Publisher: Harlequin Australia
Release Date: August 1, 2013
Genres: Paranormal, Romance, YA
Source: Received in exchange for review
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Alyssa has one week to destroy her enemy, save her spirit... and save her soul.
After her ex-boyfriend commits suicide and her mum’s alcoholism sparks yet another psychotic episode, seventeen-year-old Alyssa Wood flees her small hometown of Broadwater and heads to New York City to stay with her bohemian aunt — a Wicca High Priestess.
Alyssa revels in the anonymity of a big city and her new life. Her grades climb, she has a new best friend, and a new guy: the sexy geek Ronan — a saxophone player who prefers jazz to pop.
But her newfound peace is soon shattered when she sees a dead body in one of Ronan’s music clips — and she’s the only one who can see it. Worse still, Alyssa recognises the body that has been murdered a week forward!
Alyssa doesn’t believe in the supernatural...despite her family’s Wicca background. So how will she overcome evil when it’s closer than she thinks?
‘A doll that looked remarkably like me. With a hangman’s noose around it’s neck.’
Despite the colourful mix of genres, Banish was not quite the entertaining read I was in search for. A little dark and light, mysterious and fun, the romance and movement of this novel was lacking. Admittedly, I skimmed the last half, maybe partially due to my headed-ness, but on whole, the last half became predictable and inadequate.
In hope to get away from the craziness at home, like her mother’s psychotic episodes and death of her ex-boyfriend, Alyssa Wood flees to New York where her aunt resides, who also happens to be a Wicca High Priestess. A new attempt of normal life with a new best friend, Seth, and boyfriend, Ronan, is immediately fragmented when she sees a dead corpse on a music video clip from Ronan sent. Frightened yet curious, Alyssa searches for answers and become confronted with more and more supernaturals. Completely confused, she only knows one thing for sure, someone is following her.
Surprisingly, the main character was not one of the contributing factors of my slight distaste with Banish. Alyssa was a cautious protagonist and had a discerning eye which was complimentary to the plot as sang murder mystery despite the paranormal aspects. While she had a traumatising and terrifying past with her closest relationships, she was strong and didn’t take crap from anyone. I loved how Alyssa was a cogent character without bordering artificial. An easy character to relate and sympathise for.
However, the romance was an aspect that did exceed realism and into ingenuity. The romance clearly has been tampered along before entering the story as it kicked off promptly at the beginning of Banish. Nonetheless, I appreciated the two interests as individuals. Ronan, like Alyssa was indubitably authentic and had a considerate personality. However when placed together, I couldn’t sense a chemistry spark at all, rather too forced.
Okay, now just one little more qualm. I feel like a broken record when I say this but where is the world building? While Banish was a murder mystery, a paranormal witchery element was present which I found missing depth and more understanding for us readers.
All in all, Banish had numerous fantastic points but lacked in certain areas like worldbuilding and realism in romance. Unfortunately, while pretty entertaining, Banish were irritatingly forgetable.