Modern witches have relationship problems, too.
After the Second Inquisition, the U.S. government instituted a National Witch Registry and established witch-only communities known as Havens. The most prominent one, established by a powerful billionaire witch, was Witchtown. When Macie O’Sullivan and her manipulative mother, Aubra, arrive there after a string of robberies in other Havens, the white 16-year-old herbalist hopes that this will be their last con job and that they will finally settle down. In her breezy yet solid first-person narration, Macie knows she should case the town for targets and keep her head low so no one discovers that she’s a magicless Void and takes a branding iron to her. Yet she can’t help befriending Talya, a fellow misfit and a psychic who sees people’s secrets, and crushing on Kellen, who has secrets of his own. (Both are white.) Light tension and mystery ensue (with a few clever red herrings) when religious zealots threaten the Haven and Macie, Talya, and Kellen plot to end Aubra’s cons once and for all. But could their plan reveal the truth about Macie in the process? Maybe the truth is not what it’s always seemed.
This uncomplicated, romantic story will charm reluctant readers who want a little magic but not all the tedious rituals. (map) (Fantasy. 12-16)