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ARC Review: The Very Secret Society of Irregular Witches by Sangu Mandanna

Publication Date: August 23, 2022


A warm and uplifting novel about an isolated witch whose opportunity to embrace a quirky new family–and a new love–changes the course of her life.

As one of the few witches in Britain, Mika Moon knows she has to hide her magic, keep her head down, and stay away from other witches so their powers don’t mingle and draw attention. And as an orphan who lost her parents at a young age and was raised by strangers, she’s used to being alone and she follows the rules…with one exception: an online account, where she posts videos pretending to be a witch. She thinks no one will take it seriously.

But someone does. An unexpected message arrives, begging her to travel to the remote and mysterious Nowhere House to teach three young witches how to control their magic. It breaks all of the rules, but Mika goes anyway, and is immediately tangled up in the lives and secrets of not only her three charges, but also an absent archaeologist, a retired actor, two long-suffering caretakers, and…Jamie. The handsome and prickly librarian of Nowhere House would do anything to protect the children, and as far as he’s concerned, a stranger like Mika is a threat. An irritatingly appealing threat.

As Mika begins to find her place at Nowhere House, the thought of belonging somewhere begins to feel like a real possibility. But magic isn’t the only danger in the world, and when a threat comes knocking at their door, Mika will need to decide whether to risk everything to protect a found family she didn’t know she was looking for….

My Review:

Rating: 5 out of 5.

This was utterly delightful. I’m not generally one to go in for witchy books, but this one was so incredibly good. Mika has had a frankly terrible life and has responded by being aggressively sunny and cheerful. Jamie has responded to his terrible childhood by becoming aggressively grumpy. I don’t think I’ve ever met a grumpy/sunshine book I didn’t like.

Add in a cast of charming and wacky and heartwarming characters, a trio of young witches and troublemakers, a plot that isn’t what it seems, and you have the makings of an excellent story.

I loved this story so much. When Mika responds to her guardian’s stricture that all witches must live alone and with the least connection to other witches possible by playing a witch on the internet, when she shows up to Nowhere House with a dog and a car full of, among other things, a greenhouse and floating koi pond, when she befriends the girls and finds her way in to even Jamie’s heart… every moment was wonderful.

If you’re a fan of TJ Klune’s House in the Cerulean Sea, you’ll want to get this one immediately as it gives the same heartwarming vibes.

*Thanks to NetGalley and Berkley for providing an early copy for review.


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