The Lighthouse Witches

A spooky, sci-fi, fantasy – a combination I never expected but hugely enjoyed.

Book title

The Lighthouse Witches

Author

CJ Cooke

Standalone or series

Standalone

First time reading this author?

Yes

Why I picked this

I love the cover it just jumped out at me.

Review copy or purchase

Thank you to the author, publishers HarperCollins and NetGalley UK for access to this as an advance reader’s ebook. This is an honest and voluntary review.

What it’s about

When Liv flees bad news in York in 1998 with her three daughters (Sapphire, Luna and Clover to take on a mural commission in a former lighthouse on a Scottish island she has no idea what to think. The locals seem welcoming, but it’s soon clear that there are local superstitions of children going missing and being replaced by evil doppelgängers. Meanwhile in 2021, Luna lives in hope of finding her missing mother and two sisters, who abandoned her in 1998 and haven’t been seen since.

Review

I didn’t know what to expect when I started this. I was entirely drawn to it by the book cover design. That made the contents a pleasant surprise.

The author has taken what could be a very complex concept and delivered a clever, but not overly convoluted plot populated by believable and sympathetic characters. The result is a gripping tale which I raced through in one day.

While it crosses lots of genre lines I don’t think it can really be classed as a specific type of book. If you like spooky mysteries you’ll love the atmosphere the author creates – the sense of isolation and strangeness of living by the lighthouse. If you like stories of parallel universes, lives lived away from their expected path and a story where the resolution lies beyond the boundaries of reality as we know it then you’ll enjoy the way the stories of the past and future are drawn together. And, if you enjoy stories about the complex relationships between families and the impact of childhood abandonment, there are a lot of those elements too.

I really enjoyed the way all these different elements came together. It meant that the story could have been resolved in a number of ways, but I love the fact that the author didn’t settle for any of the easy solutions.

Rating

Rating: 4 out of 5.
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