Review: The Witches of Echo Park

January 3, 2015     Danielle Romero     3.5Stars, R2R, Reading, reviews

Review: The Witches of Echo ParkThe Witches of Echo Park by Amber Benson
Published by Penguin on 2015-01-06
Genres: Contemporary, Fantasy, Fiction, Paranormal
Pages: 304
Format: ARC
Unbeknownst to most of humankind, a powerful network of witches thrives within the shadows of society, using their magic to keep the world in balance. But they are being eliminated—and we will all pay if their power falls…

When Elyse MacAllister’s great-aunt Eleanora, the woman who raised her, becomes deathly ill, Lyse puts her comfortable life in Georgia on hold to rush back to Los Angeles. And once she returns to Echo Park, Lyse discovers her great-aunt has been keeping secrets—extraordinary secrets—from her.

Not only is Lyse heir to Eleanora’s Victorian estate; she is also expected to take her great-aunt’s place in the Echo Park coven of witches. But to accept her destiny means to place herself in deadly peril—for the world of magic is under siege, and the battle the witches now fight may be their last…


my thoughts

A delightful take on witches that grabbed my attention though unfortunately not from the start. The book was slow to start for me. The intro being a flash back of sorts that was hard for me to get into but it did not take long for the story to pull me in once we got past the intro and initial setting of the world and scenes. The story is character driven, my favorite kind, and filled with tidbits of mystery that have you wondering who’s keeping secrets and why.

Our main character Lyse lost her parents at the age of 13 and was later raised by her great aunt, unaware of her witchy capabilities but now Lyse is all grown up and Great Aunt Eleanor is counting down her dying days so Lyse is drawn into the world of magic, a world she never knew existed and one she struggles with coming to terms with. We are taken down a long path for most of the story wondering what is going to happen and how it is going to happen but in the end the book comes full circle and all of the confusion finally starts to make sense.

The story as a whole was unique. I appreciated how ‘normal’ the witches were. No crazy flashy powers though they are witches so their is a touch of something in them all but its ‘normal’ witchiness such as potion making and dream walking. No zappy zappy out of their fingertips. It was easy to believe the story. What I did struggle with though were the multiple POVs, I think I woould have preferred just Lyse and Eleanor, and then the beginning taking some time to really get into. All in all a great new series installment. I’m looking forward to seeing what happens in the next book because while the ending closed their were a few ends left untied for us to wonder about.

3 half coffee cups


about the author

Amber Benson co-wrote and directed the animated web-series Ghosts of Albion with Christopher Golden for the BBC. The duo then novelized the series in two books for Random House. Her first solo novel, Death’s Daughter, was published by Penguin in 2009, with a children’s book for Simon and Schuster called The New Newbridge Academy to follow in the fall of 2010. As an actress, Benson spent three seasons as Tara Maclay on the cult show Buffy the Vampire Slayer. She has also written, produced, and directed three feature films, including her latest, Drones, which she co-directed with Adam Busch and will be released later this year.