Book Review: Wicked Sense by Fabio Bueno
his week I had the pleasure to read Wicked Sense, an YA urban fantasy novel by talented author Fabio Bueno.
The beautiful cover and the blurb hooked me from the start:
Witches inhabit our world, organized in covens and hiding behind a shroud of secrecy—the Veil.
Skye’s London coven sends her to Seattle’s Greenwood High to find the Singularity, an unusually gifted witch who may break the Veil and trigger a dangerous new era of witch-hunting. Things get complicated when Skye meets a charming new classmate, Drake. Skye’s job becomes even trickier when she clashes with Jane, an intimidating rival witch.
Drake falls for the mysterious Skye, but odd accidents, potion mix-ups, and the occasional brush with death kind of get in the way of romance. Once he discovers Skye is a witch, he goes to war for her, even though his only weapons are a nice set of abs and a sharp sense of humor.
Fighting off wicked Jane and the other dark forces hell-bent on seizing the Singularity’s immense power, Skye and Drake will risk everything to save the covens.
Going on a date has never been harder.
In the beginning of the book I got some Twilight vibes (and that’s meant as a compliment). The setting explains some of it. Twilight is set to rainy Forks, Washington, and Singularity is set to rainy Seattle, Washington. Like Bella and Edward, Drake and Skye are high schoolers, and at first they’re fairly awkward with each others.
And as in Twilight, Drake finds out in a very dramatic way that witches exist. But from there the book deviates to its unique direction. No vampires and werewolves in this story. Not to mention much better writing.
Skye and Drake tell the story in turns and each gets about half of the chapters. I delved deep into their minds as the story unfolds in first person. Sometimes the point of view switched in the middle of a scene which was a little distracting at first but I got used to it quickly.
The whole cast is a real thing and I delighted in Skye’s and Drake’s friendships and relationships with their families. Since I’m a female, it was especially fascinating to get a peek of male dynamics.
The villain of the story, Jane, intimidates everyone with her biker attitude. We see only a tiny glimpse of her human side but she works great as a menace.
No punches are pulled for the characters. They make wrong choices, hurt each others and get into harm’s way. Without spoiling too much, I’ll say that a nasty school “prank” poor Skye was caught in would have made me hide in my house for the rest of the school year.
Something interesting happens in every chapter, and the identity of the Singularity was a mystery to me until the end. I suspected two other characters instead.
My only minor gripe was that if the search of Singularity was so important to the witches, why on earth did they assign an unexperienced, young warlock to lead the search (regardless of his Trust Charm). Also, Skye got no backup from the the local covens or from the leaders of the witches. But this way the focus was firmly on the main characters. And maybe we see more of the trust issues between the covens in the next book.
I was happy with the ending. With some threads left open, the sequel can’t come out fast enough. Fans of Realistic, Hopeful, Happy and Open endings will all be satisfied.
If you like YA urban fantasy with witches, strong characters and great conflict, Wicked Sense is a book for you.
But on to you. Do you read urban fantasy or YA? What do you think of witches in the popular culture?