REVIEWS: The Kingdom & These Witches Don’t Burn

Well, I’m bringing too book reviews today for two books that I was super hyped for. One: did pretty good. Two: well…yeah, not the full jam. Let us see which is which (and witch).


The Kingdom by Jess Rothenberg

This book completely and 200% lived up to its tagline of Westworld meets Disney World. I didn’t know that the combination was possible, but the moment that I heard it, I knew that I needed it. While it had a few little hiccups in this creepy, futuristic fairytale theme park, it really delivered and I was provided with an immerse, intriguing book that was unlike I had read.

Ana is a princess robot at The Kingdom, a Disney theme park where extinct series are brought back to life and the fantasy must never broken be broken. The story is told between flashes of trial transcripts, here and nows of prose in Ana’s voice, and surveillance tapes. It’s part Illuminae Files, part regular mystery thriller novel with a hint of sci-fi. All of really worked and meshed together.

I really liked the cast of characters. Ana was a particularly great main character, and I really did enjoy her voice. Owen and the rest of the princesses/grouping of characters were good side characters as well, and I found myself drawn into their lives.

The plot was super interesting. It was super easy to breeze through and dive deeper into it. It had twists and turns. Some were easy to pick up on, but they were still enjoyable to go through. There were a few different things going on, and each of the plots were so intriguing that it was never boring or overwhelming. I also really like how certain messages were worked in there about the power of corporations and the line with fantasy.

I think the biggest issue that I had with the book was there was a bit of a disconnect. I’m not quite sure what it was, but I wasn’t fully fully invested in everything despite really enjoying it. I also called a lot of plot items, which wasn’t terrible, but I would have preferred to be a bit more of a shock at points.

Overall: a super unique read whose world I really enjoyed being in, but got a little too easy to pick up in spots. Still really recommend it if you want something totally different and maybe a little extra Disney World like in your life.

Untitled_Artwork (2)

rating: Anna
representation: Asian love interest; minor characters of different nationalities
content warnings: mild gore; death of life-like animals; implied sexual assault of side characters

36484081. sy475

These Witches Don’t Burn by Isabel Sterling

I’ve been so hype for this book, since the moment I found out about this book – much like The Kingdom – due to witches and f/f romance. However, unlike the majority of the success that I found in the first book of this review, I did not find success in this one.

I did like the vibe of this book. I liked the town feel and it was equal parts modern and old timey, which really worked. I’m literally always about mood and atmosphere in a book, and this book did deliver pretty much.

I struggled a bit with the characters. I really liked Hannah, and I think she was a great main character. The rest of the characters were a bit…eh. I never really connected with any of them. They were just like. Gemma felt a bit too cliche, and Morgan was just okay.

I had SUCH a hard time with Victoria. I couldn’t quite figure out what Sterling was doing with her. She was a controlling manipulative person, and she brought Hannah into so many abusive and toxic situations. For example: she told a guy who had a crush on Hannah that Hannah was bisexual (when Hannah is a lesbian) and when Hannah confronted Victoria, Victoria told her that she needed to just get used to guys coming onto her. Omfg, I couldn’t with this, and my blood was boiling. This was just one of the many situations that happened with the two of them.

Victoria and Hannah’s interactions honestly had me feeling super off, and I felt so uncomfortable with reading those parts. I also couldn’t quite pinpoint if we were supposed to identify this for the toxic behavior that it was or if it wasn’t supposed to be fully but just ended up being portrayed. The lack of defining it made me severely worry the entire time that they were going to get back together, and I was feeling so so uncomfortable that Hannah was going to go back into this emotionally abusive relationship. I struggled so much with Victoria as a character, but I have to give Sterling so much credit for including this kind of controlling, manipulation in her story, since it’s not often seen. I just wish it had been defined a bit more.

The writing wasn’t quite my vibe. It was a lot of telling vs. showing, and it didn’t read as smoothly as I wished it would. Some of the plot points were easy to pinpoint, and I guessed who the villain was from the start. I did enjoy that there was one big twist that I didn’t see coming and I thought it was quite a good one.

Overall: some parts that were enjoyable like the mood and a big twist, but the writing and some of the characters really made me not enjoy this as much as I truly wanted to. 


rating: Cinderella
representation: lesbian MC; bi love interest; f/f romance; trans side character
content warnings: controlling, manipulative ex; mental/emotional abuse

What do you think? Have you read these? What did you think? Let’s discuss in the comments below!


12 thoughts on “REVIEWS: The Kingdom & These Witches Don’t Burn

  1. Oh I’m sad to see that Tehse witches don’t burn wasn’t that good.. I had high expectations for it, guess I should lower those!


    Liked by 1 person

  2. AHHHHH! I am SO sad to see that about These Witches…we have been on a similar vibe lately so now I am not sure how to feel. I was curious about the Kingdom though and from the looks of it (I only skimmed your reviews so I don’t know too much about the books before I go into them) I think The Kingdom just moved up a bit on my TBR!

    Great reviews :]

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I knowwwwwwww. I was so hype for it, so maybe going in with lower expectations can be a bit better? I think my witch love was raised too high. And YES. I definitely recommend going in blind and also for it. it was definitely super unique and super intriguing. And a super easy read! 🙂 Thanks, Sam!! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Aw, I’m so sad that These Witches Don’t Burn didn’t work for you! I was actually so surprised when I read it earlier this year and really loved it! and i totally get why the toxicity of Hannah and Veronica’s relationship just didn’t do it for you. now that i do reflect on it, it never was explicitly stated in the book that what Veronica did to try and get Hannah back was wrong. thank you for giving me stuff to reflect on, and I’m so happy that you enjoyed The Kingdom because its premise and cover looks so good ahh

    Liked by 1 person

    1. There were so parts that I really really enjoyed, but the toxicity just really threw me off. I kept waiting for it to be explicitly stated, but I wasn’t sure if that was intentional or not. And yesssssss it was super good! Definitely something really different, and that cover was amazing! 🙂


  4. Honestly, the more I see about The Kingdom, the more excited I get! I’m considering reading it even though I don’t read mystery thrillers, just because of how good it sounds! And I’m sorry to hear that These Witches Don’t Burn didn’t work for you. I think that abusive and manipulative relationships definitely need to be called out and recognized in order to be a good part of any story.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yessssssssssssss. It really doesn’t follow the regular trends of the typical mystery thrillers. Instead it’s kind of a weird blend of sci-fi and just plain Disneyland? And yes! I thought it was going to be a great spotlight on it, but it just felt like it needs to be confirmed and illuminated a spotlight on it.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.