A Review of How (Not) to Play With Magic

Book cover for How (Not) to Play With Magic by Elizabeth A. Reeves. Image on cover is a drawing of a red-headed, curly-haired white woman who has her hands on her hips and is looking saucily at the audience. She’s wearing a purple witch’s hat with a gold buckle on it and a purple, low-cut dress with puffy sleeves and a gold belt. Title: How (Not) to Play With Magic

Author: Elizabeth A. Reeves

Publisher: Self-Published

Publication Date: March 18, 2013

Genres: Fantasy, Contemporary

Length: 25 pages

Source: I received a free copy from the author.

Rating: 3 Stars


A Cindy Eller Short story.

Cindy Eller is a witch and a baker. She is making a name for herself in the world of desserts with her new and unique flavor profiles.

But juggling her weird family and trying to keep her magic a secret from her roommates is a daily challenge.

And her twin sisters, Starrie and Rainey Skye won’t hesitate to bring the trouble right to her door.


Food can do a lot of things, but it can’t reverse a spell.

This short story had a gentle, goofy sense of humour that I adored. Cindy’s sisters were very good at getting into mischief despite being old enough to know better, so I was glad to see the main character be so patient with her family even as she shook her head and tried to fix their problem. There was a slice of life aspect to their troubles that made me smile.

It would have been helpful to have more plot and character development in this piece. So much time was spent describing stuff like what the characters were eating that there wasn’t enough space left in these twenty-five pages to keep the rest of it moving at a good pace. As much as I wanted to choose a higher rating, I don’t want my readers to walk into this without a clear understanding of what they’re getting into and how it was paced. This can be a positive thing for readers who are craving something lighthearted and leisurely, but it might be less fun for those of us who prefer more action.

On a positive note, the food descriptions made me hungry. I enjoy books that talk about what the characters are eating and drinking. That makes it just a little easier to imagine what it would be like to sit down at a kitchen table with them and share a meal, and it also gave me some insight into Cindy’s personality and interests due to her love of sweets and high standards for what she wanted to eat.

How (Not) to Play With Magic is a good choice for anyone who is looking for kind fiction.


Filed under Science Fiction and Fantasy

4 Responses to A Review of How (Not) to Play With Magic

  1. This sounds like such a fun read!

  2. Kind fiction is a great way to describe books! I need more of that in my life.

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