The Flower Bowl Spell by Olivia Boler
Journalist Memphis Zhang isn’t ashamed of her Wiccan upbringing—in fact, she’s proud to be one of a few Chinese American witches in San Francisco, and maybe the world. Unlike the well-meaning but basically powerless Wiccans in her disbanded coven, Memphis can see fairies, read auras, and cast spells that actually work—even though she concocts them with ingredients like Nutella and antiperspirant. Yet after a friend she tries to protect is brutally killed, Memphis, full of guilt, abandons magick to lead a “normal” life.
The appearance, however, of her dead friend’s attractive rock star brother—as well as a fairy in a subway tunnel—suggest that magick is not done with her. Reluctantly, Memphis finds herself dragged back into the world of urban magick, trying to stop a power-hungry witch from using the dangerous Flower Bowl Spell and killing the people Memphis loves—and maybe even Memphis herself.
And now, for the review! If you want to win an ebook copy of The Flower Bowl Spell for yourself, leave a comment on this post with your email address and a winner will be chosen and announced on Friday! Good Luck!
A Suprisingly Enchanting Tale
It is not in me to powder-coat anything. If I like something, I like it. If I hate it, I will say so. That being said, sometimes I am a bit quick to judge. I severely misjudged this book at first, but I am glad I gave it a chance. When I first started reading The Flower Bowl Spell, initially I didn't care for Memphis, and the relationship between her and Cooper put me off a bit. I let my own biases cut into my view of the story. Cooper is older than Memphis, in fact at one time he was her teacher in high school, and she was his babysitter. To me, that just stopped me right there. I put down the book for a day or so and contemplated not finishing it.
Ultimately I am glad I picked it back up. Ms. Boler really did an amazing job with this book. It took me a little to get into, but once I did I was strapped in. The story had a lot suspense, with surprises- as well as adorable fairies- around every corner. Without giving too much away- when you think you have got all the players in the plot figured out, you have no clue. Ms. Boler has very intricately crafted together a mystery, thick with red-herrings and twists that you don't see coming.
For me, Memphis really shines when she is forced to take care of an estranged friend's two daughters Romola and her sister Chloe- an adorable three and a half year old that is quite a bit more than she seems. I loved her interactions with these two and how she came to care for them so deeply even if she wasn't their mother.
Tyson is another very likable character. He is from Memphis' past and as the story continues it's clear there may be some feelings for Memphis, however there are several conflicting factors in their way. One thing I truly appreciated that Ms. Boler did was that she didn't focus on her relationship with Tyson. Nor did she spend a lot of time on her and Cooper's relationship. This story wasn't about romance. It was about the unfurling mystery and imminent dangers that are being set into motion in the story. Reading the blurb, one might be mis-guided to think that there will be lots of romance and focus on Memphis' relationships with these two. Don't let that deter you from reading however, because you would be missing out on a good book.
Last but not least I have to mention all the magickal elements going on in the book.
The fairies in this book are too fun. There is a wide variety of them that you will meet, and each have their own little attitude. Some are mischievous . Some are helpful, and some are a bit shy. Either way, Ms. Boler sprinkled these colorful little creatures into the story and they are a crucial piece of the pie.I'd love to have my own little fairy companion like some that decide to help out Memphis in different parts of the story.
I think Ms. Boler did an awesome job tying in Memphis' Wiccan roots and her abilities. Maybe people don't really have the all powers that she does, but some of the things she touched on, like feeling energy, is something that if you take the time to notice, it is actually out there. (Take that for whatever you want within what you believe). Sometimes witchcraft is reflected very negatively, but I think she did it justice and also showed that, like everything else in this world, people can choose to abuse things and use them to hurt or control others.
If you are looking for something with suspense, something fun, something a little different, then you may want to check out The Flower Bowl Spell. I certainly found it spellbinding. All puns intended.
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