Series: The Lazy Girl's Guide to Magic #1
Published by Tantor Audio on July 11, 2017
Genres: Paranormal/Urban Fantasy
Narrator: Tanya Eby
Length: 8 hrs 9 min
This post contains affiliate links you can use to purchase the book. If you buy the book using that link, I will receive a small commission from the sale.
Let's get one thing straight - Ivy Wilde is not a heroine. In fact, she's probably the last witch in the world who you'd call if you needed a magical helping hand, regardless of her actual abilities. If it were down to Ivy, she'd spend all day every day on her sofa where she could watch TV, munch junk food and talk to her feline familiar to her heart's content.
However, when a bureaucratic disaster ends up with Ivy as the victim of a case of mistaken identity, she's yanked very unwillingly into Arcane Branch, the investigative department of the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn. Her problems are quadrupled when a valuable object is stolen right from under the Order's noses. It doesn't exactly help that she's been magically bound to Adeptus Exemptus Raphael Winter. He might have piercing sapphire eyes and a body which a cover model would be proud of but, as far as Ivy's concerned, he's a walking advertisement for the joyless perils of too much witch-work.
And if he makes her go to the gym again, she's definitely going to turn him into a frog.
I have found my new favorite witch: Ivy Wilde. Her superpower is making magic with as little effort as possible and with any luck doing it from her couch in her PJs.
Ivy Wilde was thrown out of the hallowed Order of Witches after being accused of cheating and…um, assault for punching out her then boyfriend who cheated off of her and then blamed her to save himself. But Ivy is much happier driving a cab than putting all that effort into climbing the witch hierarchy at the Order. Putting in that much effort was just too much work and Ivy is allergic to work. In fact, she barely wants to walk across the hall to take care of her neighbor’s familiar while she is out on assignment for the Order.
When Ivy opens her neighbor’s door after feeding her cat, she finds two men in the familiar red robes of the Order. They mistake Ivy for her neighbor and congratulate her on her promotion to second level witch and her new position in Arcane Branch. Before Ivy can let them know there has been a mistake, she is hit with a binding spell which binds Ivy to her new partner, Adeptus Exemptus Raphael Winter. It seems Winter doesn’t play well with others and the Order wanted to make sure he didn’t abandon his young trainee.
Now Ivy and Winter are stuck together (or at least within a few miles of each other) with a binding which will force work together. Ivy has no interest in helping the Order or being involved with Mr. Self-Righteous Adeptus Exemptus Winter but until she can figure out how to break the unbreakable binding, she is quite literally stuck. When someone manages to steal a spell book from the library filled with very dangerous spells, it is up to Ivy and Winter to figure out who got past the wards to steal the book.
I adore Ivy. She tries to put as little effort into things as she can. I think it is the funniest thing that all Ivy’s strongest spells were created because she didn’t want to get off her couch. I am just surprised that unlike The Sorcerer’s Apprentice, she doesn’t do magic to get her apartment cleaned.
But it is Winter who catches on that Ivy’s problem isn’t so much that she is lazy (because she truly is) but that like many geniuses, she is bored. Ivy is so lazy, she creates her own magic runes for things that even someone as top level as Winter had no idea could be done. Ivy couldn’t be bothered digging into her bag for her house keys, and invents a rune to unlock her door. No one knew you could create magic runes with just thumbs until Ivy was sitting in her cab twiddling her thumbs and magic ensued. Ivy even created a rune to make her familiar talk.
As expected, Winter gave her little respect at first. He only saw her as slightly overweight, slovenly and with no ambition. (check, check and check) He does quickly realize that Ivy was falsely accused of cheating and didn’t fight to stay in the Order because Ivy’s magic abilities were naturally stronger than most witches and she was bored with beginner spells. He also is quick to realize that Ivy’s personality made people talk to her, where his standoffish demeanor worked against him. At this point, Winter stopped fighting the bond and starting fighting to keep Ivy as his partner.
This series is light-hearted and fun and I think if I had magic, I would want to be just like Ivy. I quickly jumped on the next two stories and am enjoying them immensely.
Two non-story comments that I have about this series. #1 in digital form, this book needed a better proofreading. For example: the cat Brutus was referred to as Bruno and all the conversations lack quotes (“) and only have an apostrophe (‘). #2 in audiobook form, the character of Ivy Wilde is clearly British. The story takes place in Oxford in England but the narrator uses an American voice. She can do British accents and uses it for some of the other characters but maybe it was too much to do the majority with an accent. The same goes for Raphael Winter. He too is missing the accent. Tantor should have had a British narrator do the audiobook. By the second book, I am used to the voices, but it is still awkward to hear Ivy’s British slang coming from an American voice and every time she does it, I am again reminded that the voice isn’t right. American’s don’t ask for a “cuppa,” live in “flats” or curse “bloody arse.”
What The Iron Druid does for dogs, The Lazy Girl’s Guide to Magic does for cats, but as you can imagine, you might not want to know what your cat is thinking about you.
It was probably fortunate for both of us that Brutus chose that moment to saunter in and flop at my opponents feet.
“At least you have a familiar,” Winter grunted, avoiding my eyes in an apparent bid to reduce the antagonism between us.
“This is Brutus,” I told him.
My cat rolled onto his back and gazed upwards. “Pet,” he demanded.
Winter leapt about three feet backwards. “Your familiar just spoke.”
“Pet,” Brutus hissed again.
“He wants you to stroke him,” I said. Winter stared at me. He really did have the most intense blue eyes. I shrugged. “I’ve had him for a long time. Back when I was younger and more enthusiastic, I had the brilliant idea that I could develop and market a way for people to talk to their pets and have them talk back. After a lot of trial and error, I came up with the right series of runes and, hey presto. Brutus can talk.”
“It worked?” Winter gazed from me to the cat. He seemed to still think I was throwing my voice á la street magician.
“In a manner of speaking. Yes, he can talk but he only has a vocabulary of about twenty words and most of them aren’t very nice. I abandoned the plan to make millions from the spell when I realized that people would finally realize their cats are selfish little bastards who only care about themselves. There would have been mass feline abandonment if they heard what their pets really have to say. It seemed prudent to keep the magic to myself.”
Winter blinked. “I see.”
“Pet,” Brutus repeated. “Bitch.”
“Don’t be offended,” I said. “He calls everyone that.” I winked at Brutus and turned on my heel.