, but while it is furnished with everything its inhabitants could possibly need, it lacks one thing—freedom.

Her otherworldly identity crisis takes a backseat, however, when Jo learns that the friend she sacrificed everything for is headed down the same path to ruin. Jumping in head-first, Jo uses her newfound magical abilities to protect him, only to realize that the ripples of her actions have far-reaching consequences. When the Society’s aloof leader Snow decides to give her a taste of his own ancient magic, Jo discovers that there are threads woven into the tapestry of her new reality that reach far beyond the wishes she is now required to grant. Ones that, if tugged on, could mean the unraveling of the world itself.

Rating: 2.5 Stars

The start of Society of Wishes is pretty funny. Elise and Lynn have a knack for humorous lines, such as the opening one, and interactions, as between main character Jo and her friend Yuusuke.

It was hotter than Satan’s tit outside…

The transition from Jo’s ordinary life to her Society of Wishes life actually came across as abrupt for my taste. Her use of magic that turns out to be real, even as she claimed in her mind that she didn’t believe it would work, felt strange, like she would have had to at least had a more present if slight belief before even attempting this sort of thing.

Meeting the rest of the Society was interesting, considering they come from different time periods. Snow, the leader, reminded me of the hero of an anime, from his white hair to his attitude. Wayne, a New York type from the early 20th century, was such an aggravating character that I wanted to kick him in the shins whenever he talked, though I’ll admit he did grow on me.

Jo, while confronting the newness of her life as a member of the Society, was a lot braver than I would’ve been. Her background in hacking, avoiding detection, and generally being smarter than the average person helped her cope with the headquarters weirdness, avoiding Ranger officers (they couldn’t see her anyway but still!), and learning about her new life.

The (I hesitate to say romance) intimate moments in this book felt like they came a bit out of nowhere. Jo and her feelings toward Snow, her intimacy with Wayne…I could see her acknowledging attraction to one or more of the people she meets, but the sex scene in Paris, while admittedly well written, was abrupt and I didn’t care for it.

The action of the book felt like it took a lot longer to get started than I would’ve liked. The first 48% of the book was mostly Jo acclimating to living in the Society headquarters, almost every detail gone over such as whose room is where, what the mansion provides in the recreation rooms vs. the bedrooms, and so on. Things started picking up around the 50% point and got a bit better, but things still felt like they were crawling a bit.

After finishing the novel and considering the pacing and the lack of engagement I felt with the characters and the story, I realized that, as long as it was, not a lot really happened. The difficulties that arose felt less than climatic so there was no real “big bad” or “villain”, so to speak. That disappointed me.

I can see a lot of potential for development in the course of the series. Society of Wishes, to me, was obviously an introductory novel to the world and its rules as opposed to a novel that embraced the story and went onward, revealing things as the narrative unfolds.

I received a copy of this book from the authors in exchange for an honest review.

All media (pictures, quotes, etc.) belong to the respective owners and are used here solely for the purpose of review and commentary.

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