Cover Image: Evocation

Evocation

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Member Reviews

Thank you Angry Robot for a copy of the eARC to review.

Tropes: Morally Grey, Exes to Rivals to Lovers, Forced Proximity, Secret Society, Found Family, Family Trauma

Rep: BIPOC, Polyamorous Relationship, Queer

This book was fun, it was dark, and it while it was short- I got attached to the characters. I LOVED Moira so much.
Rhys and David had such a complex relationship- dealing with David's addiction and his trauma that he never truly dealt with, then Rhys finally realizing that he didn't have to put up with David's dangerous cycle.

I did not really know what exactly this book was about when I started it- I like the authors other books and the cover is just gorgeous so I wanted to give it a shot. It might be my second favorite by S.T. Gibson.

I enjoyed that while the Society was a large part of the story, that the relationship between Moira, Rhys, and David was the main focal point of the story... oh and his demon possession. I think that David has the most character growth throughout the story. He has grown up thinking that he cannot depend on anyone to care for him due to his father- who is a piece of garbage IMO- so when he has to reach out and repair his relationship with Rhys it is beyond difficult for him.

I like that his sister was more than just mentioned, but honestly I would read a whole book about her and about Lorena. They are really interesting and I think their backstory would be a great story.

I did want a little more at the end of the book- I feel like the final like event should've been a tad bit more drawn out but I understand that it was already chaotic. I did get very emotional at one point.

Really enjoyed it overall and cannot wait for the next books!

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Thank you to Angry Robot and NetGalley for providing me with an eARC of this book!

God, I just adored this book. The characters felt so real and so well-developed and fleshed out. It was like I was in the room with them watching them live their lives and talk to each other. All three of the main characters are so complex, flawed, and so, so lovable. It was such a treat reading about them and watching their relationships grow and develop over the course of the book. I'm such a sucker for queer people, occult magic, and demons, so pretty much everything about this book was right up my alley and it did not disappoint. My only complaints are 1.) this book was not long enough- I would have really liked to see how the possession storyline played out in the future. While it didn't end on a cliffhanger, I don't feel that it was resolved and I would really love to see the resolution (and, of course, read more about Moira, Rhys, and David's shenanigans). Sequel maybe? and 2.) the worldbuilding. There was so much more to be explored with the magic system and different types of magic/occult practices that could have been explored! The only thing I love more than good characters is good worldbuilding and I think this book fell just a bit short in that regard. There was enough to be compelling and drive the plot forward, but it didn't quite feel fully fleshed out otherwise.

What a great book. 10/10, please give me 12 more with them.

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(thank you to angry robot and net galley for the ARC) DNF...the way moira is written feels patronizing and I can't get through it. rhys and david are so unlikeable and not in a fun way! had high hopes because i really loved a dowry of blood. like that was the fun toxic throuple. this was not.

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"He knew this feeling. It happened when his consciousness stepped aside during a seance to let something else take up residence in his body.
He was being possessed."

4.5 stars

This was magical, whimsical, demonic, and heartbreaking. It was about finding yourself, finding unconventional and unconditional love. David was so alone, so broken and damaged from his father that he made it hard for people to want to be around him. Moria was a beacon of light, the strength and heart. Rhys was the determined, scheming, confused man, trying to fit his desires with his upbringing. This was beautiful and sad and fun.

"If David was an unstoppable force, Moira was an immoveable object."

I did have a hard time with the timeline. Or maybe the era? I know it was set in present time, Instagram made an appearance, but the way they spoke and dressed kept getting me confused, like it was set back in time more, and it threw me off throughout the story.

"Humans need rest. It’s part of our natural rhythms.”
David stared at her like she had just started speaking Latin. “You seriously think self-care can help me now? I was just possessed.”
“Maybe because you don’t do enough self-care,” Moira said.

