If there is one review that is long overdue (and there are a few, with my apologies to the wonderful authors), it is that of Renee George’s first Grimoires of a Middle-aged Witch, which I read when it released, in May, but only had time to review on Amazon and Goodreads because it was nearing the end of the school year and, let’s face it, I was extremely busy back then. Afterwards, I only have myself to blame. Geez, I even read Earth Spells Are Easy a second time so I could write that post.
I admit: I feel bad about delaying the review, even though my brain was all mushed after the school year and its logical exhaustion. So before hopping into the review per se, I will only say this to Renee, who I totally adore:
But there is a positive in all that: this review will be a two-in-one, as it will be a combined review of Earth Spells Are Easy and Spell On Fire, two absolutely excellent books, with fantastic characters (both paranormal and “civilian”).
What the books are about
Earth Spells Are Easy
Series: Girmoires of a Middle-aged Witch, book 1
Author: Renee George
Date published: 31 May, 2021
Spell On Fire
Series: Series: Girmoires of a Middle-aged Witch, book 2
Author: Renee George
Date published: 23 August, 2021
Summary (my own, since it does comprise two books): What can happen to a recently divorced 43-year-old single mother from Arkansas? A lot, visibly. Iris Everlee would never have thought that this would involve visiting an auction, having her mind set on a box of books, finding a grimoire in the newly purchased box, and discovering that she is a witch, that her garden gnome is alive (and loves to throw rocks), and that she would meet and become very attracted to a hot, mysterious, and minimalist (understatement) professor of the occult. Or that she would adopt a butthole-less cat that she would name Bob (who is, in fact, an imp) and that her life would be in constant danger. And yet, this is exactly what became of Iris Everlee’s live after her divorce.
No, finding out that you have magic is not a walk in the park, especially when your life and, at times, the lives of your loved ones, is in jeopardy.
Gripping and even more gripping
I will start by this: both books have kept me glued to the pages from start to finish. Heck, I even read Spell On Fire in one sitting, all while doing house chores, booking my first sub days of the school year, cooking, and taking a long nap. Because it was that good.
In fact, even the first book’s action starts rapidly, as the author did not take an eternity setting up the characters and location, thus giving priority to the events and seamlessly filling in the other details when required. My type of first book in a series.
An emotional, relatable heroine
The main character of the series, Iris Everlee, is a deeply emotional woman to whom it is very easy to relate, whether you have children or not (I don’t). She is anxious, alternately fragile and fearless, but she won’t hesitate to do everything and more to protect those she loves, even if this might mean sacrificing her own life in the process. But don’t tell this to Keir Quinn, whose mission in life has always literally been to protect her and make sure that she does not die. A relationship? Technically not in the plans, but it would be an added bonus, although blue balls might end up not being so much fun.
Why talking about emotion? Because for Iris, everything is tied to her feelings, be it fear, anxiety, or survival instinct, which will often end up in Linda the garden
menace gnome throwing some clump of dirt or rocks at her. Good thing that Bob the imp is there to calm Iris, or else she would definitely implode with all the anxiety that her newfound powers cause her.
Something I particularly liked about the books is the amount of cultural references that Renee George can make, be it of Harry Potter, Lord of the Rings, Star Wars, or a certain pillow (a scene in the first book that had me literally crying with laughter, because I knew where that specific one came from).
Some references might not be understood by a younger generation of readers, but for the older ones, they are absolute candy!
To say that I love this series, so far, is an understatement. What’s not to love? A relatable heroine in her early forties; a hot, clever, loving and lovable hero; a cat; a hilarious gnome; great side characters; action and more action; magic. The only sad part is that there will be a long(ish) wait for the third book of the series, which will come out in February of 2022. But hey, that’s more time to catch up on all of Renee’s fantastic books!
An impish, magical, earthy, fiery five stars!