The Price Guide to the Occult by Leslye Walton – Book Review

The Price Guide to the Occult by Leslye Walton – Book Review

The Price Guide to the Occult by Leslye Walton

The Price Guide to the Occult

Author – Leslye Walton
Publisher – Walker Books
Pages – 288
Released – 6th September 2018
ISBN-13 – 978-1406373509
Format – ebook, paperback, hardcover, audio
Reviewer – Stacey
Rating – 4 Stars
I received a free copy of this book


When Rona Blackburn landed on Anathema Island more than a century ago, her otherworldly skills might have benefited friendlier neighbors. Instead, guilt and fear led the island’s original eight settlers to burn “the witch” out of her home. So Rona invoked the privileges of a witch; she cursed them. But such a spell always comes with a terrible price, and in punishing the island’s residents, Rona also bound her family ever tighter to them.

Fast-forward to the present day and all Nor Blackburn wants is to live an unremarkable teenage life. And she has reason to hope that she may have escaped the thorny side-effects of the family matriach’s curse. But then a mysterious book comes out, promising to cast any spell for the right price. The author – Nor’s own mother – seems capable of performing magic that should be far beyond her capabilities. And such magic always requires a sacrifice.

A storm is coming. It’s coming for Nor.

Review 2017

Nor lives on a small island called Anathema. She is a direct descendant of Rona Blackburn who lived on the island over a century ago and who was attacked by the other settlers on the island for being a witch. Rona cursed the settlers but in doing so she cursed her own family too.

Now back in the present day, Nor knows all about the curse. She knows only too well via her own mother what the curse can do. She hasn’t seen her mother in many years after she nearly killed her, but now her mother has returned and she is back with a book ‘The Price Guide to the Occult’ in which she is selling black magic, but at what cost?

The book opens with the story of Rona Blackburn and the new island settlers. You get to find out all about Rona and the curse that she placed and why it ended up cursing her family too. The story then moves to the present day and you learn about all Nor and what the young 16/17-year-old does and the shop she works in and her friends. This middle section I must admit drained me a little. It dragged as not much happened.

Then we come to the return of Nor’s mother and the book truly comes alive. I was so close to giving up on the book but I am glad that I didn’t as the last section is worth waiting for. Nor’s mother is one proper black witch who doesn’t care about anyone but herself, not even her own daughter. She will burn and drowned people to get her own way.

Overall the book is a great read. Nor is an interesting character, though I would love to have gotten to know her better as I feel she was a little overshadowed by the curse and her mother.

Reviewed by Stacey

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About the Author

Leslye Walton

Leslye Walton was born in the Pacific Northwest, a location that features prominently in both of her novels for young adults. Her debut, The Strange and Beautiful Sorrows of Ava Lavender, was published to critical acclaim in 2014, and was shortlisted for the Waterstone’s Children’s Book Prize, as well as being named a William C. Morris YA Debut Award Finalist.

Leslye is a full-time writer living in Seattle, and spends her time eating chocolate cupcakes and doting on her chihuahuas, Mr. Darcy and Doc Holliday.

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22 Responses

  1. Ayushi A Nair says:

    Nor looks like a beautiful character.
    I would love to read the book to know more about her

  2. Entertainingly Nerdy says:

    This one sounds really good! Great review!

  3. Mandi Schneck says:

    I absolutely adored this book! Perfect as we get into the fall/Halloween season as well!

  4. Tasha says:

    Fabulous review. I like the sound of this book but am put off by it dragging in the middle.

    • Thanks. I think those the book is aimed at might not be bothered by the drag in the middle. All about Nor, her friends, love life, etc. Just not really what I wanted, I wanted excitement and adventure.

  5. Cia Black says:

    Not only is this a beautiful looking book but it sounds amazing.

  6. Leslie says:

    Love the review and sounds like a really good book!

  7. DJ Sakata says:

    The odd title caught my attention, and I find the name of the island quite clever

  8. Beautiful cover and I like the sound of this book! Great review.

  9. ashleigh mordew says:

    love the cover and sounds like a great book, great review

  10. Seeing the word ‘occult’ would put me off straight away although your review is swaying me towards the book.

  11. Heidi says:

    Great review! The cover is intriguing.