Review: Love, Lies, and Hocus Pocus: Beginnings by Lydia Sherrer

Posted January 23, 2017 by Lola in Contemporary, Fantasy, Review / 22 Comments


Love, Lies, and Hocus Pocus: BeginningsLove, Lies, and Hocus Pocus: Beginnings (The Lily Singer Adventures #1)
by Lydia Sherrer

Rating: 4 stars

Saving the world is such a bother when it makes you late for tea.

By day, book-loving wizard Lily Singer manages library archives. By night? She sleeps, of course. In between, she studies magic and tries to keep her witch friend Sebastian out of trouble. Much to her displeasure, he finds it anyway and drags her along with him.

From unmaking ancient curses to rescuing a town lost in time, Lily and Sebastian fight to avert magical mayhem. Meanwhile, Lily s mysterious past begins to unfold a past hidden from her by those she trusts most. Will she be able to discover the truth despite them?

Beginnings is the first installment of the Lily Singer Adventures urban fantasy series. Full of unexpected twists and snarky humor, this story has been known to cause: loud snorts of laughter, inexplicable craving for tea, and loss of work productivity. If you enjoy magic-filled adventures like Harry Potter and Sabrina the Teenage Witch then you’ll love Lydia Sherrer’s delightful new series. Pick up Beginnings to enter your magical escape today!

My Review:
This was such a fun read and I am so glad I picked it up. I heard about this book in one of my facebook groups, added it to my wishlist and then grabbed it a few weeks later when I saw it was free. Before I finished this book I had already bought book 2 as I already knew by then I wanted to continue this series. Love, Lies and Hocus Pocus Beginnings is a fun read filled with adventure and magic set in the current day world. I quickly got immersed in this work and had a lot of fun reading about Lily and Sebastian their adventures.

This books is split up in three parts, first we have adventure surrounding a ghost that Sebastian and Lily work on. Then we get an interlude, which are a few chapters form Sebastian his point of view which actually serves as the set-up for the third part where we go back to Lily her point of view. While I was a bit surprised at first when I saw epilogue at 30-40% in the book, I thought the three part set-up worked well here. I think they are officially labeled as two episodes, so you basically get two adventures in one book. I liked getting to know the characters a bit in the first part and then seeing Sebastian his point of view was so fun as we learn a lot more about him as a character and his magic, which are all things Lily doesn’t know yet.

The book focuses on Lily and Sebastian. Lily is a wizard and a librarian. She was quite the interesting character, she’s a bit strict, studious and prim and proper as well. She likes to bake and drink tea. She was a tad too serious at times, but I could relate to her and Sebastian was just the perfect character to work alongside her as she’s such a contrast to her personality. Sebastian is charming, easy going and likes to make jokes. Or at least he acts that way, his point of view really gave some insight in his personality. I liked seeing how Sebastian got Lily involved in all kinds of trouble, but I am pretty sure she doesn’t really mind even though she pretends to at times. It was a lot of fun to follow the adventures of these two and I feel like we got a good idea of their personalities and some topics are touched upon that I am sure we’ll learn more about in later books. There is still a lot about them we don’t know, but I hope we get to discover that in later books. I already want to read more about Lily and Sebastian.

And then there is the world building, which is so expertly done. I loved getting immersed in this world. It really felt like the author thought this all out, how the magic worked, the wizard society and even the spells and artifacts we come across. It felt like the magic made sense and had rules in how to guide it. It was a bit confusing at first what the difference was between witches and wizards, but I felt that getting Lily’s point of view helped to clarify what wizards were and then the chapters form Sebastian his point of view gave me a better insight in what witches were. I like how both where very different and while the whole wizard things sounded cool, I thought maybe the witch thing was even more interesting. I liked feeling like this world and the magic in it made sense and was all thought out. And I just wanted to know more and see more of the magic. I also liked how while there was magic it also took place in the normal world, it has a bit of an urban fantasy feel when it comes to that.

To summarize: I can’t say enough good things about this book. It grabbed my attention quickly and I got immersed in this book and the world the author had created and didn’t want to leave. I ended up ordering the second book before I even finished this one as I knew I wanted to continue with the series halfway through this book already. This book is a lot of fun, there is magic and artifacts, wizards and witches and more. It follows the adventures of Lily and Sebastian, they are almost opposites in their personalities, but they are so fun together. Their personalities sometimes clash, but it also felt that due to their opposites they worked well together. I felt like I got feel for both their personalities as this book is split up in three parts and the middle part is from Sebastian his point of view while part one and three are from Lily her point of view. This also helped to get to know more about both wizards and witches. But at the same time there’s so much more to know ad I hope to learn even more about these two in the next books. And the world is so well crafted, it felt like things made sense and like the author really thought things through. I can’t wait to read the next adventures of these two!

