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REVIEW: Bitches – David Richards

Bitches - David Richardson

Genre: Urban Fantasy

Reviewer: Rowan

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About The Book

Sometimes you have to be a witch to get things done

Catherine, the most powerful witch alive, knows how to look after herself. After all – she’s been around for a very, very long time.

Unfortunately, something is wrong with Catherine’s powers so she is forced to enlist the help of a local coven who may be able to fix her.

If that isn’t bad enough, Catherine is being hunted by a puritanical witch hunter whose divine duty is to eradicate all witches from the face of the earth.

With the witch hunter closing in, time is running out for Catherine and the coven.

She’s survived wars, witch trials, and a wine-free wedding, but this is shaping up to be her greatest challenge yet.

Prepare yourself for a magical tale that is (mostly) historically accurate.

The Review

Bitches is the story of the most powerful witch in the world and her coven of less talented but still remarkable women. Catherine seems to be losing her powers, and to make matters worse, a serial killer with a taste for witches is on the loose. For the first time in her life, Catherine is going to need help. She’ll have to draw not just on her many lifetimes of experience but also on the power of the women around her to defeat this enemy.

I enjoyed this story of a northern English coven of witches, with all their everyday ordinariness mixed in with magic. The characters were interesting and fleshed out, and Catherine in particular was both witty and ingenious. The bite-sized chunks of history have been reworked in a way that kept me laughing, wondering who Catherine was going to be this time.

However the story is rather sprawling and slow. It wasn’t until about a third of the way through I got a grip on what the story was about. Conversations go on too long, and many of the scenes don’t do much to further the story. For example, while the historical vignettes were entertaining, after the first couple, they added little to our knowledge of Catherine or the central plot of the novel.

I would have liked to see Catherine’s knowledge or powers being advanced by the experiences, but she floats through them almost as a spectator. There were also many scenes in which carping and bitching went on a bit too long before getting down to the business of the scene. On the other hand, the very ordinariness of the to-and-fro between characters does sink you into their world. I don’t think it’s a coincidence that I often craved (and had!) cups of tea with a slice of cake while reading this book!

In summary, the plot is clever with little twists along the way that keep you guessing. I’d recommend this for readers who like to take their time with a story, and love to immerse themselves in an ordinary world with an extraordinary happenings.

The Reviewer

Reading is my biggest hobby, some would say my passion! Whether I’m sitting on the bus heading to the office, slouched on the couch with a cup of coffee, or tucked up in bed on a rainy day, a book is always within reach. My favourite genre is hard sci-fi, closely followed by fantasy and steam punk. But I’ve fallen in love with books across many genres, from horror to thrillers to cosies to romance. Books are best!  

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