Eva Evergreen, Semi-Magical Witch by Julie Abe

Eva Evergreen, Semi-Magical Witch, is an adorable middle-grade fantasy about a young witch who has a little pinch of magic (which is unusual compared to the other magic users in her world). This novel is perfect for those who loved Kiki’s Delivery Service and love stories about friendship and finding inner strength.

Eva Evergreen is the daughter of one of the two grandmasters of magic in the world of Okayama. She’s determined to join the ranks of her mother one day, staring by earning the status of Novice Witch. However, the problem Eva faces is that she is a late magic bloomer and has only a pinch of it — making her semi-magical.

This Japanese influenced story was one of the cutest middle-grade reads of the year! Like most middle grades, it focuses on inner growth and the power that comes with friendship. This ray-of-sunshine book is wholesome and has the message of ‘belief in yourself and don’t give up’ that we all need in this insane year. Even when odds and everyone seems to be against you.

To earn her novice rank, Eva has to visit a town and complete the quest of doing good. But since the start of her quest every adult she encountered (that weren’t her parents) were ready to tear her down and challenge her pinch of magic. While spells do not come easily to Eva, her constant ‘, I can do it’ attitude is what allows her powers and character to grow. It is easy to get torn by the expectations of others (especially when they are cruel about it). Still, Abe created a never faltering character that kept struggling with the pain and rejection but was able to prove not only herself but those who doubted her.

The world-building is similar to Kiki’s Delivery Service, but unlike the Ghibli film and the Japanese novel, Eva Evergreen seems more fleshed out. And a tiny bit darker, as a strange and powerful force called ‘The Culling’ threatens to destroy the world through unpredictable earthquakes, typhoons and extreme weather.

While the story was a bit predictable, I still found myself enjoying it and not wishing for it to end. I am excited to see where Abe will take Eva’s story in the following book!

Thank you to Hachette Australia for providing me a finished copy in exchange for an honest review.

Publisher: Hachette Australia
ISBN: 9780316540452
Pages: 400
Publication Date: 13 October 2020
RRP: $16.99 AUD
Personal Rating: 4/5

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