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Years after David's father's death, the Devil has come to collect on his deal from David, the youngest Aristarkhov heir. With nowhere else to turn, he reaches out for help from his ex, Rhys, and with that comes his wife, Moira. As they rush to save David, old and new emotions bubble up, emotions which no one knows how to, or has the time to, deal with.

I have never read any of ST Gibson's works before, but this book makes me want to pick up all of her other books off my shelf and read them right now. I really enjoyed this one. While it explores demons and magic and the danger of deals, it also deals with mature relationships between fully realised characters, which are a little bit complicated.

I loved reading all of these characters, especially Moira, and I only wish we got a little more time with her. David and Rhys have such a complicated relationship, but they really grow throughout the story and feel very genuine with each other at the end.

I can't wait to read more ST Gibson books, especially the next in this series!

I received an advanced copy of Evocation from Angry Robot Books, and all opinions are my own!

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I loved A Dowry of Blood and An Education of Malice, so I was extremely excited for this just based on the author and cover alone.

However, this was incredibly boring. I did not care what happened because nothing was happening. The stakes seemed low, and the three main characters just meander through weeks of not really doing anything at all. I thought two scenes were good, and grabbed my attention, but I sadly feel like I will forget everything that (didn't) happen after being away from it for a day or two. This being the first in a series, I want to be pulled in immediately. I want to be left anticipating the next installment, and unfortunately I do not feel that way about this.

I will continue to read Gibson's work, but I cannot stress enough how droll this one was.

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Buddy read with Basil!

I'm glad Basil and I were on the same wavelength because this was a huge miss for us.

I expected something along the lines of an adult version of Krystal Sutherland's The Invocations, sprinkled with the dark and suffocating vibes of Leigh Bardugo's Ninth House. But instead, this was all just #ThroupleProblems with sprinkles of the occult.

Worst of all, it read like a fanfic. Like David, Rhys, and Moira were stand-ins for original characters from an established story and the entire occult vibes was just set dressing.

One huge issue I had with this (that I also had with An Education in Malice) was that everything felt so lite when it came to the dark themes. I wanted something much more heavier and depressing, like how I felt when I read A Dowry of Blood.

But I got the feeling that ST Gibson was holding back so much. This felt like YA instead of Adult (minus some of the more explicit sex scenes). I'm so, so disappointed.

I was here for the magic and demons, but that took a huge backseat to the poly relationship. You can tell that the author did research on Moira's field of magic (astrology and being a medium), but for the darker types of magic, the author didn't really bother to dive too much into lore. The Lesser Key of Solomon was mentioned, but that was pretty much it. Chaos magic made an appearance, but it felt more like a soft launch for Book 2.

I was disappointed by the demon possession plotline. I thought it'd be a major part of the story, but like I said with the above, it felt very watered down and tame. David sounded like he caught magic covid instead of being cursed by his ancestor and possessed by a centuries old demon. It would've been great if there had been some kind of dialogue with the demon, or if the demon actually manifested as a real being on any sort of plane (physical, astral, whatever).

Idk.

And at the end, it felt like Moira just existed for the sake of having a WOC character to add diversity to a book about two queer white dudes. I actually loved her character, but lbr, the major focus was on David and Rhys. Moira was basically the hinge that allowed Rhys and David to get back together. Like she just gave up and realized that Rhys and David were meant to be.

The angst between Rhys and David was annoying to read about. And somehow, I ended up liking David and Moira's platonic relationship much more than either Rhys/David or Rhys/Moira. Lbr, Rhys was such a mid love interest for either David or Moira. Hell, I was rooting for David/Moira (like those two seriously vibed), but, alas, David was strictly gay.

Oh well.

I highly doubt that I'll pick up the sequel because I didn't care about the relationships at all.

But the other day, Basil told me there was a goddamn PREQUEL to this novel that established our three MCs. That wasn't mentioned in any promos that I remember. Wth. And judging by the reviews, it wasn't received well.

