Author: Nicola Marsh
Publisher: HarlequinTeen Australia
Release Date: 1st August 2013
Genre: Young Adult, Paranormal Romance, Thriller
Page Count: 272 (paperback)
Alyssa Woods ran away from a small town, an alcoholic mother, and a town favourite ex-boyfriend who commit suicide because she dumped him. Joining her high priestess aunt in New York city, she shuns the Wicca lifestyle, preferring to remain a ‘mundane’. When her crush, hot saxophone player Ronan shows her a music video, she’s the only one to see the dead body – and she recognises the victim. She has a week to find out who – or what – is messing with her: is it her new crush, her aunt trying to convince her to practice Wicca, or something more sinister, like her dead ex-boyfriend?
Banish is your regular everyday paint by numbers YA paranormal romance thriller. There is absolutely nothing original in its pages and it’s exactly the kind of things you’d expect. No great prose, although there’s nothing wrong with the writing or narrative. Although Alyssa does wonder why anyone would be interested in a thin blonde with blue eyes (gee, I wonder who?) the pace and exposition both built decently and by approximately 38% I was hooked on the mystery of who was messing with her, and trying to figure it out along with her. Luckily for us, Alyssa is not a stupid girl and often cover her tracks and looks for backup in her investigation.
What this novel has going for it, and what makes it different to all the other paranormal romance novels is that Alyssa is much more mature than your regular Too Stupid To Live heroine. She confronts those she suspects, and she suspects everyone. There’s no, ‘Oh, I don’t trust him/her so I’m going to do my own sleuthing/stalking.’ There’s no ‘Oh, I love him so he couldn’t possibly hurt me.’ The conflict on Lyss and Ronan’s relationship comes from their miscommunication.
But I’m not sure that because this book is a little better than your average paranormal romance that it makes it worthy of better praise. It’s a solid effort and it’s clearly handled by someone who knows how to write books. If you like YA paranormal romance thrillers I’d definitely recommend it because by about halfway through I was hooked and didn’t want to put it down to go to sleep. This book is not part of a series but it is definitely set up to be.
Thanks to HarlequinTeen Australia and Netgalley for providing this advanced reader copy for an honest review.