Miss Mabel’s School for Girls by Katie Cross

May 30th, 2014 Kimberly Review 87 Comments

30th May
Miss Mabel’s School for Girls by Katie Cross
Miss Mabel's School for Girls
by Katie Cross
Series: Network Series, #1
Genres: Fantasy, Paranormal
Source: Author
Purchase*: Amazon *affiliate
Rating: One StarOne StarOne StarOne Star

Never underestimate the power of a determined witch. Letum Wood is a forest of fog and deadfall, home to the quietly famous Miss Mabel’s School for Girls, a place where young witches learn the art of magic. Sixteen-year-old Bianca Monroe has inherited a deadly curse. Determined to break free before it kills her, she enrolls in the respected school to confront the cunning witch who cast the curse: Miss Mabel. Bianca finds herself faced with dark magic she didn’t expect, with lessons more dangerous than she could have ever imagined. Will Bianca have the courage to save herself from the curse, or will Miss Mabel’s sinister plan be too powerful? Miss Mabel’s School for Girls is the first novel in The Network Series, an exciting new fantasy collection. A gripping tale about the struggle to survive, it will take you to a new place and time, one you’ll never want to leave.

I first learned about Miss Mabel’s School for Girls on Candace’s Book Blog where I mistakenly confused the author with another. Can you guess who? Therefore, when Katie Cross asked if I would like to review the first book of the Network series I could not help, but say yes. Miss Mabel’s School for Girls was a delightful, magical witch tale with moments of darkness and an overall plot that already has me intrigued.

I knew going into the tale that we would be attending a boarding school for witches located near Letum Woods. What I did not expect was the wonderful world building. Politics, spies, curses and a fascinating history of the territories that make up this world drew me in and never let go.

The tale introduces us to Bianca Monroe. Poor Bianca has inherited a deadly curse and to be free of it; she must outsmart a witch who is both respected and feared. The tale that unfolds has everything from friendship to dark magic. Bianca is a strong, determined character, and I easily connected with her. She has secrets, and Cross did an excellent job of slowly revealing both her skills and plans. Bianca befriends a few of the other girls adding interest and creating allies. I especially liked Leda she is a non-conformist, with oodles of opinions and the gift of sight. I have a feeling she will need these friends as the tale continues.

Miss Mabel’s School for Girls was well paced, with fleshed out characters, mystery and moments of darkness. I became completely wrapped up in the tale from the classrooms to the hexing spells. I loved that it had moments of darkness. The tale remained young adult, but had an edge and serious tone to it allowing it to stand out among others in this genre.  Miss Mabel is a formidable enemy, and I am anxious to see where the next installment takes us. We meet other players in the political games afoot, and there are hints of war. I am not a hundred percent sure of these character’s intentions and love that unsettled feeling as I read.

Fans of boarding schools, witches, and excellent world building with elements of mystery will find Miss Mabel’s School for Girls the perfect beginning to this series.

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About Kimberly
Kimberly is a coffee loving book addict who reads and listens to fictional stories in all genres. Whovian, Ravenclaw, Howler and proud Nonna. She owns and manages Caffeinated PR. The coffee is always on and she is ready to chat. Twitter | Facebook | Instagram

87 Responses to “Miss Mabel’s School for Girls by Katie Cross”

  1. Michelle

    This sounds really good! I’m glad that it has a good world building. I think I’m going to enjoy reading this!

  2. Larissa

    Ahh, can’t believe I haven’t heard of this one till now. I love a good witch book and this one seems like it could fit the bill perfectly. The fact that this one has good world building is very intriguing to me, learning about witches and their culture/background/history is something veryyyy interesting to me. The characters also sound well developed with cool back stories. I also love the fact that this one has good friendships in it. That’s something I wish was more prevalent in YA.