Basil and I said we weren't too interested in requesting anymore of the author's arcs, but we're interested in looking into the trad pubbed version of Odd Spirits just to see if it catches our eye or sparks our interest. Knowing me, I might find it as meh as Evocation.

Anyway.

If you like contemporary romances with a splash of fantasy, then this is for you. If not, I'd skip this.

Thank you to Angry Robot and NetGalley for this arc.

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DNF. I really enjoyed An Education in Malice, and I’m glad ST Gibson is trying new things, But this was just too weird and not in a good way. It wasn’t attention grabbing and the characters were boring.

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I adore S.T. Gibson and their writing. A Dowry of Blood is one of my favourite books, and I loved an Education in Malice, Evocation was one of my most anticipated reads of the year and I couldn't even bring myself to finish it. The writing felt very juvenile for Gibson and this was a super unfortunate miss for me.

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Evocation is the gripping new urban fantasy from S. T. Gibson. There is plenty of mystery and romance, with dashes of the occult sprinkled in to keep the story moving. The writing is superb, both with the main characters and with the plot.

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David is a high-powered attorney, but also a magical prodigy from a very prestigious family. David hopes to take his place in charge of the Society he has long been a part of, but his ex and rival Rhys might throw a spanner in these works

Rhys and David have a tumultuous past and distance was the only way they can deal with it, but when David starts blacking out and becoming ill, Rhys is the only person he can turn to

Rhys is now very happily married to Moria, who has powerful magic in her own right and the couple agree to help David with what ails him, at a price of course

The three couldn't even imagine how these events will change them all, and I for one, loved being on this journey with them.

I started this book with a quick couple of chapters before bed last night and then easily devoured the rest of it after work

I loved this book, the story was hooking and the characters loveable, even with their flaws and struggles. I am so glad to see this is part of a series and cannot wait to see what comes next in this world

Out at the end of this month so you've still time to preorder before release, thank you to NetGalley and Angry Robot for the early review copy

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Evocation is written by the Author ST. Gibson, who also wrote Education in Malice and a Dowry of Blood amongst others. Gibson is an auto buy author for me at this point, and this newest work did not disappoint.

After his occultist father's death, David Aristarkhov ditched his former life for law and secret society medium work. Now, as his thirtieth birthday approaches, a centuries-old curse threatens his life. Reluctantly seeking help from his ex, Rhys, David must navigate the complexities of befriending Rhys's wife, Moira. Together, they delve into their combined powers to break the curse before David's time runs out.

Evocation presents an intriguing plot that felt refreshingly unique, reminiscent of Ninth House. While it took some time to fully engage (around 15%), once immersed, I found myself eagerly anticipating each return to its pages. Gibson skillfully crafts characters that are flawed yet endearing, making them relatable and lovable in their imperfections. The evolving relationship between Moira, Rhys, and David is portrayed with authenticity, allowing for genuine growth and problem-solving rather than instant perfection. Gibson focuses their books on the characters, but still gives a strong plot that paces well.

I eagerly anticipate the next installment in this series. The ending struck a balance, not overly heart-wrenching but with enough intrigue to leave me eager for more.

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S.T. Gibson will never disappoint when it comes giving me the poly books i have always been looking for. i always felt bored that the main character in a love triangle needed to chose one person, why not both? i loved the way moira and rhys slowly opened their hearts for david to enter. and i really enjoyed the way s.t. gibson wrote the male povs!!

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S.T. Gibson you will always be famous!! As soon as I heard the premise of Evocation I knew I was going to need to read it. This is absolutely one of my favorite books of the year. S.T. Gibson has such a talent for capturing and building complicated relationships amongst characters and Evocation was no different. It is such an interesting look into these characters' lives, their thought processes, and the world she is building. I absolutely loved this book and highly recommend. I can't wait for the second book! Shout out to NetGalley and Angry Robot for this ARC!

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“Sometimes the best way to face darkness is to walk right into it.”

