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The Witches of Echo Park

(The Witches of Echo Park #1)

3.37  ·  Rating details ·  1,102 ratings  ·  204 reviews
Unbeknownst to most of humankind, a powerful network of witches thrives within the shadows of society, using their magic to keep the world in balance. But they are being eliminated—and we will all pay if their power falls…

When Lyse MacAllister’s great-aunt Eleanora, the woman who raised her, becomes deathly ill, Lyse puts her comfortable life in Georgia on hold to rush bac
Paperback, 304 pages
Published January 6th 2015 by Ace
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Jan 04, 2015 rated it really liked it
Amber Benson means what she writes, and writes what she means!


I made a decision a long time ago not to let anything slow me down. So, I just don’t.

If you aren’t familiar with Amber Benson, she is the same actress who played the role “Tara” in the iconic Buffy, the Vampire Slayer TV series, where she even was able to show her very good singing skills in the very popular “Once More, With Feeling” episode. And even later, she recorded some songs inside of a
Mogsy (MMOGC)
3 of 5 stars at The BiblioSanctum

The Witches of Echo Park is an interesting but strange and shifting book. At first glance, I thought I would be going into your usual urban fantasy about witch covens and magic, but the experience turned out to be much more literary, with the novel quite formally and artistically written.

The story follows the lives of a group of witches in the Los Angeles area. At the center of the plot is Lyse MacAllister, who jumps on th
Let's be honest, we all knew I was going to read these books the moment I found out about them because Amber Benson and my massive love for anything Buffy. And hey, I found out that Benson has a unique take on witches that I hadn't really read before - including the big bad. What I had pegged as an urban fantasy telling became more family oriented and self-actualization like.

When Lyse MacAllister is called back to Los Angeles, it's not good news. Her great aunt, Eleanora, is deathly ill. This i
Nenia ✨ I yeet my books back and forth ✨ Campbell
Found a copy of this in a little free library! It looks cute!
rachel ☾
Sep 12, 2021 rated it it was ok
Shelves: adult-lit, fantasy, 2-star
Trigger warnings for (view spoiler).

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Nov 10, 2014 rated it liked it
Caffeinated Aspects:

The Witches of Echo Park has secret covens, a premonition foretold, a dying great-aunt and a protagonist who knows none of their secrets. Death, secrets, evil and more are weaved into the story. The tale takes place in Echo Park. It is one of many places on Earth where magic flows. The premise is interesting with secret societies and a great evil referred to as the Flood.
The characters particular the witches are quite interesting and each unique. Lyse MacAllister was sa
All Things Urban Fantasy
Review courtesy of All Things Urban Fantasy.

In THE WITCHES OF ECHO PARK, Amber Benson introduces us to the Southern California "blood sisters" who, along with other covens across the globe, keep the world in balance. When coven leader Eleanora informs her great-niece that she's dying, Lyse abandons her life in Georgia to fly to Los Angeles - and, unknowingly, to take her great-aunt's place as an Echo Park witch. Benson channels Alice Hoffman in this novel, painting the Echo Park neighborhood in
Jessica (a GREAT read)
Dec 18, 2014 rated it did not like it
I received this Early Copy from the publisher in exchange for an honest review, I was in no way compensated for this review.

Like any Buffy fan, I jumped at the chance to read Amber Benson's newest series debut, The Witches of Echo Park, but unfortunately, this read was just not for me. I don't know why really, but the story never really grabbed me. And I first thought that this was a YA read since the cover model looks really young, but nope, totally adult.

Lyse's life gets turned upside down wh
Wendy F
Jan 10, 2015 rated it it was ok
Shelves: 2015
Unfortunately this was a miss for me.

My overall impression was eh. I preferred Danielle to Lyse. I would have been interested more in a story about her. And I liked the idea of Weir more than I liked the actuality of him. That whole thing just came together fast and unrealistically. It actually felt uncomfortable for me. All of the relationships and the plot (including the blind promise) felt very contrived.

Also, not only did I not like the prologue, I also didn't like all the random flashbacks
Jul 24, 2018 rated it it was ok
Shelves: adult-fantasy

Lyse abandons her entire life when her great aunt Eleanora calls to say she has cancer and does not have too long to live. However, she does not realize that Eleanora has ulterior motives for why she desperately needs Lyse to come back to Echo Park, namely to take over her place in the coven of the Echo Park witches.

