review: the black veins by ashia monet

“— You care more about a group of kids you just met than your own family?
— Those kids are my family too.”

The Black Veins, Ashia Monet

In a world where magic thrives in secret city corners, a group of magicians embark on a road trip—and it’s the « no-love-interest », found family adventure you’ve been searching for.

Sixteen-year-old Blythe is one of seven Guardians: magicians powerful enough to cause worldwide panic with a snap of their fingers. But Blythe spends her days pouring latte art at her family’s coffee shop, so why should she care about having apocalyptic abilities?

She’s given a reason when magician anarchists crash into said coffee shop and kidnap her family.

Heartbroken but determined, Blythe knows she can’t save them alone. A war is brewing between two magician governments and tensions are too high. So, she packs up her family’s bright yellow Volkswagen, puts on a playlist, and embarks on a road trip across the United States to enlist the help of six strangers whose abilities are unparalleled—the other Guardians.


rep: black bisexual mc, queer (questioning) chinese character, puerto-rican demisexual, demiromantic character, black side characters, trans asexual character, black bisexual character, middle-eastern side character, non-binary, agender character.

cw: discussion of deceased parents, siblings, and potential parental and familial death, description of mild bloodshed in violent scenes, mention of drugs and drug use, primarily marijuana, gun use, supernatural horror in the form of monsters, car accident, discussion of anxiety disorders and panic disorders, racial n-word slur (ending in-a), mild anxiety attack

The Black Veins
Ashia Monet
428 pages

The Black Veins is a fresh, captivating urban fantasy adventure you’ll want to read.

If this book contains several tropes that are usually not my cup of tea (chosen one, absent parent…), Ashia Monet knows how to write a compelling, fresh, funny story full of emotions.

The Black Veins is a great book, with complex and unique characters that’ll steal your heart. I loved how different they all were, and how they all fit together so well. We start the book with Blythe, then comes Cordelia, then Daniel, and so on and on, until the seven Guardians are reunited. Each addition felt natural and changed the group dynamic for the better. Those characters are definitely the book’s strong point, and I loved reading about each’s struggles and seeing them evolve and open to one another until they formed one big and loveable found family.

You’ll also read about adventure and challenges that’ll keep you on the edge of your seat. I thought the first challenges and encounters were a bit unnatural, nay forced, but it then smoothed for the rest of the story and became really enjoyable. I love that the adventures mostly took the form of a road trip, with new goals each new step. I think it really helped create the ambiance for the found family trope.

Ashia Monet created a unique and intriguing universe, with a magic system of its own — and maybe I wish we could have some more information about it, like how powers are inherited, etc. — and emblematic places. I loved that first glimpse of the universe, and I cannot wait to discover more of it in the next book(s).

Note : 4 sur 5.

The Black Veins was a great read for this moment of my life: a compelling and really funny story with great characters, easy to read thanks to Ashia Monet’s writing.

You’ll love The Black Veins if you love road trip adventures, loveable characters, YA fantasy, diverse ensemble cast, and a plot which concentrate on the story itself, is character-driven and without love interest.

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