    Thank you so much for reviewing this one, it’s definitely on my wish list now. Great review too, it was so informative c:

    • kimbacaffeinate

      Enjoy Lariassa. I quite enjoyed this dark world

  3. PurpleBook

    Strong female characters are rare these days. Good thing this book was an exception and I like that it’s about witches and that it had serious tone even if it is YA genre. Great review 🙂

  4. Jessica

    I love witches, but sometimes school situations can scare me off. Boarding schools tend to be safer than public schools though, and this one definitely sounds interesting enough to check out 😉

    • kimbacaffeinate

      I get it, but this is dark, without “school drama” and quite fascinating.

    • kimbacaffeinate

      Thanks Sharon, I hope you get a chance to read it 🙂

  5. Jayd

    Really nice review! This sounds just like a book I would enjoy. Its nice that the author has included some things that go against the trope of boarding school witches – like the extra rich world with spies etc. makes me want to read it a lot more!

    I love the aesthetics of your blog. Some lovely colours, and a wonderful theme! I love coffee, ahah.

  6. charliegirlteachergirl

    I do like a lot of the qualities of boarding schools! I think of four books when I think of boarding schools: of course the Harry Potter series, LA Meyer’s Curse of the Blue Tattoo (also part of a series, book #2), Looking for Alaska and most recently J.B. Hickman’s The Keeper of Dawn. I also like politics and spies!! I might have to put this book on my list for fall reading!

    • kimbacaffeinate

      I am a fan of boarding schools and love when there is paranormal elements involved. Thanks !

  7. Jeann

    I love the sound of this book, it reminds me of VA but with witches instead. thanks for sharing your review Kimba!

  8. Jenea

    This is sitting on my side table in my room, I’ve only read a little but of it, so I skimmed your review. I am looking forward to reading more of it. 🙂 I’m glad that you enjoyed it.

  9. Cyn

    Ha! I just realized that I made the same mistake…not the same Kady Cross, haha. Though I’m glad to see that this book was quite enjoyable! I haven’t read a witch book in a while. Thanks for the review!

    • kimbacaffeinate

      See I am not crazy! LOL Thanks Cyn and I hope you get to read this!

  10. Silvia

    Witches, huh? I didn’t know this book, but it definitely sounds like one that should be on my TBR pile… Thanks for the review, Kimberly!

    • kimbacaffeinate

      thanks Silvia, this was an enjoyable one 🙂

    • kimbacaffeinate

      This is young adult, but is dark and geared towards the older end of the group.

  11. Melissa (Books and Things)

    Another good review of this book. Oh I’m getting curiouser and curiouser. 🙂 I already have this one on my wishlist. Looks like I’m moving it up that list!

    • kimbacaffeinate

      Sweet, and I know you guessed the author I mistook this author for..LOL

  12. ShootingStarsMag

    I really want to read this one! I think it sounds wonderful, and I do like books about witches. Glad to hear you really liked it too.

  13. Heidi

    I have read several great reviews for this one and I am most curious. I love boarding schools and witches and all that. I really just need to get a copy. Have a great weekend!

    • kimbacaffeinate

      I think you would enjoy this one Heidi. Have a wonderful weekend!

  14. Katherine

    Haven’t heard of this one but it sounds interesting. I like boarding school type books but haven’t read much witchcraft. This one sounds unique and I like how fleshed out it sounds like the world is – like you can really visualize it.

    • kimbacaffeinate

      I really liked the different threads, and of course the school. This has a darker tone, and the author places up the atmospheric vibe.

  15. Valeria

    This is the first that I hear about this book, but it certainly seems like and excellent one. It’s been a while since I read a book about witchcraft, since Harry Potter actually, so I would be very excited to read this one. I’ll definitely keep my eye out for this one.

  16. Lori

    I had no idea Kady Cross had a new series out! Thanks for sharing, I’ll be adding this to my list…you can’t go wrong with a boarding school and the paranormal 🙂

    • kimbacaffeinate

      Oh noes Lori, you did exactly what I did. This is Katie Cross, not Kady Cross. LOL

      • Lori

        Oops! I totally screwed the pooch on that one 😉 Well, either way I’m adding it to my list, it sounds like a good read!

  17. Rashika

    I need this book in my life. Witches, boarding schools and (dark) magic? YES PLEASE.

