Review: Of Witches And Warlocks: The Trouble With Spells by Lacey Weatherford

Title: Of Witches and Warlocks: The Trouble With Spells.

 

Author: Lacey Weatherford

Series: Book One

Publisher: Smashwords

Date: March 8, 2011

Pages: 324

ISBN: 1466209771 (ISBN-13: 978-1466209770 )

Source: Purchased

Purchase: Amazon.com Kindle or Paperback, Smashwords

Summary from Smashwords:

Portia Mullins had always lived the life of a normal teenager, up until her sixteenth birthday. She is then informed by her grandma that she is actually a witch who
is a descendant of a long line of witches and warlocks. After overcoming her disbelief she finds that being a member of the coven comes with one great perk in the form of the school’s handsome bad boy, Vance Mangum. Vance and Portia have an immediate connection as a budding romance begins, only to be threatened by turbulent skies on the horizon as Vance’s checkered past rears its ugly head to haunt them. Portia is forced to use her untried powers in defense of everything she loves in a desperate attempt to hold on to the one thing that really matters in her life.

My thoughts:

While I love reading YA books, I have to say that I am finding a trend that sadly, this book followed as well. Either the main character’s parents are divorced, dead or are alive with busy lives. In this case specifically, Portia’s parents are both busy. Mom works nights and dad is off “working” as a traveling salesman. Which leaves Portia to do pretty much as she pleases.

Portia isn’t a bad girl, she is very mature and responsible for her age. But what sort of rubbed me the wrong way about this book is the fact that when she turns 16, she learns she is a witch, descendant from a long line as a matter of fact. She seems to be pretty okay with it and a natural talent emerges. She also gains a boyfriend who, after the two of them do a binding spell, they can’t stand to be apart.

Most of the story focuses on their romance, okay to be honest, 75% of the story focuses on their romance. The fact that he sleeps over, in her bed (granted above the covers… but still…) sort of irked me. The other fact that got to me is that it took so long to get to the story. I had the Kindle version and it seriously didn’t start getting interesting until the last quarter of the book.

I’m not trying to be mean, I’m trying to be honest when I say that even with these issues (granted a couple are just personal issues) I AM looking forward to reading the next book. However, having said that, I won’t finish it if it doesn’t start getting into more detail of the actual plot. I can only read so much about two teenagers kissing passionately or physically hurting because they have to be apart. I understand that the binding spell does have a specific reason and place in the story. I won’t spoil it here. However, I think it could have been written a little better to focus more on things that were happening and not so much on the two kids pawing at each other while her parents are working or out of town. I don’t know any parent that would be okay with something like this, fictional or otherwise. And while this may seem more like a personal review, I have to state that a lot of the story between the two characters started to become stagnant and, in my opinion, did not propel the story forward very much. Again, more focus should have been aimed at the plot and things that were happening and not shoved in the background like an afterthought.

 

My rating:

Review: Divine Intervention by Cheryl Kaye Tardif

Title: Divine Intervention

Author: Cheryl Kaye Tardif

Series: Volume One

Publisher: Imajin Books

Date: April 24, 2010

Pages: 70,455 words approx.

ISBN: 978-1926997018

Source: Bought

Purchase: Amazon, Kindle, Smashwords

Summary from Smashwords: CFBI agent Jasmine McLellan leads a psychically gifted team in the hunt for a serial arsonist―a murderer who has already taken the lives of three innocent people. Unleashing her gift as a Pyro-Psychic, Jasi is compelled toward smoldering ashes and enters the killer’s mind. A mind bent on destruction and revenge. (#1 in series) “Sci-fi and mystery fans will love this book.” Writer’s Digest

My Thoughts: I loved the mystery aspect of this book and the whole premise. I didn’t find much in the way of Sci-Fi, but maybe I wasn’t really looking for it. There were indications of high tech computer usage and other bits and pieces, but this book could have been written in modern day and I would not have been the wiser.

Jasmine McLellan, Jasi to her friends, leads a team to hunt down a serial arsonist bent on destruction. There isn’t a whole lot I can tell you about the story without giving too much away. But I can share the fact that Jasi meets up with a firefighter, Brandon Walsh, who makes himself available (in more ways than one) to help Jasi and her team.

My thoughts on this, though, were that it was a little slow to start. But once I got into the story it moved along quickly. Lots of twists and turns actually kept me guessing, because quite frankly, I can usually figure out the mystery aspect of it all halfway through the book. So kudos to Cheryl for keeping me on my toes! I would have never expected “Whodunit”.

 

My Rating:

Review: The Emerald Talisman by Brenda Pandos

Title: The Emerald Talisman
Author: Brenda Pandos
Series: Talisman Series
Publisher: Obsidian Mountain Publishing
Date: March 23, 2010
Pages: 288
ISBN: 978-0982903308 (ASIN:) B003E35ZAA
Source: Purchased
Purchase: Amazon.com Kindle or Paperback
Summary from Amazon:

You can run from your destiny, but you can’t hide.

