Yeah, I am giving this book zero stars. I couldn't find more ineptitude in both writing and the story/characters if I tried. This is my first and last book from Kelly Armstrong.
Paige is the MC and she is an utterly crapastic moron. She is only the leader of the North American Coven because she inherited the title from her mom. She was also given custody of one of the Coven's Elders' niece after the kid's mom dies. Kid's mom was once a member of the Coven, then left to pursue stronger/dark magic, then returned to the Coven when she got knocked up. Kid's dad is a sorcerer and heir to the Nast Cabal; daddy dearest would love to own...I mean develop a loving bond with his half-dark magic witch/half sorcerer daughter, if only he can find her now that is crazy ex is dead. Kid is Savannah, a thirteen year old on the cusp of her witch abilities and puberty (which is important - her first menses is the supposedly highlight event of the book).
There is A LOT of info-dumping about what Cabals are, the differences between witches and sorcerers, the history of persecution witches faced, and lots of world building aspects that are just thrown in when Paige decides to monologue. Paige is clueless about so much of the supernatural world and really doesn't even have a handle on the witches' part of that world, so why would I as a reader want to be lectured by her? I don't.
Anyway, Paige is 23 and suffers from long-term TSTL, with the added bonus of being impulsive and a "loner". She is the typical New Adult heroine just with witch ability....and not that much of a witch's ability. She is a really crappy witch - and has the balls to snark at Wiccans. Savannah was an obnoxious brat and pretty clueless, something she has in common with Paige. Luckily, the two are constantly rescued by Lucas Cortez, heir to the Cortez Cabal and sorcerer. Paige was the nastiest bitch to him for so long in the book, I wondered about Lucas' sanity in helping the two moron witches every time they got into trouble of their own making. But a heroine needs a romantic interest, and Paige ultimately stops being a bitch to Lucas and jumps his bones in the most shoe-horned sex scene in the book.
The Nast Cabal are the villains and are just as inept as the good guys, so its all a wash. At certain points I was actively rooting for the Nasts to win, just to prove to everyone how much Paige sucks. Unfortunately, these were card board villains taken out by a thirteen year old who was on her period.
But it wasn't just the Cabal or Paige and Savannah that were inept; the entire Coven was a laughingstock. I wanted to read about bad-ass witches, not 93 year olds with dementia (yep, one of the witches mentioned at the one Coven meeting was described exactly like this) or 23 year old entitled brats like Paige. The fact that the Elders worked with the Nast Cabal to protect themselves and undermined their supposed leader was just one example of how much witches are weak in Armstrong's supernatural world. I already DNF'd one book for this square for the same reason - weak witches stumbling around and making piss poor decisions due to their hysterical panics. It doesn't help that in this world, witches are all women (and only have daughters) and weak while sorcerers are all men (and only have male children). It is such bullshit. This is just bad writing. Another point in the bad writing column is that the book is 50 chapters long and so choppy that at the end of one chapter tried to raise the suspense just for the next chapter to dissipate the suspense in the first sentence.
What a waste of time, but I was out of luck with this square.