THE UNSEXY OCCULT

Reviews and information about books in the Occult genre that aren't romance-based or contain very little romance. If you have a book that fits that criteria and you're interested in having me review it, contact me. 

Daughter of Kali: Awakening By Shiulie Ghosh

I received a free copy of this novel from the author in exchange for an honest review.

This! This book is what I’ve been searching for, for a long while now. If not apparent, I adore supernatural stories that aren’t romance oriented, and Daughter of Kali sure did deliver. Yes, there’s some sexual attraction the main character feels for another, but it doesn’t distract from the main story. The author gives exactly what they promised, and I couldn’t be happier.

Kaz, the MC, is a lot of fun. She acts like a real teenager with a chip on her shoulder would. She can be loud and brash, but she does understand her limitations. Kaz is tough, but not a super badass because she hasn’t gotten any training yet. I would have chucked this story out the window if the main character was as amazing as her mom right from the start.

My favorite character is Em, though. She’s not just the nerdy sidekick that gets in the way more often than not. No, she’s awesome! What she’s able to do with magic is just incredible, and I believe that she’d be able to do what she does. I really sense her and Kaz’s relationship, and they play off one another so well. I could read a story just with the two of them, or just with Em. (I may have a tiny crush on this character.)  

I’m a huge mythology fan. I know more about Greek mythology since it’s the first mythology I read and fell in love with, but I couldn’t get enough of the Hindu mythology. It was easy to follow without being info-dumpy. I’m eager to see more of it, especially the demons. Those were really cool and creepy.

I have three qualms. The first is the presence of Kali. At first, she seemed to be more of a manifestation of Kaz’s subconscious as a way to cope with what happened to her mom, but then Kali relayed information that Kaz could no way know. So, was Kali actually there? Why? What connection does Kaz have to Kali, if any? Will Kali become relevant in the next installments?

The second I can’t go too much into without going into spoiler territory, but it deals with Em and her love interest. I really, really hope the author doesn’t take it in the direction I’m thinking. The way it is right now, it’s incredible. I’ve never seen it before (not saying it’s never happened, but I don’t read a lot of YA anymore), and I’d like it to continue. Em deserves it, damn it!

I did notice a few technical issues toward the end of the novel. These would have been caught with one more edit. The mistakes didn’t take away from the story, though, but they did smack me in the face a little since the rest of this novel is perfectly constructed.

I’m really, really eager to read the next book. This story has a great amount of action, magic, world-building, plot, and emotion. If you’re into those type of stories, this is definitely the book for you. I give this a 4.5!

Daughter of Kali: Unholy Alliance By Shiulie Ghosh

I received a free copy from the author in exchange for an honest review.

I didn’t like this book as much as I did the first one. Don’t get me wrong, it’s not bad. And it doesn’t feel like padding until the last book. A lot that happens in this novel is important to the plot, but...it wasn’t as thrilling and enthralling as the first.

I didn’t like Jack. He just rubbed me the wrong way, and the romantic tension between him and Kaz didn’t feel authentic. There’s already romantic tension with Kaz, Em, and Darius, and I like it a million times better. Where it can go is a lot more unique then the sexy bad guy who’s standoffish and rigid but has a guarded soft center. Is it bad I almost hope he dies? He’s not a monster or anything, but he needs to disappear.

The budding bond between Kaz and Belzael was great. I wanted more of it. Less of Jack and more of Belzael, please!

Em is still pretty cool. I love how her smarts have been applied to the magic in this world. It’s organic to the world and sounds so cool. I want her inventions.

The ending was surprising. I honestly didn’t see it coming, and I’m really excited to see how the next book goes, especially the beginning. Will Kaz still be the main character? Will she be one of two or more?

I did enjoy myself, and I got through this book super fast. I’m really eager to see where this goes. Don’t pass this one up.

Daughter of Kali: Infernal Destiny By Shiulie Ghosh

I received a free copy of the book from the author in exchange for an honest review.

This book is everything I could have hoped for and more, and I won’t make you wait ‘til the end to get my rating. This is a solid five stars and beyond, and it deserves every one of those stars. This is the sort of ending I want for every series, and this book has set the bar super high for me.

Now, I’ll be honest. After the second book, I wasn’t sure what the third book was going to be like. I didn’t hate the second book, but I didn’t enjoy it as much as I had the first. It definitely suffers from the middle book slump, and I was afraid that was going to carry through to the next novel. But I was eager to see how this trilogy concluded, so I was hopeful and a little wary as I started the third book.

Right out of the gate, it captivated me, and I give Ms. Ghosh so much credit for what she did to Kaz. It’s so refreshing for an author not to shy away from putting their characters through (and making them do) things that will haunt them for the rest of their days. And there’s no way to erase it. No, it’s permanent. I just—Oh, those beginning chapters made me so giddy (which might say a lot about me...).

Em is still amazing, and will always be my favorite character, though Kaz is a close second. I’m really glad things work out the way they do for Em. She’s earned it, especially with her being so epic in the beginning.

The little, sort of love angle in this wasn’t as grating in here as it was in the second book. And I don’t mind the resolution. Honestly, I couldn’t see it going another positive way (besides dissolving into nothing).

Jack is redeemed here. He wasn’t horrible in the second book, but I didn’t think he was necessary. He just seemed like he was thrown in for added conflict, and I thought he was bland. Can’t say the same for him in this novel. He’s got an interesting personality which makes him a breath of fresh air when he reacts to what Kaz does at the beginning. I was even rooting for him a little, poor guy.

The prison realm was cool. Actually, all the chapters there were thoroughly satisfying, and I couldn’t help envisioning it as a movie. I was hyped the entire time, and my heart even ached at the conclusion.

This book is simply incredible, and you’d be a fool not to read the trilogy. I want more by Ms. Ghosh, and I eagerly await whatever new ideas she has cooking.

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