That Old Black Magic, a review

First of all, thank you for NetGalley for a copy of this book in return for an unbiased review. I grabbed this book as it was set in WWII times, no surprise there. However, I didn’t re-read the synopsis before diving into the book so this was all I knew, and lord was I confused! But, obviously, this was all my own fault and I managed to catch up to the gist of the plot by 20-odd% through.

This book engages in the mystical and the unknown, following a Scottish policeman in his work to uncover German spies. He manages to tangle himself up in a world of magic and spirits, with people supposedly speaking to the dead and transferring messages from the other side as well as being part of curious cults (for want of a better word) who terrify and control their members. Essentially this is a very odd book which mixes the occult with British 1940s/50s values and it’s incredibly entertaining.

I was invested in the plot and hooked right to the very end, I absolutely loved the mystery present within the story and how it entwined itself into the fantastical plot and the societal feelings of the times. Our Scotsman protagonist is a great viewpoint for the story, but there are also other points of view dotted about within the book which encompass the story more fully and allow for the reader to gather the gist of events and their relevance to each other.

I whole-heartedly recommend picking this book up if its synopsis intrigues you, as there are so many dimensions to this novel that something is sure to spark your interest! I definitely enjoyed the reading experience.

Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein

This is an amazing heartbreaking story of two best friends in War time. The girls attempt to infiltrate France comes to a halt when their plane is hit by opposing fire and they cannot land. This book is split into two halves, one which focuses on “Verity”, who is captured by the Nazis, the other half focuses on the pilot of the plane – Maddie.

This book will draw you in and not let go until the very end, with one of the best plot twists I have read in a long time. This plot twist is unexpected and unpredictable, right until the moment it happens.

This book has so much detail crammed in that it is very hard to describe it without giving away the whole story! This is shown by the synopsis only being 4 lines long. This book is so good that I’m having to resist the urge to go back and re-read it all again!

Recommended for:

Those who like books based in WW2, action, drama and spies.

This book really captures the time period with Wein using many sources, which she references in the back of the book, to make the story-line as realistic as possible. This means that those who love this period in history (like me!) will thoroughly enjoy the book. There is a lot of action, drama and suspense within the story as well as an unexpected theme of spies which is integrated throughout.

Age recommendation:

Teens and up.

This book does have violent elements which are probably not appropriate for younger readers, however the style is suitable for both teens and adults alike who should vastly enjoy this book. As usual, if you are thinking about giving this to a younger child I would recommend reading it first so you can make your own judgments on whether the book is suitable for them. You may even find that you love the book yourself!

Comment what books you would like me to review next 🙂