Black magic just met its match: Raising Hell by Bryony Pearce #bookreview #RaisingHell #20booksofsummer

Meet Ivy Elizabeth Mann:
“I know what you’re thinking, but I’m not half faery, or demon, or angel or anything like that. Mum’s a Body Shop consultant living in a bungalow in Birmingham and Dad enters crossword competitions.”
Once upon a time, Ivy and her friends did a very stupid thing and now there’s a rift letting dark matter into the world. Dark matter that manifests as black magic which actually works. Now every teenager with access to the Internet is raising hell. Literally.
Ivy’s doing her best to stem the tide, but her new job working school security barely pays the bills and there’s only so much one girl with a machete (and a cat possessed by her own dead grandmother) can do against the forces of evil.
Now she’s facing a teenaged goth with an attitude, a dark cabal with a terrifying agenda and a potential zombie apocalypse.
Ivy losing her job might be the best thing to happen to the world!


Hi and welcome to my review of Raising Hell, which just so happens to be my first #20booksofsummer review!

I happily accepted a Raising Hell proof because the blurb and the cover simply oozed Buffy the Vampire Slayer, and you know I’ll pick up any book that reminds me of the Buffy-verse. Do I even need to say it? Going in I had EXPECTATIONS (dumdumdumDUM)!  

Four years ago, Ivy and her friends did A Thing. They didn’t really believe they could raise the dead but apparently all the wrong stars aligned and they not only did what they set out to do, they caused an actual rift with dark matter seeping into the world and becoming dark magic, and now London is a magical hotspot, with teenagers casting spells, hexing each other and quite literally raising hell.

For four years, Ivy has felt responsible for this situation. She even started working in her former high school as security officer, because magic doesn’t seem to affect her the way it does other people and things like aversion spells don’t work on her, so she’s there to prevent hormonal teenagers from going on a magical rampage. However, when a student summons a hell hound and Ivy intervenes, she sets in motion a chain of events that make her life even more complicated than it already was.

Well this was just oodles of fun!

Although Ivy is just an ordinary girl and not a Slayer with her own brand of super power, I do feel that the comparison to Buffy is apt. In a nutshell: the girl kicks ass! There are no vampires to be slain, but who has the time to miss Spike when there are evil hell hounds and bloodthirsty zombie hordes to be fought?!

Raising Hell is a really fun YA horroresque urban fantasy that I enjoyed very much. It has magic, it has supernatural beings, it has more serious themes likes friendship and love, dealing with grief and responsibility AND it has the spirit of a grandma in the body of a tabby cat and if that doesn’t convince you to pick up Raising Hell I don’t think we can be friends.

Raising Hell is a book I would have LOVED to read as a teenager, and that I still loved today in my uhm… post-teenage years. Recommended to readers who enjoy YA urban fantasy and / or those who have a Buffy itch to scratch.

Huge thanks to UCLan Publishing and Graeme Williams for the fabulous proof! All opinions are still my own.

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