Cover Image: The Witches of World War II

The Witches of World War II

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I thought it was going to be a more adventurous reading from the synopsis but it drag on some parts and in other Crowley was amazing and by far the best and complex character on the story.

It is fun to se all the historical liberties it takes and it has some Riders of the lost ark vibes on it.

The drawing it's gorgeous and I like the palette of colors they chose for it. 

It has many old school style of drawing in the design of the 'witches', but the story was a bit meh for me.  (Except for the final act witch was all I was expecting to see more developed in the graphic novel)
For me it is a three stars review
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My thanks to both NetGalley and the publisher TKO Studios for an advanced copy of this graphic novel set in World War II pitting Allied and Axis occultists in a battle for supremacy.

In times of darkness, when the shores of a island nation are beset on all sides, when even the skies are being contested as doom rains down from above on the innocents below, would it be so wrong to ask "The Wickedest man in the world", for aid against the forces of the most evil and murderous man of all  time. The Great Beast Aleister Crowley competing against Adolf Hitler with the fate of the free world at stake, that is a story. In The Witches of World War II writer Paul Cornell and artist Valeria Burzo tell a story of what could have been, or what might have been in a story with witches, magicians, war traitors and lots of Nazis getting punched. 

Aleister Crowley is at a low point, broke, addicted to drugs and working for British Intelligence collecting names of Nazi sympathizers in low level cons and propaganda tricks. Time and relevance has not been kind to the man, and the man continues to be annoyance to all those around him. Crowley is asked to join a new group, one that will use the occult to help defeat the Nazi juggernaut, using magic or magick, deception and the Nazi's own occult thoughts against them. Lead by a recent widow and member of the Bletchley Park codebreakers Doreen Valiente, who has been seeing strange visions featuring her deceased husband and other spirits from beyond. Joined by a Wiccan, a Witch and an descendent of Atlantis, and conman, they attempt to stop occult attacks on England, track down spies, all with one large plan. Fool the Nazi high command, no matter the cost.

A different kind of story based on real people, real occultists and real events, though much has been changed to protect the wicked. Some changes make sense, some don't but still this is a good story with good ideas and a lot of fun. The overall con might be a little chaotic, but that was Crowley. Chaos was in his blood and a simple trip from A to B would always pass through X, Y, Z, back to A and maybe eventually B. The characters are interesting, but alot don't get a lot of time to shine, which is a shame as they were all interesting in their own ways. Readers don't have to have a lot of knowledge of the era, or the occult events they talk about but it does help.  I did like the fact that for all the magic and arcane law, one never knows if it was a war of the mystics, or just a group of con people, fooling another group of con people. The art is really nice, the characters are all distinctive, especially a lead character's hair, and really fit the story. The equipment and backgrounds fit really well and compliment the story. 

Recommended for Crowley fans, though some might complain about the changes made and the fact that Crowley fades into the background. Still it is a good story, and tells of a very dark and savage time where an embattled country would do anything, including trusting Aleister Crowley to help defeat the evil that was the Nazis.
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Thank you Paul Cornell, Valeria Burzo, and TKO Studios for the opportunity to read an ARC of Witches of World War II in exchange for my honest review. All the opinions that follow are my own. 

The Witches of World War II follows a coven of witches as they embark on a mission to help capture a prominent nazi. The art style for this graphic novel was really well done, though the story was slow in places, the art did a great job of helping to move along the story.
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I would definitely recommend this graphic novel to my mature high school students as independent reading. The two intersecting topics of World War Two and early 20th century mysticism are very high interest for teenagers today. Alistair Crowley has remained infamous into the 21st century thanks to a series of horror movies and podcasts. 

My one criticism would be that the double-crossing nature of the plot is communicated exclusively through dialogue. At times, this can be difficult to follow. After the occult team is assembled, for example, I was not sure what their goals were each step of their plan.

There is redacted text throughout whenever Nazis might have used an offensive word toward females or characters of color. But just to warn other educators, there are also a few uncensored uses of profanity. On a few pages, full female nudity is visible. There are also some instances of violence, such as shooting and visible guns.

