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Reviewed by Carine Engelbrecht for Readers' Favorite
The Witches of Calamora by Edita E. Petrick is set on an abandoned Allied colony overrun with opportunistic bands of mercenaries and natives with varying degrees of friendliness. Josh and Kitaya are both foundlings raised in the community of the secretive, godlike treetop witches of Calamora, but while Kitaya's magic potential thrives in this nurturing environment, Josh feels stifled by the meddling and the rules. It does not help that he is the only (not quite welcome) male living in the settlement. He wants out and his playmate better join him in his pursuit for freedom. When Kitaya begins to assert her independence, timelines are disrupted and even the omnipotent witches of Calamora seem a little out of their depth. To complicate matters even further, a new Allied craft is on its way to the failed outpost of New Havedon. On board is a crew member with a family connection to one of the teenagers on Calamora.
The Witches of Calamora by Edita E. Petrick combines a classical science fiction setting with a young adult coming of age tale. If you feel that science fiction needs a stronger feminine presence, you will enjoy a wide spectrum of powerful female characters, ranging from the feisty young prodigy Karin, who may just have an extra proverbial ace up her sleeve, to the wise Sanubia, who tries to steer matters towards her own agenda. I enjoyed exploring the possibilities and dilemmas presented by the incredible powers of the omnipotent, but ultimately fallible witches. The concluding chapter leaves ample potential for a sequel, although it would have been nice to see a deeper exploration of the connection between Karin and Kitaya.