Mystical is a fantasy novel about witches, specifically a novice witch named Eliza Rose who is learning more about the world of mystics (non humans). She knows that she is a witch and has a broomstick (which is not for flying) but absolutely no idea about anything else in her life as a witch. That is, until, mystics just begin popping up around her and trying to kill her since she’s going through the equivalent of witch puberty, which allows her to gain skill and try and learn to harness them. The mystical world includes witches, mermaids, elves and shifters as well as corrupt versus innocent types of each species.
So I enjoyed this book, but I did have a few problems with it as well.
The book starts out right away with Eliza’s mother telling her that she’s a witch, with absolutely no plot build-up whatsoever. I felt like a lot of different points didn’t really have much tension or buildup, so the major plot drops just felt very easy to miss. Along that line also went the stylistic choices, where there would be long paragraphs of time standing still and describing everything, then a quick sentence where everything changes. I found it very easy to get lost in what was happening, especially during the combat scenes, just because time wasn’t moving at a consistent pace in the writing.
There were a lot of info dumps in the book, which really confused me because I felt like the world would’ve been easier to understand if things had been introduced slowly rather than all at once. That said, there were still quite a few info dumps in the last part of the book, even though the info dump style should really be eradicated around halfway through the book.
Parts of a chapter felt very repetitive, like this paragraph:
“The shifter weaves its head around. It looks like it is half snake half human. A shifter.”
Throughout the story, I felt like portions of the plot repeated over and over again, so I found myself confused about what already happened and what was new. Something very similar to that was the method of planning that the characters had, where they would say they were going to do one thing, then do something completely different on that same day. I wasn’t sure if the time was jumping around or whether the characters really did toss plans out the window that easily.
The last problem I had while reading this was that there were so many characters introduced so fast, I found myself starting to mix up who was who or completely forget characters. Some of them were never named or named very late in the story, which also really bothered me because I didn’t understand who was on the cover until about ¾ of the book through.I didn’t really feel very connected to the characters, since their personalities weren’t varied too much, but I did like Donovan.
Despite these issues, I still did enjoy myself while reading this book. It was an entertaining read, written in a way that was very relatable to teens, even if it wasn’t always the most comprehensible. I was really intrigued by the format of the world, but I got a very heavy Mortal Instruments vibe from it, that I hope disappears in the next few books.
Again, a huge thanks to Michael Weekly for the opportunity to read his book!