Thank you to Interlude Press/Edelweiss for a copy of Felix Silver, Teaspoons & Witches in exchange for an honest review.
After his parents announce that his bizarre, emerging abilities are getting in the way of their divorce, Felix Silver relocates to Dorset Harbor and becomes the charge of his Grandma Aggie.
As Felix adjusts to life in a new school, Aggie decides that it’s time he learn The Silver Way, and teaches him all she knows about sorcery and magical arts. When Felix and his new friends decide to solve the mystery of local teenagers who have gone missing, Felix learns that his crush, Aero, has a big secret.
Is dark magic creeping into the town, and can Felix learn enough from Aggie and the witches of Dorset Harbor to combat it? — from the publisher.
I have been accused of Pollyanna-level optimism, which I happily accept. Honestly, otherwise, I’d be a bitter person, and I don’t like to be negative. Usually, this comes in handy when reviewing because I can put on my Pollyanna-slash-editor goggles and try to make sense of things.
With Felix Silver, Teaspoons & Witches, I want to believe someone accidentally sent out a first draft to reviewers. I think there is a good book in here … somewhere. But it’s not here.
Everything in Felix Silver, Teaspoons & Witches feels bizarrely incomplete. From the barely-there world-building to the insta-love romance that’s hard to swallow even for high schoolers in a novel, I found myself shaking my head nearly every page.
Don’t even let me start on the Americanisms! Senior year? Really? In a book written by a British author? Set in the UK. There’s more, but I won’t bother.
All in all, the whole effect is underwhelming. I never read a premise formulation so off the mark — “Felix Silver is a charming and funny Golden Girls–meets–Harry Potter YA fantasy adventure in the tradition of Rainbow Rowell‘s Carry On.” — unless we’re equating problematic authors to problematic content. I can’t.
I wouldn’t have finished or reviewed this book were it not for the biphobia. My friends, I question whether anyone involved in making this book has ever met a Gen Z teenager. Overall, this current crop of teens is much more aware of sexuality and gender spectrums than any other living generation.
It is inconceivable Felix would question Aero’s sexuality while they are on a date. It’s preposterous that Aero kinda … lets it slide? (I say this as a millennial to whom this happened.)
Sure, Felix Silver, Teaspoons & Witches makes mild attempts to combat Felix’s biphobia. However, if you’re going to randomly have a gay teen spew biphobia all over his bisexual love interest, you need to explore that. It can’t just hang there.
Said bisexual love interest, Aero, even has POV chapters. Does author Harry Cook let us know how Aero feels about the biphobia? Why does he let it slide? Nope, his chapters exist for him to moon over Felix. 😭
Felix Silver, Teaspoons & Witches is out on August 30, 2022.
Content warnings: biphobia, kidnapping, murder, familial abuse, divorce.