Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Book Review: Book of Shadows

Book of Shadows (Wicca, #1)Book of Shadows by Cate Tiernan
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This is a YA book, which is not something I normally read, but I wanted to see how the author presented Wicca. Would she cast the would-be witches as evil-dooers or preachy nature-worshippers? No, she cast them as human beings, alive with the excitement of the unknown and necessary trepidation.

Though I'm way past the young adult stage, I actually got a lot of of this, looking back at my high school years and thinking how I would have reacted and wondering enviously if high school kids do mostly have their own cars these days :-)

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Wednesday, October 01, 2014

Book Review: The Trouble with Magic

The Trouble With Magic (Bewitching Mystery #1)The Trouble With Magic by Madelyn Alt
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Often when I finish reading a book, I read the reviews of others to see what I might have missed and to refresh my memory on details.

One reviewer commented that she was disturbed by the paranormal in this book, but given that it's a paranormal mystery, one would expect that. Another reviewer commented that "more of a mystery that happened to have some magic elements than it was a fantasy book," which I agree with. I prefer more paranormal in a paranormal mystery, but since this was the first in the series and we are seeing the paranormal activity through the eyes of a character who is just becoming fully aware of the paranormal world, I think it was just the right amount.

One reader felt that there was too much "Witches good, non-witches bad" (my wording) in this book, whereas another was pleased that the writer did such "a good job about explaining this misunderstood religion." I think we have to remember that this book was published in 2006 by a large publisher, which means that it was probably written around 2003 or 2004, if not earlier. Back then people felt they had to get that message across. (I'm speaking from personal experience: Someone had the same comment about my first novel, published in 2003.)

Not mentioned very often is that there's a little romance in the background. Those who like paranormal romance will find something to like here. I prefer more mystery, intrigue, and paranormal myself, but it worked with the story.

All in all, I thought it was a good start of a series and handled the paranormal well (though I was confused about why they would shut down the power so quickly after raising it in one scene). I look forward to reading the next one.

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