Fantasy Novels Fantasy Reviews

‘That Ain’t Witchcraft’ Review: The Fight to Keep Evil At Bay

That Ain’t Witchcraft is a fantastic fantasy adventure filled with supervillains, ghosts, and non-human entities aplenty. From the start, it’s hard to put down, flying a mile-a-minute toward magical forces that want to kill our protagonist and her team of misfits. As always, McGuire delivers a thrilling story filled with everything you could want from a fantasy novel. 

To start, the overview of past character and story history was done brilliantly. It’s easy to awkwardly stumble through a series’ history, especially one with as many books as the InCryptid series, but McGuire does it effortlessly, making a new-to-the-series reader feel comfortable starting in the middle.

This doesn’t feel like an eighth book in a series. There isn’t anything tired about the characters or the plot. It all feels fresh, compelling, and striking to a new reader. McGuire gives us a thorough background of all fantasy elements in this world, showing us a compelling history that’s quite terrifying. There are conflicts aplenty, including a long-brewing feud with a shady worldwide organization and a ghostly realm that wants a debt paid. I was also fascinated at the connections between the living and the dead. It’s no big deal for our protagonist to be followed around by the ghosts of dead relatives. Never a dull moment, to be sure. 

I loved this group of eccentric characters. Our protagonist is powerful beyond measure, extremely witty, and filled with admirable passion for doing the right thing and protecting those she loves. She’s fighting against many different groups and manages to remain level-headed when she could rightfully be losing it. The group is like a magical Captain Planet team, with abilities including knife-throwing, manipulating luck, altering body mass, and a monkey-like man who can fight with the best of them. The conflicts are fascinating—you never know what kind of attack is going to happen. 

That Ain’t Witchcraft is a brilliant addition to the InCryptid series. This is my first journey into this epic saga, but with writing this strong and characters I couldn’t stop thinking about, it’s surely a fitting extension of the Hugo-nominated series.

NOTE: I was provided a free copy of this book via NetGalley in exchange for my honest, unbiased review.

That Ain’t Witchcraft

By Seanan McGuire

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