    Great review, Kimba! 🙂

  18. Ginny

    I have this one on my read list for next month. I have read the first couple of chapters though and I can’t wait to get back to it and find out more about that curse. I’m glad you enjoyed it.

    • kimbacaffeinate

      Enjoy Ginny, I look forward to your thoughts!

  19. Candace

    This review makes me so HAPPY! You already know I adore the book so it’s awesome to see others reading it. And that you loved it! SQUEE!

  20. Christa

    Hooray for boarding school books! I’ve added this to my list (and I also thought she was another author when I first saw the name.

    • kimbacaffeinate

      See it wasn’t just me..LOL This was good Christa and I hope you pick it up!

  21. Michelle

    I heart boarding school setting for paranormal and supernatural books. This one looks like it would be great! I have heard about it a few times on various blogs, but yours is the first full review I have read of it. it looks like something I would really enjoy.

    Great review Kimba 🙂

    • kimbacaffeinate

      I remember you like boarding school settings like me.

  22. Warm Vellum Book Blog

    I love the title. I so so want this to be a more grown up version of The Worst Witch *childhood comes flooding back* – this may be a very Brit specific reference!

    • kimbacaffeinate

      Ok, now you have me looking up The Worst Witch to see if I read it. This is dark, and quite good, and the overall arc has me intrigued.

  23. Amir

    For some reason I absolutely love the cover, it’s simple yet mysterious. This sounds like a series where the characters will grow with every book, I would definitely check this out! Awesome review, Kimba 🙂

    • kimbacaffeinate

      I like it too, it makes me think of a book of spells or old journal. Thanks Amir!

  24. kim { Book Swoon }

    Oh, I haven’t heard of this one, but I love a good witchy-boarding school story. I like that it stands out above the rest of the ya norm, something I’ve been looking for. Adding to my wishlist, thanks Kimba 🙂

    • kimbacaffeinate

      Enjoy Finley, I look forward to your thoughts 🙂

  25. Victoria (aka Zemfirka)

    This sounds great and has “me like it” written all over it! 😀 Added to the to-read list. Based on your review it reminds me of Gail Carriger’s Finishing School series.

    • kimbacaffeinate

      Oh that series is on my wishlist Victoria. Enjoy!

  26. Lisa

    I do like boarding school books… so I’m assuming you add in a witch, and it just makes it that much better!! 🙂 Great review!

    • kimbacaffeinate

      Why yes! I mean classes in spell casting, invisibility, and sending mail by magic..brilly!

  27. Sophia

    Kady Cross? Oh yeah…! I made the same mistake once. Except I think I mistook this one for another book… Miss Peregrine’s something something. Really, I don’t remember. :p

    • kimbacaffeinate

      LOL, exactly Sophia. Ooo Miss Pereguine’s was a good book too!

  28. Toni

    Ooh, this sounds like a winner to me! Thanks so much for the review, Kim. This one’s going on my TBR right now.

    • kimbacaffeinate

      *waves* Hope you get a chance to read this one Toni

  29. Chene Sterckx

    I have been eyeing this book for a while and am happy read such a great review 🙂 Hmmm need to get my hands on this one… Great Review Kimba!

  30. Melliane

    Oh that’s nice, I didn’t know this one but I love the cover and it’s always great to have a good witches story! Thank you for your review!

    • kimbacaffeinate

      Thanks Melliane, this was quite good, and dark 🙂

    • kimbacaffeinate

      I read a few this year by big publishers, and those disappointed. This was well done.

  31. Ella

    I have never heard of this book but after reading your review this sounds like a very interesting book. I am a fan of witches and I like excellent world building so I am looking forward to reading this one. But wait, I can’t guess. Who is it? I’m getting curious here haha!

    • kimbacaffeinate

      hahaha..you mean the author I mistook? Kady Cross.

  32. Christy

    Actually, no, I can’t guess. Who? Ohhhh never mind, I just saw the name on your sidebar in the recent posts. Is that who? Work with me here, it’s been a long week and I’m tired. lol. Seriously, this sounds good.

    • kimbacaffeinate

      Yes, you may be tired but you still got it 🙂