ARC REVIEW: THE VERY SECRET SOCIETY OF IRREGULAR WITCHES BY SANGU MANDANNA

the book cover for The Very Secret Society of Irregular Witches by Sangu Mandanna

STAR RATING: 4.5 stars
PAGE LENGTH: 336 pages
CW: Abandonment, child abuse, sexual content, homophobia, racism, death
IF YOU LIKED THIS, TRY: The House in the Cerulean Sea by TJ Klune

Thank you to Edelweiss+ and Berkley Books for providing an ARC copy of this novel in exchange for an honest review.

SYNOPSIS

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….

The Very Secret Society of Irregular Witches is an absolute delight of a book. If you’ve read and enjoyed The House in the Cerulean Sea and desperately wanted more books that have the same sort of feel, well, look no further. This is the exact same sort of book, and I’m so glad that I read it. This is found family to a T, and well, you need to read it immediately. Especially if you’re looking for a cozy hug in a book.

That’s not to say there weren’t parts that I disliked. I desperately wished we had gotten to see more of the main character, Mika, and the love interest, Jamie, together. They do spend time alone, but it’s not very often in the book, and glazed over rather frequently. Mika and Jamie are absolutely sunshine and grump, though, so if you love that pairing, you’ll like this book. There are no real steamy scenes, however. The sex is the fade to black sort, with minimal descriptions of anything. Mika is extremely sex positive throughout the whole book, so this sort of threw me for a loop. I was expecting at least one high-steam scene, and ultimately, I was left disappointed.

BUT, the rest of the book’s absolute adorableness made up for it. The three child-witches were amazingly well done, though one of the kids was sort of…glossed over and didn’t have a real personality, unfortunately. Again, this didn’t detract from my enjoyment of the book. The other adults at Nowhere House were also, just fantastic characters. Ian, in particular, was a favorite. I do also want to mention that Mika is an absolute ball of sunshine, and I loved her to pieces. I love when main characters are just bubbly and lovely.

This is a standalone novel where everything gets wrapped up beautifully at the end. I think this is going to be a perfect book to break people out of reading slumps. I can’t recommend this one enough.

the very secret society of irregular witches comes out AUGUST 23, 2022.

Add to your Goodreads, or preorder at at the following links:

GOODREADS | BOOKSHOP.ORG | AMAZON | BARNES & NOBLE

16 thoughts on “ARC REVIEW: THE VERY SECRET SOCIETY OF IRREGULAR WITCHES BY SANGU MANDANNA

  1. The title of this book reminds me a lot of THE LEAGUE OF GENTLEWOMEN WITCHES by India Holton. So a heads up to check that one out if you haven’t heard of it already. It’s whimsical and snarky as it sounds like maybe this ARC read was? THE LEAGUE is technically book 2 in Holton’s “Dangerous Damsels” series, but it reads like a standalone. And there’s not fade to black. 😉
    http://www.aliteraryescape.com/2022/03/21/book-review-the-league-of-gentlewomen-witches-by-india-holton/

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  2. I am so glad you enjoyed this book. I am liking the sound of the execution and I love that it is a solid standalone. Sunshine and grumpy is my absolute favourite combo, but a shame the relationship wasn’t as explored as it could have been. Great review 💗

    Liked by 1 person

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