This book dragged, it consistently switches between different characters perspectives while also containing random flashbacks. With all of this jumping around you would think
Nicole Melleby
Oct 11, 2014 rated it really liked it
Got a copy of "Witches of Echo Park" at NYCC, and I devoured it in the week that followed. What a beautiful coven story, with a fully developed set of women characters who are rich and real. I know these women; I need these women in my life. The magical world of these witches was perhaps secondary to the relationships of these women, both of which tied together in beautifully written prose that kept me holding my breath and turning the page. I'm captivated by Lyse, by her story and the story of ...more
This was such a disappointing read. The premise had potential but the execution was so not there.
Mar 01, 2015 rated it liked it
So, this month I have been reading a lot of books about witches. I started with The Witches of Echo Park, which I picked up over the summer, and I was excited to start this book. It was pretty good, but I'm going to be honest and say that I didn't really enjoy the novel. I don't know why exactly, it's well written with engaging characters and is actually quite promising. But still about it sat ill with me. It felt...odd. Not odd as in outside my comfort zone, but just a little too quirky maybe, ...more
Apr 06, 2014 rated it liked it
**I received this book for free from Ace Trade via Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review. Thank you!! This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.**

*Genre* Urban Fantasy
*Rating* 3.5

*My Review*

Amber Benson, author of the Calliope Reaper-Jones series, returns with The Witches of Echo Park. Set in California, Witches is an urban fantasy novel with a romantic element. Witches begins with a dire warning that something calamitous is likely to happen soon, and the coven
She-Wolf Reads
Nov 04, 2014 rated it liked it
Shelves: arc
So many things to like about this one -- female friendships, witches coven, an ever-present and ominous threat on the horizon. I even didn't mind the constantly shifting POVs between all the characters. My biggest complaint is that this entire book felt like a set-up for the series with no real plot happening. I also hate how important information that needs to be communicated ASAP is continuously put off until later. Even when a major character who needs to share that information could die at a ...more
Sky Paz
Oct 12, 2014 marked it as to-read
Met Amber Benson @ Comic Con and got a signed limited unedited copy of this book.
Jan 03, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Rating: 4.5/5 Stars

Lizbeth knew Lyse was wrong: Time might heal a body's wounds, but it could do nothing for the misshapen scars those wounds left behind.
-The Witches of Echo Park

The Witches of Echo Park is an urban fantasy like no other, which can only be experienced first-hand. Witches, magic, and covens have never been so real! The writing was lyrically beautiful at points, and the story was deeply enthralling. Amber Benson has worn many hats thus far in her life, and I think that "Au
Jul 04, 2021 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Not my cuppa.

At 59% of the book, I realized just one day had passed plot-wise. Frustrated, I skipped to end. Nothing I saw there kept my interest.

Benson has some skill as a writer, but she needed more feedback from others. There are far too many adjectives in this book, and the pacing is something of a mess. I want to see what Benson writes next, whatever that may be.
3.5 Stars. Full review to come.
Jun 23, 2016 rated it liked it
I have many thoughts but am covered in sleeping cat and two-finger typing. brb

Edit: Ok, now that I am able to operate properly (cat gravity!! *fistshake* why must you be so wonderfully unproductive?!) I wanted to say that I did indeed finish this book, though there was a bit around the middle that made me doubt I needed to. Nevertheless I gave this book three stars. Why? It's complicated. I have so much general Amber Benson love that I wanted to love this book as well, especially since I'm going
Nov 30, 2015 rated it really liked it
Originally posted at

I would have given this book five stars, but the ending was just a bit too unbelievable for me. I know, I know, with witches and other supernatural things it shouldn’t be too far for me to stretch, but it was.

I’ll go into why it was too much for me at the end of the review, so you don’t get any spoilers if you don’t want them.

