Tuesday, 8 September 2015

Witchcraft Couture (Review)

Hi there!

Psst! Before we get started you should head over to the wonderful blog Downright Dystopian and check out my guest interview over there!

Title: Witchcraft Couture
Author:  Katarina West
Publisher:  Self-published
Published Date: 19th November 2014
Rating: 3 stars
 
*Thank you to the author for the review copy*


Synopsis: Oscar Pellegrini is a talented fashion designer with a deadly enemy: his own critical mind. He destroys much of what he designs and has been drifting for years, gradually retreating from the fashion business he loves but holding on to his dreams of success.

A chance meeting with a former girlfriend triggers a creative crisis so deep that Oscar escapes to Russia, where he drinks and despairs like never before. Just when he thinks he has lost everything he discovers a magical machine that turns ordinary outfits into irresistible sartorial triumphs. Oscar takes the machine back to Italy – and before he knows it, he has become famous for his designs, and celebrities and socialites are fighting to be first to wear his gorgeous garments.

But the happily-ever-after ending for the fashion messiah turns into a nightmare when his dresses acquire a life of their own, gaining energy and evil as time goes on. Haunted by his creations, a dark secret he is no longer able to hide, Oscar finds himself fighting for his life and sanity, and searching for the answer to a question he never knew existed.

Is there such a thing as stolen genius, and if there is, can it turn against the very person who stole it?

Review: I was a bit curious about this book. It seemed like an interesting mix of things to put together – fashion designing and a sort of magic. I was captivated and couldn’t wait to dive into this one!

Before we get down to the nitty-gritty of the review, can we please admire that lovely cover? Because I love it :D

It did not disappoint, but it wasn’t all I had hoped it would be either. At the beginning I really liked the writing style because it was so descriptive and immersive. But after a while I realised that the writing was a bit overdone. We have paragraphs where he is just explaining some colours and we get a bit too much detail. Because of this trying too hard, the pace of the beginning of the book is rather slow and I didn’t enjoy that bit too much. But if you keep reading until the middle the plot starts to pick up the pace and thicken, so there is no more overdone writing and the writing style is back to one I could really enjoy.

Oscar was a very unique main character. He suffers from self-doubt which I am sure any of us with a talent or a dream to be able to do their work well, can suffer from sometimes. His is particularly bad and it basically has crippled his designing skills and makes him unable to hold down a job. I never knew self-doubt could be so crippling. He is really disturbed so it is pretty hard for me to pin down his character sometimes, but we could definitely see his rises and falls in his mood and successes. I think his character especially because interesting towards the end when he became aware of the witchcraft included in his designs. It was driving him crazy and it was so I interesting to be in the mind of someone who was being driven crazy from their own work.

I also really liked the settings in this novel. Oscar ends up going to Finland, Italy and Russia in the course of this one book! I am someone who is all for diverse settings so it was great that we were able to experience those countries. I did want them to be described in a bit more detail, but I was mostly happy there.

One thing I did wish for but never got was a full explanation of how the Sampo worked. Oscar seemed content to know that the Sampo did its magic and simply worked. But I am a curious person so of course I would want to know why it works and how it works the way it did. I was curious but our main character wasn’t, so there was a bit of a lost opportunity.

Generally a nice book. A bit slow paced at the beginning but the ending and middle is where the book really shines!

Links: Goodreads and Amazon!

Olivia’s Question: If you had magic powers suddenly, would you like to know where they came from or simply accept them?

Olivia-Savannah x

36 comments:

  1. Oh I don't know. With great powers come great responsibility and all that. I might not readily accept it, but I'll think long and hard about it. Lol.

    Probably not the type of book I'm in the mood for at this moment, but it sounds promising. :)

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    1. You are definitely right - with most those come hand in hand.

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  2. [ Smiles ] Wow, I have learned something new; I did not know that Atelphobia is the fear of not being good enough.

    Also, I would not mind reading that book.

    Do enjoy the rest of your week, Olivia-Savannah.

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    1. I did learn that as well, but I think it's a more common fear than most would assume!

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  3. Of course, one's genius can come around and bite one in the you-know-what. I definitely like the premise and have TBRd this one.