Halfway through, the story became so engaging that I couldn’t put it down! This is a wonderful graphic novel for high school readers, but recommend with caution due to some profanity, nudity, and violence.
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I was very interested in the summary of the book and was looking forward to reading it. 
Unfortunately, I found the story very confusing and I couldn't understand what was going on at some points. The drawing style was beautiful but it didn't represent the feelings of the characters enough, which made it hard to like them.
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This was an incredibly intriguing story that, besides some slight bumps, holds out incredibly well. The overall plot sets itself very well with an intriguing cast of characters, however, the pacing of each of the chapters went from slow to abrupt and dramatic in moments. Were it not for the concept at hand being as interesting as it is, I would have found it difficult to finish.
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Witches, magic, and WWII? Sign me up! This graphic novel is an alternate history where a group of British occultists are recruited to defeat the Nazis, specifically Rudolf Hess. Doreen Dominy, a war widow, is tasked with rounding up Aleister Crowley, Gerald Gardner, Dion Fortune, and Rollo Ahmed to perform intelligence work for the British government. They all practice different types of magic and Crowley and Ahmed are also con men using magic/sleights of hand for their own purposes. 

Trust me, I really wanted to like this graphic novel. It has everything I like. But it falls really short for me. The story felt like it was rushed through. It would've been great if there were explanations in the panels instead of just dialogue. It was hard to fully understand the characters' motives. I didn't mind that we viewed everything through Doreen's skeptical lens, except that it provided a very limited understanding of the other characters and how dire a situation would turn out to be.

I also didn't really like the art. Throughout the story, I couldn't stop looking to see how tall Doreen's hair was getting.

Thank you to TKO Studios and NetGalley for this arc!
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The Witches of World War II follows a (kind of) true story of a coven infiltrating Nazi regime and capturing Rudolf Hess. 

I thought, yes this sounds like an absolute winner. Nazis, witches and some alternate history sounds like a great time! Unfortunately I found this graphic novel verbose and convoluted. The story was so disjointed that it was hard to follow. Characters were dropped into the story and it moved so fast that there was no time to become attached to said characters or their own personal motivations.

Great concept, great art and I did like the history lesson at the end where Paul Cornell spoke of the people behind the history. Personally I think that this should have been a series to flesh out the story arc.
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I accessed a digital review copy of this book from the publisher.
The story follows Doreen as she takes charge of a group of occultists, witches, and believers in the other to aid in fighting against the Nazis during World War II. While all of Doreen's recruits are true believers or at least present themselves as such, Doreen is a skeptic who is struggling with what she believes. The group uses its skills to manipulate an underground group of sympathizers.
I really liked this story. While I thought it was interesting, it was not exactly what was promised in the summary of a "true story". The end of the book gives a short synopsis of the truth of the characters.
One thing I did like about the illustrations is how Doreen's hairstyle became more extreme and angular as she embraced her role as a leader.
This is a good story for anyone interested in historical fiction or witchcraft.
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(Full disclosure: I received a free e-ARC for review through Netgalley. Content warning for racism and violence.)

At just nineteen years old, Doreen "Dominy" Valiente is a recently widowed, junior intelligence officer, when she is approached by a British General for a covert mission. "I know you're a witch, Doreen Dominy! And that is the capacity in which you can best serve your country." A hobbyist of the occult, Dominy is plagued by doubts about the existence of magic and the supernatural. However, she soon realizes that this is immaterial to her operation: as long as her targets believe in the occult, she can use this to the Allies' benefit. Trouble is, her hatred of Churchill rivals her hatred of Hitler. 

