Veneficus: The Beginning
July 8, 2017
Votes: 0

Editing, Production, Marketing & Sales

Cover design by Dark City Designs
Published Through Satin & Stone Publications
Reviewer Rating: 4.5 Stars

The Rundown

Malefica opens in an alternative present where witches are real—and they are enemies of the state. Claudia, the hero, is a high school student with a seizure disorder and service dog, although she hasn’t had a seizure in as long as she can remember. On the cusp of her eighteenth birthday, as a senior in high school, she takes the required course about the history of witches and the terror they bring to society.

Claudia convinces her doting father—her mother died when she was a baby—to allow her a small party on the night of her eighteenth birthday. Claudia’s three best friends come over to her house for a party, bringing with them a dangerous piece of contraband: what readers will recognize as a Ouija board. As Claudia reads an inscription on the toy, she activates her latent witch powers, changing her life forever.

As her powers manifest, her friends turn on her, looking at her with fear, disgust, and terror. Her dog Luca, who turns out to be not at all what he seems, saves her from them, and they flee. Claudia and Luca are on the run from both the authorities who would kill Claudia on sight and from the witches who want Claudia to join their coven—for nefarious reasons. Luca educates Claudia about witches and the ugly truths about them. Note to readers: this book is likely far more brutal than what you might have been expecting.

If the bad guys in this book are a little too one dimensional, the plot makes up for it with its complete unpredictability. At every turn, the plot presented something unexpected and new. At the end, be prepared for a massive cliffhanger.

The Recommendation

Malefica is perfect for fans off Melissa de la Cruz and Richelle Mead. An unpredictable and tightly woven plot, along with original world-building, keep this book moving forward at a fast clip.

The Rating Reviewer Rating: 4.5 Stars

4.5 Stars (out of 5): Highly recommended. This book is a great read. It can hold its own against any traditionally published novel in its genre, and surpasses many.

The Pros & Cons

Pros: Believable, Dialogue, Emotional, Page Turner, Plot, Strong World-Building
Cons: Character Developement

The Comparisons

For readers who liked these books and authors: Melissa de la Cruz, Richelle Mead

The Reviewer

Katie Rose Guest Pryal

Katie Rose Guest Pryal is a novelist, journalist, editor, and lawyer living in Chapel Hill, NC. She is the author of the Hollywood Lights Series from Velvet Morning Press: ENTANGLEMENT, LOVE AND ENTROPY, and CHASING CHAOS. She contributes regularly to national publications such as QUARTZ and the CHRONICLE OF HIGHER EDUCATION.

Visit Katie Rose Guest Pryal‘s website.

Author’s Summary

Claudia Matthews turns 18 tomorrow – as long as she can make it through the first day of classes at Oakley High School. It’s more than her inherent strangeness that keeps her from fitting in. Her ill-tempered service dog, Luca, isn’t winning her friends and her class schedule is even less welcoming, dropping her into the government-mandated, “The History of Witches.”

They are real, she’s been told. They are powerful, and evil – yet Claudia wants to know if that’s actually a universal truth. Are all witches really that bad?

When a mysterious gift appears, dark secrets are cast into the light, and the world as she knows it may change forever. Now armed with questions, Claudia will need to figure out if it’s truly worth finding the truth when textbooks don’t hold all the answers. Drawn into a world of hidden covens and regulated magic, she may learn more than she bargained for. Now Claudia has to fight the lure of power and a temptation much more passionate…or lose herself to both. The truth could set her free… or damn her forever.

Short Description

Witches are real, they are evil, and Claudia Matthews must fight her way past the temptation of corruption, and weakness to find the answers she seeks for her saving grace. But being bound to the damned means fighting against more temptation than the pull of power.


When bound to the damned, chaos is in your blood.

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