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  • Writer's pictureSarah Henne

Book Review: Spark of Magic by Hailey Gonzales

Gray Stone Witches Series Book I

A New Adult & College Urban Fantasy


Spark of Magic is book one in this complete six book series on KU.


We met Gwen as she starts a Merrik University and is tired of her boring life. But things change pretty quick when she discovers she is actually a witch, a weak magic user who was rejected by the mages for not being strong enough. She embarks on joining a coven with four other hopeful, the only way to learn magic, but if she fails she will have her memories stripped away and forget all about the magical world.


In this world magic is dangerous and must remain hidden from mundanes, even learning magic outside of the magician universities could have you wiped out by the council. There are plenty of magical races to meet here and in book 1 we just get a taste of the larger world with brownies, unicorns, demons, and fae (the wicked kind).


This series sets up a slow burn romance subplot, has the starting of a strong found family, morally grey characters, lots of angst, and plenty of action and danger.


This story was well crafted and super easy to read, I really enjoyed the authors take on urban fantasy as well as the pretty nasty magical side of the world. All of the characters in the coven are pretty broken people, trying to find their place in the world that rejected them. As I said in the trope list this story is pretty angsty, which isn’t my thing (though I still enjoyed the book) so if you like high school vibes and outcasts you will probably enjoy it. While Gwen makes some poor choices (in my mind) we do get a bit of an idea of why she is like this and her sucky home life (I hope that book 2 dives more into this as I wanted to see more of this and see grow)


Personal tastes: These are things that I personally don’t like but are obviously subjective to each reader. Angst is obviously the first one - this is the reason I tend to avoid YA these days. I am never a fan of stories were it feels like the MC is a “loser” (her own words) but then every male character seems to have a thing for her. The MC can feel a tad whiney and makes everything about herself (again I think this is just me and YA themes not meshing) The characters make some pretty selfish (I guess morally grey) choices which made them less likeable/relatable in my eyes.


Having said all those things I did enjoy the book and I think that if these are the kinds of things you look for in a story then you will probably enjoy this book too. The plot kept things interesting and there were always new obstacles to tackle and mysteries to uncover, the characters were all unique and interesting, the stakes were clear and the world building was done well to unfold with the story.


Will it make you cry? No, but there are a few moments that tug at your heart.

Romance? There are the starts of romance here, but it is a series slow burn.

Humor? A few one liners.

YA/NA? This is New Adult as it’s set at college but as I said above they are just out of high school so it does feel like upper YA.

Fight Scenes? A few magical fights, but these guys are pretty new so they are small.

Soft/Hard magic? Hard. There are specific trigger words used for spells that have a set outcome.


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