Not that you should need an excuse to read about witchcraft, Halloween is coming soon and something dark would be a perfect choice. And I’m going to tell you exactly what.
In Copper Pennies by Carrie D. Miller, Magda stands in the moonlit cemetery waiting for the spell to work, for her lover to return. But what’s done can’t be undone, and Magda will learn she should have left him in the ground.
When twins Avery and Chloe Parsons receive a cryptic letter and a sinister-looking book filled with illegible scrawls from their grandmother, the sisters set out for Prague to check on her.
Drawn to a cracked crystal ball in a curiosity shop, Chloe discovers it harbors the spirit of their grandmother, who tells them a horrific tale of lust, naïveté, betrayal, and… demons.
Armed with a book of dark magick they can’t read and a cracked crystal ball, the twins must stop Magda’s resurrected lover before he releases an unstoppable force that will consume the human world.
“10% in and already an ‘oh my God’ moment”. This was the first note I wrote when reading Copper Pennies. The rest of the book didn’t let me down.
I love reading stories about witchcraft but the past few I have found tend to be more about white magic (if you do like white magic, check out Carrie D Miller’s other book, The White Raven). Copper Pennies also included white magic but it could also flip and go very dark. As a comparison, think of Sabrina the Teenage Witch from the 90s versus today’s Netflix version.
But beyond witchcraft, what does this book offer? One element is how us humans can be easily blinded by love. Magda risked absolutely everything to help Josef, taking about eighty years to see his true self. With Magda and Josef we also see the battle of mortality come to life (totally not excusing that pun). Now, their use of magic to stay alive is extreme but is what some people do in today’s world that much different?
Finally, the author takes on the age-old challenge of good versus evil. With Josef, we clearly see a dark, bleak world, while on the other hand with Chloe, we see someone as close as possible to the side of good. But Copper Pennies shows us that life is also filled with grey areas, especially with Magda who tries to use magic for good, but her acts often veer toward the darker side.
For me, it was the element of magic plus the themes mentioned above that really sold Copper Pennies to me. However, the character development adds that extra punch to make this a winning book. None of the characters is perfect. I like that. It makes them much more realistic. And as a bonus, they each have a lot of depth, so much more than you would expect from an average-length book. Actually, Copper Pennies is the first in a serious of books featuring the twins. I’m interested in seeing how that will go as I much preferred the part of the book when Magda was the main character.
Overall, I totally recommend Copper Pennies. It keeps the reader on edge and very much slides into the thriller genre. Exactly the type of book I love.
I was sent a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.