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  • Writer's pictureThe Bossy Bookworm

Review of VenCo by Cherie Dimaline

VenCo offers feminist, hard-drinking, foul-mouthed witches bound together by mysterious forces who undergo a quest to secure their survival by fighting a sexy, evil, legendary enemy out to destroy them.

Young Lucky St. James is on the verge of snapping--and that's before she finds out she and her increasingly forgetful grandmother are going to be evicted from her Toronto apartment.

Then a mysterious power begins calling to her. She breaks into the wall to find a silver spoon, engraved with the word SALEM.

Through a series of unexpected events, she is offered a mysterious job at a publishing company...but she and her grandmother are folded into what feels like an oddly tight-knit community of women.

The spoon turns out to connect Lucky to a vast network of witches and her ancestors--through a front company, VenCo (an anagram of "coven").

I was excited about the premise of a sleek, powerful company serving as a front for a coven of witches pulling the strings (I admit, I was imagining something like the feel of Hench), but the company was not at all a focus of the book. And the witches' extensive, all-knowing abilities extend to many scenarios, but the gaps in their knowledge and powers leave them stumped and are necessary to drive the story.

The tone frequently feels geared toward young readers to me, and I had no trouble predicting the twist regarding the missing witch. But Dimaline's entertaining VenCo offers a sexy and mischievous witch hunter, a raucous girls' road trip, heavy-drinking and foul-mouthed witches, the oozing, dark magic of New Orleans, a steady dose of feminism, and a dramatic showdown.

I received a prepublication audiobook version of this book courtesy of Libro.fm and HarperAudio.

Do you have any Bossy thoughts about this book?

Cherie Dimaline is also the author of Empire of Wild, The Marrow Thieves, and other books.

If you like stories about witches, you might also like the books on the Greedy Reading Lists Six Wonderfully Witchy Stories and Six More Wonderfully Witchy Stories to Charm You.

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