Book Review: The Marionettes (The Marionettes #1) by Katie Wismer

The Marionettes (The Marionettes #1) by Katie Wismer

An Urban Fantasy Novel published by Ahimsa Press (08/17/21)


“Kirby scowls, then shoots a loving glance at the pink cowboy boots shoved in the back of my closet. She gifted them to me forever ago, and they haven’t seen the dark of night since.” (page 83).

Valerie is one of a long and dwindling family line of blood witches. At her academy, it’s almost time for the initiation test into the league that protects the vampires, except she can’t seem to muster her magic or the energy to keep up. What secrets and truths will she uncover while trying to survive the trials of the initiation into the Marionettes?


Urban Fantasy, Vampires, Witches, Paranormal, Romance, Sacrifice, Blood, Attack, Mystery, Friendship, Family, Love

My Review:

It’s difficult to impress me with an urban fantasy novel. The Marionettes, a quick read by one of my favorite YA authors, more than impressed me. I couldn’t put this book down. My favorite part about the book was the tone of the world-building and the writing style. Even down to the word choice and phrasing, the tone was uniquely presenting a Halloween-esque vibe. The world in The Marionettes is so clear and unique and interesting. The editing was superb, with no unnecessary fluff. I had to read every word. This is the type of book I would read again, just to notice the clever wording that I missed the first time around because I was so enchanted by the plot and taken by the characters. The author has taken such care with this book in almost all aspects – the words, the plot, the characters, the scenes, the world-building. I’m impressed by the level of detail that the author uses to create the world of The Marionettes.

It’s almost disturbing, the naturalness of blood and cutting to this world and to the main character. It is a part of her life and so natural and the author has so cleverly built up this world but yet it’s still chilling to read about it and the normalcy of blood witches.

The book is short – at just over 200 pages, but it’s not just the length of the novel that makes it such a quick read. The author weaves in mystery and intrigue in every scene. There are so many surprises and secrets. I had no idea where this book and the plot were going, and I couldn’t stop until I had all the answers. Except, the book ends on a cliffhanger that is more than just a cliffhanger. I don’t feel like there’s enough ending and I wish this wasn’t a two-part series. I think it would have been better to have one long 400-page novel than to break it into two parts and leave the first book without a fulfilling ending that felt much too abrupt to be complete. Perhaps when book two is available and you can read them in sequence with no stopping, it won’t feel as jarring. For such a satisfyingly written book, I was disappointed with the route the author took for the cliffhanger ending in book one.

This novel was published by Ahimsa Press 08/17/21 and is available on Amazon here.

TL;DR Star Rating: 4.25

Links for more information:

Katie Wismer’s Website