    If I woke up tomorrow with magical powers, I'd probably want to know the why's hows and wherefores, but I'd use it as I learned more about it. Kind of like I started tutoring statistics before I actually finished the course (with the instructor's blessing).

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    1. Yeah, genius and powers are slippery stuff in themselves. I hope you like this one when you try it out!

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  4. I think most of us suffer from Atelphobia at least a few times in our lives and it's not a good feeling hahaha If I had magical powers all of a sudden I would love to know how it happened but I would still accepted very easily nonetheless LOL

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    1. Agreed! Yeah, I think I would be someone who looked into it, but if my searching came to nothing I would just roll with it.

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  5. If you had magic powers suddenly, would you like to know where they came from or simply accept them? Admittedly, I'd be very curious about where they came from, but that wouldn't stop me from using them. Hmmm ... trying to decide what I'd do first. :)
    @dino0726 from 
    FictionZeal - Impartial, Straightforward Fiction Book Reviews

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    1. I agree with you! I'm pretty sure I would be the same.

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  6. I'd like to know the origin of my powers. I'm too curious a person to just accept something at face value. This book looks interesting. Definitely unique.

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  7. What a wonderful review Olivia! & I just learned something new, Atelphobia wow who knew there were so many phobias?! Haha

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  8. I can def relate with self doubt, but no where near this level, sounds like a great premise

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  9. I can definitely relate with over descriptive books; there's a fine line between just enough and too much. This book sounded pretty interesting, sorry you didn't like it more :(

    Olivia @ Fictionally Obsessed

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    1. It does have a lot of promise but the execution wasn't the best sometimes.

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  10. The title and cover are cool :) Oscar sounds like an interesting character. And the premise too sounds cool. It's too bad the book didn't live up to your expectations. I hate it when you can just spot when an author is trying too hard to be poetic or descriptive. I really enjoyed your review :)

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    1. P.s. I just read your guest interview :) Olivia's Catastrophe & Other Mishappenings is a book I would not only read but also pre-order XD

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    2. Ah yeah, it was trying a bit too hard :/ And thanks for checking it out! I feel honoured to know you would preorder it :3

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  11. Nice review, Olivia. The cover is pretty, so it would have definitely gotten me interested. I'm not an in-depth writer, nor do I like it as a reader, so I would probably take a pass on it. Take care

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    1. Okay, I need to wake up. I meant to say, "I'm not an in-depth descriptive writer, nor do I like it as a reader..."

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    2. Not every book is for every reader, so that I can understand! But it is a gorgeous cover <3

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  12. Thank you! I have learned a new word and I think I suffer from it constantly. This sounds worth a look at, thanks for sharing!

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    1. I do believe a lot of people do, so you are not alone! I do think it is something we need to work on getting over as well.

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  13. Great review! I love that you added a word definition. I like the cover too. :)

    Tressa @ Wishful Endings

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    1. The cover was lovely, and I thought the word summed up Oscar's feelings well!

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  14. Great review. This sounds quite interesting, one I'd consider reading myself. I don't know, part of me would probably be far too curious and feel like I HAVE to know where the powers came from.

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    1. You should think about it! I know, curiosity killed the cat and all that >.>
      ... at least satisfaction brought it back.

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  15. Haven't heard of this one before but it seems decent.

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  16. Mmm, that's a really good question. If I suddenly acquired some magic powers, I think at first I would want to know where they came from, and then eventually I'll just be stuck on the fact that I actually have POWERS. I haven't heard of this book at all, and I love the sound of it. & I get you when it comes to over-descriptive text, that can really make the story a bit draggy, but it's good that you were still able to enjoy this!

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    1. It was still a decent read and I feel pretty balanced about it! Accepting that you will have powers alone is actually a big deal :P

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  17. Such an interesting sounding read, and your review is really beautifully done. And it definitely has a beautiful cover, you're so right! For me, books really need to be the same standard all the way through. It can sometimes be okay if I haven't enjoyed the beginning, but the middle and end are ace, but often I remember the beginning and remain unhappy with that, and then with books that are brilliant for the first half and then not so much for the second- nope! For me to enjoy a book best, they need to hold a standard from beginning to end.
    xx

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    1. I think I will agree with you! I like my books to be consistent so that I can enjoy them fairly well all the way through.

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