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Bridget Baker
Mates: Minerva
Forget Murphy—it should be called Minerva's Law. Paranormal affairs officer Minerva Lucent has always wanted to stand out by making a difference in the supernatural world. Unfortunately, she's only managed to stick out—like a sore thumb. Her stun spells often misfire and freeze people by mistake. Her magical restraints have been known to pull objects to them like magnets. And last week, her truth spell caused a perp to start singing in verse. But when a coveted guardian position opens up, Minerva's determined to finally show everyone that she's the witch for the job. She makes a plan to redeem her reputation, and she's about to set it in motion, when her old finishing school pal, Roxana Goldenscales, shows up on her doorstep in dire need of assistance. Can Minerva enact her plan and help Roxana (knock on wand!)? Or will she have to choose between becoming a guardian and being a good friend to her old mate?

Quarter Finalist

Plot/Idea: 9 out of 10
Originality: 9 out of 10
Prose: 9 out of 10
Character/Execution: 9 out of 10
Overall: 9.00 out of 10


Plot/Idea: Mates: Minerva is well-plotted, entertaining, and engaging. The imaginative storyline focuses on the importance and stakes of friendship, with plenty of potential betrayals, self-realizations, and personal revelations along the way.

Prose: Baker's prose is charming and compulsively readable, especially the cheeky dialogue and witty banter between characters.

Originality: Mates: Minerva features some truly creative worldbuilding, like the novel's elaborate backstory and the concept of "gloffee". Baker's eclectic cast of characters is also notable for their unconventionality, despite containing common types like werewolves and vampires.

Character Development/Execution: Baker skillfully manages a wide cast of characters, all with their own individual chapters and elaborate problems, like Minerva, who is struggling to become a guardian due to her magical difficulties, and Izaak, whose unconventional career choice is at war with his vampire nature. Impressively, every single one of these characters also links to a wider story arc, about helping Roxana escape an awful marriage.

Blurb: A delightful, character-driven fantasy novel about a group of supernatural friends helping to prevent an unwanted wedding, Bridget E. Baker's Mates: Minerva will no doubt bewitch readers with its entrancing plot and relatable cast.

Date Submitted: May 31, 2022