I really wanted to love THE WITCHES OF WORLD WAR II, but I often found the storytelling confusing. Based on a true events - Doreen Edith Dominy Valiente was a crucial figure in the English Wiccan movement, and in Operation Cone of Power, a group of British witches attempted a "magical assault" on the mind of Hitler - the story felt incomplete and, well, surprisingly boring. Cornell spends entirely too much time focusing on Dominy's personal doubts and existential crises. Crowley feels like a caricature (although perhaps this is accurate for a man dubbed “Wickedest Man In The World”). And I never did understand Dominy's antipathy toward the war (aside from blaming it for her husband's death at sea).
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Thanks NetGalley and TKO for this digital arc, even though I can't bring myself to finish it and I'm dnf'ing it at 42%

This is confusing, and I dislike fictional Crowley and Gardner as much as I dislike their real life counterparts, hah. I thought this would still be interesting even if they were included in this (fictional) story as it's fascinating to me what the Nazis attempted using occult means (not fictional) but this was very poorly executed and I just can't finish it. The story jumps all over the place and the art style is very distracting ( I get the victory rolls in Doreen's hair, but they look more like horns a lot of the time and some times are taller than others and I just don't like them). I don't like to dnf things, but I can't bring myself to finish this one  🤷🏼‍♀️
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I think this was a very strange story and book. I was not a fan of the artwork or the story to be honest. This was not what I was expecting and I am honestly a little disappointed.
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A look at what would happen if the occult became involved in the fight against the Nazis in World War 2.

Doreen has lost her husband in the war and is carrying feelings of distrust and dislike in her heart. It seems she also has some connections to the occult and so is introduced to the resistance who look to set up a series of events which will mislead and confuse the information gathered by the waring factions.

At times a bit confusing, but as the story is about double agents and misinformation that could well be the aim. Doreen ultimately seems to avenge the death of her husband before returning to her former life.
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While the history is interesting, the storytelling is disjointed and often hard to follow. Using a graphic novel format to tell history is a good idea, I just wish the execution were more compelling. The artwork is fine and works with the story. It was a quick read at least, and it is worth reading if you're unfamiliar with this spiritual aspect of WW2. 

Thank you to Netgalley and the publishers for the ARC
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I felt quite bored reading this. It was a solid graphic novel but I just couldn't get into it at first. What would usually take me a few hours to read took me a few days. It was very slow paced, something I'm not a fan of in graphic novels.
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An interesting story with real people at the heart of it.  While I enjoyed the tale, I was more interested to find that it was based on people who really existed at the time in which the story it told, and while certain licence has to be taken to make an interesting premise of the story, I think it's best covered in the afterword.

"Fiction can go where history cannot."

And while history may well have been more interesting should it have contained any of this, what's contained herein is the stuff of redacted files and urban myths, the holy grail, and the nature of power uncontrolled.  This doesn't make it any less enjoyable, but I think it will be those who have a strong interest in this particular genre who will take most from it.  For myself, it was a good story, but not one that I would return to immediately.
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Although I am not usually a graphic novel fan, the subject of this graphic novel really drew me in as a historical fiction fan and interested in books on the occult. However, I feel like this book was hard to follow even having a background on how Allistar Crowley and some of the figures were. Instead of grabbing the reader - the beginning is a rough and confusing start. I think it would be really hard for a reader to follow the plot and understand the characters if the reader was not already familiar with them. 

Overall, I thought the art was okay. Therefore, I give this book 2 stars.
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Very interesting and original plot, I rlly loved the ties to occultism, and how well illustrated this graphic novel was !!
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When I started reading this book, I didn't really know any of the people featuring in the book. It's a real story about four people who are helping the British intelligence against the Nazis through occult arts. 

The start seemed a little random for me and could have worked on the storytelling part of it. However, once the group gets together, the storytelling flows much better. Had I read the information about the people in the book before getting into the book, I might have been more involved right from the beginning. 

I absolutely loved how the differeny facial expressions of the characters have been drawn. The colours worked great with the story as well. 

Thanks to NetGalley for the ARC.
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I was super excited to read this graphic novel, since it's based on true story and the premise sounded super interesting, but I'm sorry to say it didn't do anything for me. It just ended up being completely flat and I was left feeling indifferent through most of the reading experience. I couldn't connect to characters, or the plot. At some point I lost track of who is who, since they blended into each other. Art style wasn't my favorite either, so that didn't help at all.
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