Book Review: Raising Hell Bryony Pearce

“I was meant to save kids, not kill them – and I was hardly an angel myself. But if I didn’t stop her, how many more would there be.”

Ivy Mann is a school security guard, a role she took on after making a stupid youthful mistake which caused dark magic to leak into the world and every teenager to be able to use it. Clearly there’s a lot that could go wrong here, and it does. Raising Hell opens when Ivy identifies dark magic on Norah Ortega and tries, but fails, to prevent Norah releasing Hellhounds into the school. Once the situation is under control, Norah finds she is being mentally haunted by the hounds and Ivy swears to help her.

Ivy feels responsible for every magical mishap that occurs; it was her and her friends that caused the magic to leak into the world (although it takes a while for us to know the full story) and she feels it is her job to put things right. She has a weapon named Matilda, and her cat (who is really her gran’s soul stuck in a cat’s body – it’s a long story but gran is absolutely my favourite character in this book) and she doesn’t think she needs anyone or anything else. She has been through a lot and she doesn’t let her guard down easily. Ivy is someone who beats herself up about every tiny mistake she makes, she is easily upset by any slight perceived failing and her learning that that she can’t fix everything on her own was one of my favourite parts of this story.

Norah’s brother gets involved and to be honest, at first, I thought he was a total arse. I would happily have reached through the pages and fed him to a hellhound if I could. But he grew on me as things progressed and we learned more about him; he has a lot of pressure and responsibility and for all his threats and blustering around, he really just wants to protect his little sister, which is a sentiment I can get on board with. I loved the way he and Ivy gradually learned to work together and how things progressed between them.

This book is brilliantly written, action packed with a lot of drama and scary moments. There’s never a quiet moment. I really enjoyed this one. If you’re a fan of Buffy the Vampire Slayer or stories packed with magic and demons, you will love this.

Gran by far the best character

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