Kappa Rho Nu isn’t your average sorority. Their parties are notorious. Their fundraisers are known for being Westerly College’s most elaborate affairs. But beneath the veil of Greek life and prestige, the sisters of Kappu Rho Nu share a secret: they’re a coven of witches. For Vivi Deveraux, being one of Kappa Rho Nu’s Ravens means getting a chance to redefine herself. For Scarlett Winters, a bonafide Raven and daughter of a legacy Raven, pledge this year means living up to her mother’s impossible expectations of becoming Kappa Rho Nu’s next president. Scarlett knows she’d be the perfect candidate — that is, if she didn’t have one human-sized skeleton in her closet…. When Vivi and Scarlett are paired as big and little for initiation, they find themselves sinking into the sinister world of blood oaths and betrayals.
Although I’ve always liked college settings in books, it’s been a while since I’ve read one. With The Ravens involving witches and having such an awesome cover, I couldn’t pass it up.
The whole time I was reading, I kept seeing the witches in American Horror Story Coven – loved that season. Like Coven, sisterhood is an important theme in this story. Kappas always put their sisters first and never go against them. They believe they’re stronger together than individually, something that’s proven true several times over by the end of the novel. The different types of witches and their magic are explained well, and I enjoyed seeing their varieties of powers.
While I really didn’t care for Scarlett in the beginning, she changed my mind by the end. Initially she comes off as judgemental, elitist, and kind of a mean girl, especially when it comes to Vivi, but undergoes several changes and easily has the best character arc. She drives the story. With Vivi’s flighty mother who packs up and moves them at the drop of a hat, she’s missed stability in her life and has never lived anywhere long enough to make friends. Being settled at college for four years and joining the Kappas fills those voids. I would have liked more explanation about how she’s suddenly able to use her power after a lifetime of not knowing she was a witch.
Some of the relationships didn’t feel natural to me. Scarlett’s relationship with another character that develops near the end feels forced and out of place – it didn’t seem to fit. And then there’s Vivi, who has a sudden case of insta-love with the first guy who’s nice to her. The strong friendships between the girls are much more genuine.
While a couple of twists are easy to see coming, there’s still plenty of action, tension, and mystery to engage readers. The title indicates this is a series, but with no cliffhangers, it felt like a natural ending to me. If there’s more to come, I’ll definitely pick up the next book.
I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher through NetGalley. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.