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Review: Catching Stars by Cayla Keenan

August 9, 2018
Witch. Betrayal. Hunted.

Jayin Ijaad is in hiding. A witch with powerful abilities, she carves out a life for herself in the slums of Pavaal, a city rotting from the inside out. When an old acquaintance tracks her down, Jayin is dragged back into a world she tried to escape — and is determined to escape again.

Maddix Kell is on the run. After two years in prison for crimes he did not commit, Maddix escapes and seeks out a legendary order of witchhunters who are his only chance to find justice.

But all is not as it seems and Maddix soon finds himself on the run from the people he sought as allies. When their paths collide, Jayin and Maddix must put aside their prejudices and forge an uneasy alliance that could crumble at any moment. But if they want to survive in Aestos — a brutal kingdom where magic and corruption lie hand in hand and enemies lurk around every corner — they must first survive each other.


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As a witch, I always like to see how an author portrays witches. So anything with witch in the title or description gets me interested. I wasn’t originally going to review this book. It was a second book in my Owlcate box from the “Fight Like A Girl” theme, which is surprising because it’s normally only one book. If I had to rate it on a scale it would be 2.5-3 out of 5. I don’t think I’ll read the next installment of the series, but it’s not a bad book. It’s not my style, but it may be yours.

I like Jayin as a character. She settles into an area and creates a fake persona to scare away the gangs and keep her shop safe. It makes her a bit of a badass even though she’s relatively harmless.  She runs her apothecary, works as a healer, and has her sidekick street urchin, but her peace doesn’t last long as an old nemesis, Maerta (also a witch,) pays her a visit and forces her back into her old job as tracker.

And, who might she be tracking? None other than the escaped convict, Maddix Kell. He blames witches for his wrongful imprisonment and is determined to join up with an infamous witchhunter group to get rid of them. He starts off as a pretty bigoted character, but grows into a tormented softy as the story progresses. Of course, quite a few people have to die or get hurt for him to learn the error of his ways.

The author throws in made-up words a few times that are from the witch’s old language, but I felt like it was at a weird in-between level. No one seemed to actually speak the language they just sprinkled in words, so it didn’t feel right. The big twist at the end felt out of place for me as well. (When we find out just who the big baddie really is. )vThis book was a decent read as a standalone book. There were more interesting threads in the story (the plague, for starters) than the one we followed, but if you prefer more romance focused reads than this may be right for you.

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