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Blog Tour Review - A Power Unbound by Freya Marske

 Blog Tour Review - A Power Unbound by Freya Marske Secrets! Magic! Enemies to. . .something more? Jack Alston, Lord Hawthorn, would love a nice, safe, comfortable life. After the death of his twin sister, he thought he was done with magic for good. But with the threat of a dangerous ritual hanging over every magician in Britain, he’s drawn reluctantly back into that world. Now Jack is living in a bizarre puzzle-box of a magical London townhouse, helping an unlikely group of friends track down the final piece of the Last Contract before their enemies can do the same. And to make matters worse, they need the help of writer and thief Alan Ross. Cagey and argumentative, Alan is only in this for the money. The aristocratic Lord Hawthorn, with all his unearned power, is everything that Alan hates. And unfortunately, Alan happens to be everything that Jack wants in one gorgeous, infuriating package. When a plot to seize unimaginable power comes to a head at Cheetham Hall―Jack’s ancestral fam

Review - The Wayward Girls by Amanda Mason

Review - The Wayward Girls by Amanda Mason


1976. Loo and her sister Bee live in a run-down cottage in the middle of nowhere, with their artistic parents and wild siblings. Their mother, Cathy, had hoped to escape to a simpler life; instead the family find themselves isolated and shunned by their neighbours. At the height of the stifling summer, unexplained noises and occurences in the house begin to disturb the family, until they intrude on every waking moment . . .


Loo, now Lucy, is called back to her childhood home. A group of strangers are looking to discover the truth about the house and the people who lived there. But is Lucy ready to confront what really happened all those years ago?

The Wayward Girls is a beautiful and haunting book.

It's a story told across two times, the long, hot summer of 1976 and the present day. (Appropriate given how much people have been talking about that summer in the present heatwave.)

In 1976, a family living on a fairly remote farm are being haunted, starting with knocking on the walls, but quickly escalating to objects being thrown around and more. Specialist paranormal investigators and a photographer come in to try and find out what's happening and to gather proof. At the centre of the supernatural events are two young girls, Bee (Bianca) and Loo (Lucia).

In the present day narrative a group of students have gone to the house, now empty and derelict, with cameras and other equipment to look for their own proof. Loo, now Lucy, tries to dissuade them and then joins them as they uncover evidence of the paranormal. 

There's such a slow, eerie revealing of events from 1976 as the two narratives play out together. There are hints and suggestions about some of what happened but it takes its time playing out, teasing the reader in a way that had me gripped.

There's an almost ethereal, whimsical quality to it, a haunting beauty that reminded me of things like Picnic at Hanging Rock or Virgin Suicides, as events slowly but surely build up to tragedy over the course of many long, hot summer days. There's a real subtlety to it as well, relationships left unclear, often little more than lingering glances or jealous looks. 

And like all great ghost stories, I was left wondering what had been real.


The Wayward Girls by Amanda Mason is out now, published by Bonnier Books.

I was given a review copy via Netgalley in return for an honest review.


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