Evocation features:
✨ One psychic prodigy (David)
✨ A dashing ex-boyfriend and secret society rival with his stone-cold stunning medium of a wife (Rhys & Moira)
✨ A generations old family deal with the devil
✨ And unresolved feelings for an ex (honestly, I’m not sure which one is worse…)

Evocation is a very character driven story - and I loved it! I do think sometimes book summaries can be a bit misleading, and I think that is the case with Evocation. None of what is said in the summary is untrue, but quite honestly the devil coming for David’s soul always seems to take a back seat to the characters relationship development. In no way is this a bad thing. The writing is beautiful. The people are flawed and yet so deserving of love. If you’re familiar with S.T. Gibson’s work, it will feel familiar with their gorgeous character work and their effortless ability to represent all loves. But if you’re going in for a story that is plot heavy on occult action and demon-lore, this may just not be what you expected - but if you’re open to it, I think you’re in for quite a treat!

David’s days are numbered, and death looms at his door - so when is there a better time to explore becoming a throuple?

Thank you to Angry Robot and NetGalley for granting my wish with an early advanced electronic copy. Evocation comes out on May 28th.

*Content warnings include child abuse and addiction (including relapse). Be kind to yourself. ♥️

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Got 44% and found it really boring.

Reasons why others might like this book:
-Slow
-All character, no plot
-Complicated relationships

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I was so excited to get to read the new S.T. Gibson after reading A Dowry of Blood in a day. I will say it didn't wow me as much as her previous novel did, but I still really enjoyed it. This is definitely for fans of the occult, tarot, and anyone who loves the supernatural. I think this will be an easy book to recommend knowing that there's romance in here along with a black woman and a throuple. I'm excited to see where this series goes.

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Evocation is the story of secret magical societies and at the center of that is David Aristarkhov — magical prodigy from a prestigious family. However, that family had a secret, and it’s coming to collect at David’s expense. Evocation was slow to start for me and took a while to really get what was going on. However, once the plot started to pick up, I was hooked. That’s my biggest criticism - the pacing felt off throughout the book. The biggest selling point, though, were the characters and their development. The dynamics and changes between David, Rhys, and Moira were absolutely fascinating. I would read this book solely for the characters and watching them navigate their new normal. I also really enjoyed the magic systems, the different types of magic, and how they’re viewed by the societies. Overall, if you’re interested in secret societies, magical bargains, and superb character development make sure to check out Evocation.

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I read this a few months ago and have been sitting on my rating. I really enjoy ST Gibsons writing and this story, but I did feel like the characters and their motivations could have been better developed. I felt like Moira in particular felt a bit off, likely because the author was writing outside of her race. Moira was only like 26 and was youngest of the 3 characters but came off really motherly, so I didn’t like that aspect as it bordered too closely to the “mammy trope” especially in regards to David and how they interacted specifically.

I did love the setting and the magic system. I can’t wait to see more of the world expanded and especially loved the different types of magic that each character brings to the page. so I look forward to what’s next.

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This had such an intriguing concept and opening, and I really wanted to love it, but it fell a bit flat. The fantasy plot felt secondary to the romance between the three main characters, and a lot of the content was building towards their relationship rather than making me care about the magic. I love a character-driven fantasy, so this could’ve worked so well, but the none of the main three were particularly exciting to read about and I honestly couldn’t tell you much about Rhys and Moira’s personalities. David was the most distinctive of the three, but I found him a bit annoying and didn’t get why Rhys and Moira found him so endearing.

Also, the society was pretty vague. Still not fully sure about what they do or why, or what bearing it had on the world. The stakes felt like they should’ve been higher, but instead all the focus was on character relationships, which made me struggle to care about the magical side of the plot.

A great idea with lots of potential, but one that didn’t really work for me. However, if you want a polyamorous romance novel with some fantasy elements, then you’ll probably love this. Definitely one for the tarot and astrology lovers too! I just wanted more world building and higher stakes.

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