To be normal, sixteen-year-old Julia Parker would shed her empathic gift in a second. Life has been difficult since her mother’s mysterious disappearance ten years earlier – an event she witnessed, but can’t remember. Julia’s situation becomes more complicated after a near death experience from a blood thirsty stalker. As high school students go missing it is clear there is a connection to her own experience–past and present. Someone has to stop the madness and a chance encounter with a creepy psychic foretells that only Julia is the key to stopping the madness, but it may require the life of the one she loves.

Readers who enjoyed Twilight, Vampire Diaries, Blue Bloods and The Morganville Vampires will enjoy The Emerald Talisman.
My Thoughts: First of all, while I may catch some harsh feedback from this first comment, I have to say that The Emerald Talisman is nothing like Twilight. If you like vampire stories, then yes, you will like this book. Julia Parker is not an average teenager. She has the ability to read people’s emotions. After losing her mother and being raised by a father who is almost never there, she happens to be a well-rounded, responsible girl. She works, she has friends, she has a social life and when the going gets tough, so does Julia.
Julia nearly falls to her death after walking through a park at night when her car breaks down, big mistake, she even admits. When she is rescued by Nicholas, sure, she swoons. Who wouldn’t? But even though he is in her thoughts and quickly in her heart, she doesn’t obsess over him.
When students start disappearing, Julia figures out the reasons why faster than anyone else, thanks to her empathic gift.
This story was a little slow in starting, but that’s okay. You spend some time getting to know Julia, the kind of person she is. You get to meet a well rounded cast of characters that know when to stay in the background and when they come back to the limelight, they don’t overshadow the story. I liked this book and couldn’t wait to get to the next in the series. They were absolutely quick reads and very enjoyable.
My Rating: 

Book Review: Rise of the Raven by Steven R. Drennon

Title: Rise of the Raven

Author: Steven R. Drennon

Series:

Publisher: Steven R. Drennon

Date: April 2, 2011

Pages: 114,254 words

ISBN: 1461121868 (10) (978-1461121862 {13})

Source: author

Purchase: Smashwords, $2.99, Amazon $12.99 Paperback, $2.99 Kindle

Summary From: Amazon~

Rise of the Raven chronicles the efforts of the Mage of NorAmen as he struggles to free his master from the demon haunted plains of the nether dimension where he has been exiled for over fourteen hundred years. Striving to prevent him are the five wizards of the Khand. The keepers of the sacred Watchstone, they have sworn to uphold the integrity of the barrier that separates the two worlds. In the midst of all this, a young boy becomes a man and discovers a great power that he never knew he possessed, but will it be enough to save his friends?

And thus the story begins . . .

My thoughts ~

Rise of the Raven is a good first book for a fantasy author. However, I have to point out that the beginning of the book was rather slow. This would have been a better book had it started at chapter 3. There were lots of instances in the first few chapters of telling what was happening to the reader rather than showing.

The characters were a bit stiff and formal. I found the only one I connected with after having dozens of them paraded before me was Leilani, the king’s daughter. She had an effervescent personality and warmth that exuded from the pages.

Being a fantasy book, I found the length of it to be a bit too long. Had the battle scenes not been so lengthy and some of the character development and dialogue worked out a little better, this might not have been a large issue. Because of the style used in the first couple of chapters, though, it made reading this a little tough for me. There were too many character point of view switches throughout the book that made me go back and re-read to figure out who was doing/thinking what. Sometimes it was so much of a point of view jolt that it took a moment for it to sink in.

However, with all of that being said, the descriptions of this book were very well written and detailed. It served the purpose of projecting the imagery into your mind. Very well accomplished. This is a good start for an upcoming fantasy author and I hope that future books are given a little more consideration in the areas stated above. If these issues could be worked on and developed, this author has the potential of being great.

My rating:

Book Review: THIS WILL NOT LOOK GOOD ON MY RESUME by JASS RICHARDS

Title: This Will Not Look Good On My Resume
Author: Jass Richards
Series: None
Publisher: Magenta
Date: September 2, 2010
Pages: 69,976 Words
ISBN-10: 1926891408 ISBN-13: 978 – 1926891408
Source: Author
Purchase: This Will Not Look Good On My Resume



Summary from Smashwords.com


“Ya made me snort root beer out my nose!” Moriah Jovan, The Proviso. “Sharp and pointy.” Peg Tittle, What If… Everyone gets fired at least once in their life. And if not, well, they’re just not trying very hard. And we all think of brilliant and immature ‘shoulda saids’ and ‘shoulda dones’ for weeks after. (Okay, years.) A quirky bit of fun that slaps you upside the head.

 

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