So there I was at 50%, hating that I was about to DNF a book that I really wanted to like going in... when suddenly it just got incredibly good! I don't even know what changed, because I still don't like the characters (I guess it's more realistic when you have characters that are not the normal trope?) ! I don't know, but I went from about to give it up to being riveted! Suddenly the plot had me hooked and I enjoyed the originality and the grittiness and the familiarity of the customs and location (even though I've never been to Joburg... and after this I really don't want to go either).
There were still parts that I think could have been elaborated on... like Irene's whole family and their vibe and backstory. I would especially have loved to learn more about her mother and the vague remark about Dale also being affected by her magic. And it could definitely have done a better job of drawing me in from the start. If I had rated it simply on the last part of the book it would have been an easy 4... Maybe even a 5! I'm still rating it a 4 (simply because I can't bring myself to go any lower... it really got good man!), but for overall experience it's probably closer to 3 1/2