The Invocations

Penguin/Nancy Paulsen. Jan. 2024. 400p. Tr $20.99. ISBN 9780593532263.
Gr 9 Up–A dark, twisty occult novel about three outcast teens, each drawn to magic for reasons beyond their control. Jude Wolfe, daughter of a billionaire, longs to find a witch to undo the self-inflicted curse that rots her soul and body. Zara Jones is new to magic and is not even sure it exists, but her sister was murdered and the only way she can heal from that pain is to try and resurrect her. Then there is Emer Byrne, an orphaned witch with a mission to help women in need and to get revenge for the massacre of her family. When Emer’s clients start turning up murdered, they know it must be related to the invocations Emer has stamped into their souls—magic that has been cut away. The girls must work together to solve these murders, and maybe fulfill what they each are searching for along the way. This is beautifully written and full of gruesome depictions of rotting flesh and information relating to witchcraft and the occult. The main characters cue as white, however supporting characters are diverse. Characters are relatable, and readers will find themselves rooting for this ragtag team of wannabe witches. The girls, while wildly different, form a tight bond and support each other despite many challenges along the way (including developing feelings for one another). The plot moves quickly with twists and turns; readers will find themselves speeding through to reach the explosive, satisfying ending.
VERDICT Hand to mature readers who like a little LGBTQIA+ romance with their witchcraft and necromancy.

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