Grim Lovelies by Megan Shepherd
An interesting take on magic in the world. While some of the characters seem predictably cast for stereotypes or to feel inclusive the overall idea is rather interesting. What would you do if you were really an animal? Alive only one year, but you look 17 years old, a witch holds the power of life over you and your friends. Magic is intertwined with the modern world, but kept at a distance in this version of modern day Paris. Anouk and the other staff for Mada Vittoria know there were born animals, but now are human (or are they?).
The book has a bit of a slow start, if you can make it past the first few chapters it is an interesting read. The characters are given enough details to let the read use their imaginations to flush them out. The plot is predictable at points, has some action scenes, and of course a murder mystery that needs to be solved by a deadline or all the characters will be turned back into their true animal nature.
I enjoyed the book and would recommend it, however I am in no rush to read the sequel and may not wish to know what the author has in mind for the second book. In my mind the story ends at a point where the reader can make it go into any direction the reader wants. If I read the second book, the ending the author has will be known. If I don’t read the second book I can create the ending I want. The big question is to read what the author wrote for the ending, or imagine what I would like to happen?
I would do a cast of characters, however giving away any hints at the true nature of the Beasties would be a disservice to readers. Instead I will tell you that one of the nice surprises was discovering the animals the Beasties came from and who is double crossing who.
Enjoy the read.