I received this book for free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.A Spoonful of Magic by Irene Radford
Published by Daw Books on November 7th 2017
Genres: Urban Fantasy
A delightful new urban fantasy about a kitchen witch and her magical family
Daphne "Daffy" Rose Wallace Deschants has an ideal suburban life--three wonderful and talented children; a coffee shop and bakery, owned and run with her best friend; a nearly perfect husband, Gabriel, or "G" to his friends and family. Life could hardly be better.
But G's perfection hides dangerous secrets. When Daffy uncovers evidence of his infidelity, her perfect life seems to be in ruins. On their wedding anniversary, Daffy prepares to confront him, only to be stopped in her tracks when he foils a mugging attempt using wizard-level magic.
Suddenly, Daphne is part of a world she never imagined--where her husband is not a traveling troubleshooter for a software company, but the sheriff of the International Guild of Wizards, and her brilliant children are also budding magicians. Even she herself is not just a great baker and barista--she's actually a kitchen witch. And her discovery of her powers is only just beginnning.
But even the midst of her chaotic new life, another problem is brewing. G's ex-wife, a dangerous witch, has escaped from her magical prison. Revenge-bent and blind, she needs the eyes of her son to restore her sight--the son Daffy has raised as her own since he was a year old. Now Daphne must find a way to harness her new powers and protect her family--or risk losing everything she holds dear.
I’ve been reading a ton of urban fantasy lately so when I read the summary for A Spoonful of Magic, I was so excited about what sounded like an intriguing new book. Unfortunately, the infidelity aspect of this book was extremely off-putting. I almost quit reading multiple times but kept convincing myself that it would get better. Spoiler alert- it didn’t. However, if all the aspects of the book dealing with her husband’s infidelity were cut, I think this would have been an excellent read. It’s the story of a family discovering their magic and banding together to protect one of their own.
On her own, Daffy was an interesting character and I felt as if she grew a lot over the course of the book. She was practical, level-headed, and smart. I loved how her struggle to balance her work with her family obligations was included in the novel. Her discovery of magic alternated between touching and hilarious. I also loved her relationship with her children, it felt so realistic to me. The plot was relatively engaging, slowly ramping up to the final showdown with her husband’s evil ex-wife.
Although I enjoyed some aspects of the book, there were also multiple aspects that gave me pause. The first was the concept that working magic led to uncontrollable hormonal urges. But only in adults. After working magic, the children were just left tired. Daffy’s relationship with G, her husband, was horrid. I felt as if every scene they had together was unrealistic. He also continually kept seeking out other women throughout the novel, never seemed at all repentant, and treated her horribly. And yet she let him worm back into her life, never calling him out on his misdeeds.
Additionally, their kid’s reactions were absolutely absurd. A few days after seeing graphic pictures of their dad cheating on their mom, they’re treating him normally again and acting as if nothing happened. Yeah, sure that would happen. Most of the other side characters felt one-dimensional and I didn’t really care about any of them. The villain felt very underdeveloped and unbelievable. The ending also felt like a hot mess, I think it needed to expanded and developed significantly more.
A Spoonful of Magic had a lot of promise but the author’s odd choices about morality ultimately made this one an extremely disappointing read. I would not recommend this one.