I came across The Witches of Echo Park about three months ago when I was looking at who was coming to the 2016 ComicCon in Madiso
Annette Fuller
Mar 12, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: cross-posted
I have to be honest and say here that I read this book solely because I was going to meet Amber Benson face-to-face. One of my friends and fellow alums from UCRPD’s MFA program, Xach Fromson, started a fabulous reading series called Shades & Shadows. S&S brings together genre writers to read from their recently published and forthcoming works. Lovers of horror, sci fi, fantasy, weird, paranormal, and mystery stories get together to celebrate genre writing, in a reading series that truly seems to ...more
Jan 26, 2015 rated it did not like it
Shelves: discarded

I'm sorry, I can't. It's just endless useless descriptions and explanations. I really wanted to like this. I love Amber Benson as an actress and from as much as I can know from Twitter. But I really did not enjoy this book. Flashbacks, dream sequences, every detail of how the wind moves, she tells you everything about every character you meet, every detail, right away. This is the worst case of telling instead of showing I've ever encountered. I think she's trying to set the scene, but what's
Oct 01, 2016 rated it liked it
Well crap.

In September, I decided to make it a #girlsrule month and only read female authors. It was a great reading month for me with a lot of winners and many 5-stars given. My plan was to read this one early last week and then finish off the month with an NK Jemisin (I started with her Hugo winner early in the month.) Unfortunately I got sick and didn't read as much as I hoped. So, this was the final book of the month and, whomp whomp, it was my least favorite of the batch. This really stinks
Dec 05, 2014 rated it really liked it
This book is a powerful start to a series that mixes feminist literature and urban fantasy. It is a must read for anyone who likes magical realism and feminist witches. This is a departure from Benson's last series that was cozy mystery/chick-lit/urban fantasy. For this series she has kept the wry humor, erotica and intrigue and gone into a deeper and sometimes darker space. She channels the likes of Margaret Atwood and Jane Smiley while respecting the tropes of urban fantasy and making them her ...more
Aug 05, 2015 rated it liked it
I'm kind of on the fence about this one. It didn't really thrill me, but then I liked some of what Benson did with this work. I liked it well enough that I finished it, but then I know that I also ended up finishing it because I'd purchased it and felt sort of obligated to do so.

There will be some mild spoilers here and there, but no huge ones.

First, the parts I liked: As you'd expect, there is a love interest for our main character Elyse and yes, there is a form of insta-attraction between the
Nov 10, 2014 rated it really liked it
The Witches of Echo Park was a character driven story about a coven in Los Angeles.

Elyse MacAllister is a witch without even knowing it. When the aunt that raised her is fighting cancer, Elyse returns home only to discover a complex coven lies under the life she's always known. An evil threatens to destroy all Elyse loves and unless she embraces her magical side all will be lost.

The story is written with multiple view points with many characters that it follows. The world of magic actually seems
Jul 24, 2014 rated it really liked it
I gave it 3.5/5 stars

Elyse heads home when she finds out her great-aunt is dying. She has no idea, but she is about to inherit the coven of witches her aunt has been the head of for years. As she's thrust into a new world, she also is forced to figure out what's stalking her new friends.

I really enjoyed the mystery surrounding THE WITCHES OF ECHO PARK. I was really surprised when some big secrets were revealed. I had a few things totally wrong in my head. I would have liked to see more revealed
Sep 03, 2014 added it
THE WITCHES OF ECHO PARK introduces readers to Lyse MacAllister and her great-aunt Eleanora. Now Eleanora is suffering from a deadly disease and Lyse has come from Georgia and her life there to spend time with her great-aunt in the California town where she grew up. When Lyse returns home, she finds out Eleanora has been keeping some important secrets from her. Lyse is Eleanora’s heir, not just to her estate when she passes, but to Eleanora’s place in the Echo Park coven. Lyse never knew Eleanor ...more
Jan 03, 2015 rated it liked it
I've been a fan of Amber Benson for many years, since 2010, and I've read her Calliope Reaper-Jones series, which I enjoyed a lot. This book was not my favorite but I liked it and I am intrigued about where the story is going.

The mythology of the world interested me the most, and I'm very curious about all the women's back stories. Eleanora's was horrifying, and in fact, Eleanora was my favorite character; I felt as if she (and Dev, to an extent) was the only one I really believed in fully by th
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The Witches of Echo Park (3 books)
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“Lyse, I’m a witch.” “Are you high?” It was out of her mouth before Lyse could stop herself. Eleanora raised one pale silver eyebrow. “As a matter of fact, I am.” 0 likes
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