You know that feeling…when you sense someone or something is watching you…you look over your shoulder but there’s nothing there…
I was thoroughly bewitched! Phil Hickes had me under his spell from the very first chapter. This is spooky storytelling at its spine-chilling best with a plot so powerful it has the ability to completely enchant you. I was helpless to resist it’s charms, totally entranced, unable to tear myself away.
It’s the end of the summer holidays and Aveline has swapped spooky seaside location Malmouth for an equally eerie cottage in the remote village of Norton Wick – the village setting feels so authentic I found myself Googling to see if it really existed!
Steeped in superstition and folklore, Norton Wick has a pagan history and links to witchcraft. It seems almost deserted… lonely…yet Aveline constantly senses a mysterious presence.
Totally obsessed by all things supernatural, Aveline’s absolutely delighted when she discovers that the cottage her mum has rented is right next to an ancient stone circle that the locals refer to as The Witch Stones. She feels sure strange and scary things have happened there – sorcery, rituals druids making sacrifices – and can’t wait to investigate.
Then almost out of nowhere, Hazel Browne appears at the stones. She has a mysterious, almost ethereal quality and brims with confidence and coolness. Hazel is completely unlike anyone Aveline has ever met before and she’s instantly and completely taken by her. But there’s something about Hazel niggling away at the back of Aveline’s mind, a feeling that something is not quite right, a feeling of unease that gets stronger and stronger…
Aveline is joined at the holiday cottage by her floppy-fringed, slightly geeky side-kick Harold and ‘the oldies’ Aunt Lillian and Harold’s uncle, eccentric bookshop owner Mr Lieberman. Being reunited with these familiar characters from The Haunting of Aveline Jones felt like being back amongst good friends and the wonderful camaraderie between Aveline and Harold is stronger than ever. But Hazel Browne seems intent on breaking that bond and will stop at nothing to totally possess Aveline. Will Aveline find out the truth about Hazel before it’s too late?
In Phil Hickes’ signature style, a chain of chilling events build to a blistering conclusion with terrifying consequences – you really will be looking over your shoulder throughout. So gather yourself some herbs, polish those crystals and make sure you chant a protection spell before pre-ordering!
The Bewitching of Aveline Jones was one of my most anticipated reads of 2021 and it was everything I hoped it would be and more. I feel absolutely bereft that I’ve finished it and wish I could go back and read it all again for the very first time.
Thankfully the adventures with Aveline are not over yet – phew! At the end of the book there’s a teaser for The Vanishing of Aveline Jones, for which there now lies another agonising wait…
The Bewitching of Aveline Jones will be published by Usborne Books on the 16th September.
With thanks to Usborne Books and Netgalley for approving me to read an advance e-copy of this incredible book.
Incase you missed the first book…
Read my review of The Haunting of Aveline Jones here