My rating: 4 of 5 stars
The product description is apt– fans of Deborah Harness will enjoy this book because of it’s multi-layered tapestry of magic, love and time travel. Not to mention that the heroine in both series has a scholarly profession. From there though, I’d say the similarities end.
Once again, I’ve read a series book without reading the prior books, but my lack of knowledge didn’t hamper my enjoyment while reading this book. I didn’t get too lost along the way, though I’m sure I would have been a little more emotionally invested in the central love story if I’d read the other two books first.
I truly enjoyed the Scottish/ Fae / Historical aspects of this novel, especially in relation to the “olde tales” discussed throughout. The magical elements were well done and creative, and the writing was seamless. It’s safe to say I was sucked into this novel fairly quickly, and once I was done I was done (several hours later- I’m fast like that)I was sad, like the end of my favorite series had come and gone.
Now, to go back and read the first two books!
(ARC received via Netgalley for review purposes.)
BOOK PUBLICATION DATE : September 3, 2013
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Having read this series out of order (book three first, followed by one and two) it took me a minute to get my bearings when I started reading it. That said, even with my mild confusion about how the previous book ended, I was sucked in faster than a penny into a vacuum cleaner.
Jolie is back at the beginning of her story, back in her little fortune telling shop where Book One picked up, ignorant and unaware of the magical things that walk amongst us. And like the start of the series, everything hinges on the magical thing that walks through her lil’ shop door. Unlike the first time, that Magic Man is not Rand.
Now, I hesitate to divulge too much of the plot because it certainly was a twist on things and I don’t want to spoil all the fun for readers. In the grand scheme of things, I do believe I’ve fallen into team Sinjin territory over the course of the series so far — and Mallory must have read my mind. Yum.
That being said, reading The Witch Is Back was a bit like having trippy deja vu (or however you spell that). Some bits felt familiar like an old comfy sweater, while others felt odd in that alternate-universe kind of way. For example, Jolie’s BFF (Christa? I’m horrible with names)seemed a lot more randy and foul-mouthed than I remember her. Jolie is more naive than I recall. Sinjin is still Sinjin though, so there’s that. 🙂
I did have a few nitpicks with the whole time-travelling concept and “rules” which mainly revolve around this book’s resolution, but I can’t hardly spell them out for fear of spoiling all the fun for anyone reading this.
Overall, I still adore this series and it’s characters. In fact, I also have the ARC for Book 5 and devoured that one right after this book. So that should tell you something!
** I received this book as an ARC from Netgalley for review purposes.**
- Jolie Wilkin’s Series (Books 1-3) by HP Mallory – Quickie Book Reviews (quirkygurl.com)
- Shadow of Night by Deborah Harkness – Book Review (quirkygurl.com)
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
This follow-up to The Discovery of Witches is mostly as-expected: a great paranormal/ fantasy with a moderate literary bent. Due to the time traveling nature of this sequel, there is also a lot of historical detail, which was interesting and mostly well done. (Daily living covered, but glossed over what was really on my mind… they had “relations” several times, and she can’t shave her legs… or bathe?) Eek.
My biggest nitpick about this book is the lack of romance. Not that there was a ton of it in the first book, but at least the tension between the two main characters was enough to keep the embers burning in that one. For a good chunk of this book (mostly the beginning) they felt like an old married couple– one long-since “comfortable” with each other. And they haven’t been together nearly long enough for that!
Granted, they eventually connected on a more personal level, by figuring out that honesty and communication is what will keep their relationship healthy, but the emotional side of things doesn’t mean that the physical parts have to suffer. If anything, that should have sparked a few moments. But it didn’t. The little bit of intimacy between them felt rushed, forced and (dare I say it?) shoved in after-the-fact to please readers looking for a bit of steamy-goodness by some well meaning editor.
Perhaps my recent risque-trilogy reading has clouded my expectations, so don’t let my thoughts scare you off from reading Shadow of Night. As far as the magic and fantasy goes, Harkness once again delivers some creative and interesting concepts with this follow-up book. And I’m certainly curious to see where the next book takes the story arc!