4 Stars


You can also read my review on Goodreads and Amazon

What’s the last new series you discovered?


22 responses to “Review: Love, Lies, and Hocus Pocus: Beginnings by Lydia Sherrer

  1. I like Sebastian already, haha. He sounds like a great character, and the way their opposite personalities play off each other sounds great too. I like when books have kinda opposite characters like that, but in a way that works well.

    I was going to ask you the difference between witches and wizards when I read the blurb, but then you mentioned that in the review. I like the sound of the magic though, how it’s well thought out and makes sense.

    I’ve already got this one in my Amazon wishlist, so I might end up giving this one a read πŸ™‚

    • I think you would like Sebastian, he’s a great character :). Their opposite personalities are so fun to see together. I also like books with character like these who seem total opposites, but somehow work well together too.

      Wizards basically learn their magic by lost of study, but you need to be born a wizard. While witches get their magic by trading for favors, think demon summoning or in Sebastian his case he trades favors with the Fae, So he gives a fae a bottle of alcohol and in exchange the fae does something for him. It was interesting.

      I hope you pick this up one day!
      Lola recently posted…Review: Love, Lies, and Hocus Pocus: Beginnings by Lydia SherrerMy Profile

    • If the author ever puts it free again, I’ll make sure to spread the word :). I am so glad I grabbed it when it was free as else it might have taken me longer to pick it up and that would’ve been a shame as I am so glad I found this series. It really is a great series so far and I can’t wait for book 3 and 4!

  2. I saw when you had this one on your reading list. Neat that you found it by chance and got it as a freebie. I do like the way you describe their world, personalities, and that there are adventures.

    I honestly can’t remember when I discovered a new series to love all on my own. It’s usually through glancing at Net Galley releases or browsing on Amazon. Most of my reading comes from recommendations, review offers, and reading blog reviews. The one that comes to mind at the moment is the Supernatural Consultant series by Mell Eight.
    Sophia Rose recently posted…Review: Destination Chile by Katy ColinsMy Profile

    • I thought it was interesting to mention how I got the book by chance and it ended up being such a great series. It was an exciting start of the series and I lvoe how well done the world building was.

      I get most of my new series thought netgalley as well or sometimes freebies like this one.

  3. The world building does sound incredible and the character development seems well done as well. I can tell how much you enjoyed this book, Lola, and it’s so fun to read a glowing review like this. πŸ™‚ I’m happy you enjoyed it so much.

    p.s. So I re-subscribed to your blog via email (I’m old and therefore old-school *haha*) I don’t know how I got unsubscribed since you have to go into wordpress to handle your subscriptions but somehow it happened. Anyway, it’s all set up again now and your posts will be delivered to my inbox. πŸ˜€
    Bookworm Brandee recently posted…Review ~ The Nightingale ~ Kristin HannahMy Profile

    • I am glad it came across how much I enjoyed this book. I actually gave book 2 in the series a 5 star :). It’s such a great series so far.

      Huh that’s weird you got unsubscribed somehow. But I am glad you re-subscribed.

  4. I was not into the whole Harry Potter thing so I am not sure about this one. I do love a book with adventures and Urban Fantasy is a favorite genre of mine. Laugh out loud moments are always good too. Is there any hint of romance? Glad you loved this one!

    • While the Harry Potter is spot on, it’s also very different from Harry Potter at times. So it depends a bit on what you didn’t enjoy about that.

      Yes there is a little bit of a hit of romance, it gets a bit more in book 2, I think it’s going to be a slow building romance.

  5. Glad to hear you found a book and series you like. It’s been a while since I found a new series that I liked. I have such little time to read these days that I tend to stick with series that I already like.
    Mary Kirkland recently posted…Happy Raturday!My Profile

    • I like trying out new series and new to me authors, so I actually made it my goal for this year to read more from authors I already discovered too. It was nice to discover a new series and author that I like :).

    • It’s actually a pretty big difference. Wizards are basically a bit of your standard idea for them, they have spells and items they can attach spells to and they learn their magic, but you do need to be born in a wizard family and not everyone in a wizard family will have magic. While witches don’t have magic of their own, but trade with other magical beings for favors or items, like Fae or demons.

      It really was a fun read and book 2 was even better!

    • I always add more books to my to-read list, it feels like I have no chance ever lowering it.

      btw your domain name has expired. I clicked on the link and it didn’t send me to your website. Luckily I could still locate the link to your blog and go there manually.

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