The Book of the Unwinding is a chronicle of several families in present-day New Orleans. It’s also the second book in J.D. Horn’s Witches of New Orleans series. It’s creepy and chilling, which is just right as I head into the Halloween reading season.

The Marin Family has three generations in this story, but Horn focuses on the youngest daughter, Fleur, and her daughter Lucy. Nevertheless. Fluer’s parents and siblings play a part too. Thankfully, Horn includes a cast of characters listing, which helps a lot.

The Simeon—Perrault family isn’t as aristocratic as the Marins. They are just as magical, though. That said, part of the plot here is that magic is dying. And if there’s one thing that makes witches crazy, it’s watching their magic fade away. Lissette Simeon Perrault runs her late mother’s famous French Quarter Voodoo supply store, Vèvè. A former doubter, she’s fully on board the magic train these days.

Also key to the plot is Nathalie Boudreau, a chauffeur (or Uber driver) who has a strong sixth sense. She doesn’t mean to get embroiled in all the witchy doings, but keeps landing in the wrong place at the wrong time.

Nathalie and the New Orleans witches are also trying to free one of their own from a realm of illusion. Alice Marin, trapped there at the end of book one, may hold the key to saving their magic.

All of these players (and more) are trying to find the Book of the Unwinding, hoping for solutions to making their magic stronger. Some have more desire for control than others, but they’re all tricky and covert about their goals.

The action moves fast, and the plot scoots around like a witch on her broom. Horn has a way with gruesome twists and cliffhangers.

My conclusions

I listened to the audiobook for this one, partly because I am perennially trying to catch up on ARCs. I wish the audiobook had a cast of characters listing like the book does, although it’d be hard to reference. Sophie Amoss offers a strong narration of this tale.

In the midst of reading other books about heavier subjects, The Book of the Unwinding is a good balance. Although it certainly has plenty of coven politics at its core. I like the way Horn balances his stories—fast plot, plenty of complications, and some macabre details. This is a promising new series!


As I mentioned, I received an advanced reader’s copy from NetGalley, 47 North, and the author. Thanks for opportunity to read this book in exchange for my honest review.