“Put away your broomsticks and get out your cauldrons; it’s time to settle in for some frightfully delicious reads.”
Just A Little Wicked edited by Lily Luchesi is a massive paranormal and urban fantasy anthology of short stories and novel teasers that centers around the mystery and mayhem of witches and mages. It’s equal parts dark and fanciful, taking us on journeys across lands, between dimensions and through time while revealing magic, both good and evil, that thrums barely contained within our veins.
The concept for Just A Little Wicked is simple: bring together different authors in the paranormal and urban fantasy genres around a central theme, witches and magic, to tease and entertain in an almost 800-page volume. Even ignoring that such an endeavor must have been somewhat of a nightmare to organize—Luchesi you must be a saint!—the docket is also full of New York Times and USA Today bestselling authors. Suffice to say, At $0.99 on Kindle, I feel like this is some sort of theft, or possibly witchery on its own, so it may be worth pre-ordering before the spell wears off and the authors come to their senses.
I want to start my review by saying this book is massive. It’s well worth every penny, because at its core, this is a gateway for expanding your to be read shelf. This is a great anthology to give you a taste for a variety of authors and their series offerings. The stories ranged from whimsical with a dash of humor to quite dark, testament to how vastly different authors can take the same theme. There was still the same thread of spells gone wrong throughout the whole book, which helped tie the disparate threads together.
Ideally this book should be read with the knowledge that few of these stories are complete in and of themselves; therefore, expect to get hooked on quite a few with cliffhangers! This is meant to tease you into a series and get you interested in the authors larger body of work. There are a few stories that could be considered self-contained though they are part of a larger series, such as The Best Witch in Town and Morgana’s Revenge.
Be warned, some of these stories are not for the faint of heart. Such stories as When Echoes Call and Blood Sacrifice are pretty dark with plenty of trigger warnings to be aware of. If you have concerns of possible triggers, please see the bottom of the review for ]Trigger Warnings.
What I Liked:
Different authors approached witches from different angles, from the tried and true evil versions willing to sacrifice virgins and mired in their ambitions, to the kindly neighborhood witch that peddles friendly spells and respects the laws of nature and virtue. It could sometimes be a bit of whiplash going between these two types of stories, so it may be best to read these stories in different sittings.
I definitely have my favorites, but overall I was impressed by the calibre of work and ability of the stories to capture my attention, leaving me wanting more. There are of course stories that resonated with me more than others, but there weren’t really any ‘duds’ to speak of.
(Disclosure: I was provided an Advance Reader Copy of this novel in exchange for an honest review.)
Trigger Warnings: Explicit Sexual Content, Rape and Sexual Assault, Torture, Attempted Infanticide, Human Sacrifice, Execution