Title: Miss Mabel's School for Girls
*Series: The Network Series #1
Author: Katie Cross
Pages: Kindle; 316
Release Date: March 21, 2014
Source: Author/Xpresso Book Tours
Content Screening: Mild Violence
HDB Rating: 3 Keys to My Heart
Recommended to: Readers who enjoy stories about feisty girls and witch schools.
Never underestimate the power of a determined witch.
Letum Wood is a forest of fog and deadfall, home to the quietly famous Miss Mabel’s School for Girls, a place where young witches learn the art of magic.
Sixteen-year-old Bianca Monroe has inherited a deadly curse. Determined to break free before it kills her, she enrolls in the respected school to confront the cunning witch who cast the curse: Miss Mabel.
Bianca finds herself faced with dark magic she didn’t expect, with lessons more dangerous than she could have ever imagined. Will Bianca have the courage to save herself from the curse, or will Miss Mabel’s sinister plan be too powerful?
Miss Mabel’s School for Girls is the first novel in The Network Series, an exciting new fantasy collection. A gripping tale about the struggle to survive, it will take you to a new place and time, one you’ll never want to leave.
So I'm a sucker for all things related to witchy schools and tough female characters. When I read the synopsis of this, it reminded me of an all-girl cast of Harry Potter and, to be honest, that's exactly what hooked me! What's better than a group of tough girls learning magic? Nothing. Which is why I had such high hopes for Miss Mabel's School for Girls. I wanted to get lost in a new world, full of magic and mischief. I can happily say that this was a great introduction!
Things take off at a lightning pace. Bianca was a wonderful character, and one that I instantly saw myself in. A little less than a lady, but full of the type of fire that makes for a one strong protagonist. Watching her set off on a quest that she absolutely knew would be dangerous excited me. See, Bianca was cursed by the very person whose clutches she was now willingly walking into. Such a great premise. To try to prove yourself to the one person who holds your life in their hands.
Which brings me to the fact that there were a lot of things that I did like about this story. Bianca, for one. The fact that Miss Mabel's School for Girls was shrouded in mystery and magic. Even the fact that all of the characters were so strong. It's refreshing to see a book that features a female cast, that doesn't focus heavily on romance. Maybe that's coming in the next books, but in this moment I felt amazed that it wasn't there. No love triangles. Thank you Katie Cross.
What I wished for more than anything though, was more world building and less "telling" rather than showing. There were portions of this story that moved very slowly. A lot of travel was necessary, and those parts tended to drag on a bit. When Bianca was being tested, it was fabulous. When she was lost in her own head, it was a little slow. It wasn't anything overly exhausting, but I would have loved to see a bit more forward movement. I have a very strong feeling that it's coming in the books down the pipe though, so I'm excited about that.
Long story short, this was a book that I enjoyed. It didn't immediately jump to the top of my favorites list, but I also know that this is a series that I plan on continuing on with. I can't wait!
FTC Disclosure: I received a copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review. I was not monetarily compensated for my opinion.