Deady Sweet (Spellwork Syndicate #1) by Lola Dodge

January 17, 2018 Review 0

Deady Sweet (Spellwork Syndicate #1) by Lola DodgeDeadly Sweet by Lola Dodge
Series: Spellwork Syndicate #1
on January 16, 2018
Genres: Fantasy & Magic, Young Adult
Format: eBook, Mass Market Paperback
Pages: 265
Source: NetGalley
Sexual Content: None
Reviewed by: Tacoma
3 Stars

Anise Wise loves three things: baking, potion making, and reading her spellbooks in blissful silence. She might not be the most powerful witch, but enchantment is a rare skill, and her ability to bake with magic is even rarer. Too bad one wants witchcraft on their campus. Anise’s dream of attending pastry school crumbles with rejection letter after rejection letter.

Desperate to escape her dead-end future, Anise contacts the long-lost relative she’s not supposed to know about. Great Aunt Agatha owns the only magic bakery in the US, and she suddenly needs a new apprentice. Anise is so excited she books it to New Mexico without thinking to ask what happened to the last girl.
The Spellwork Syndicate rules the local witches in Taos, but as “accidents” turn into full-out attacks on Anise’s life, their promises to keep her safe are less and less reassuring. Her cranky bodyguard is doing his best, but it’s hard to fight back when she has no idea who’s the enemy. Or why she became their target.

If Anise can’t find and stop whoever wants her dead, she’ll be more toasted than a crème brûlée.

Who knew baking cakes could be so life or death?

DEADLY SWEET's back copy immediately hooked me. I love cooking shows (there's something profoundly soothing about sitting down and watching someone bake a cake), so combine that with magic, and I couldn't wait to start reading.
 
DEADLY SWEET kept me enthralled throughout an entire three hour airplane ride. I read it straight through and would have immediately downloaded the sequel if it were available. Anise is a delightful character with a cheerful but realistic voice. All of the cooking scenes were comforting. While DEADLY SWEET did have some flaws, I'll be picking up the next book when it's released at the end of the year.
 
Most of DEADLY SWEET is well-mixed, but there were some elements that didn't work for me. The villain and their goal will be immediately obvious to readers, even though Anise and her allies couldn't figure out who was trying to kill her or why. Details about the witch world were introduced but never fully explained (such as the rules of their magic), which came across as half-baked. While I'm sure those crumbs will be expanded on in the future, I craved more depth in the introduction to Anise's world.
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If you're looking for a young adult book featuring witches, try Forest of Whispers by Jennifer Murgia.

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