Tag Archives: slavic mythology

verena's whistle

Book Review: Verena’s Whistle, by K. Panikian

K. Panikian sent me a copy of her book, Verena’s Whistle for review. verena's whistle

The meteor brought more than space dust.

Verena is a grad student living in Alaska when she receives a phone call that changes her life. Her family has been keeping secrets. Soon, she’s on a mission to save the world from Chernobog’s demonic beasts. Will she master her new magic in time? Will Owen, a man with his own demons, help her in her quest, or will he break her heart?

As she crosses the world to the snowy Ural Mountains, Verena must decide if she’s ready to lead or if the price is too high.

I think this has an interesting premise, but is too slow paced. Which is notable because a previous reviewer said it “is very fast paced (maybe slightly too fast paced).” The odd thing is I perfectly understand what she meant. You see, I call it too slow because there is an awful lot of talking about, planning, training, traveling to, and preparing to do things and very little actual doing of things. But when things do happen they happen quickly.

For example, one character is sent from America to France to find something with very little information. But he finds it (and more) after going to one cemetery and speaking to one priest. The loves are instant. Several times the perfect person shows up to help at the perfect time. Every battle is won with a single ‘brilliant’ idea, etc. So, one person calls it too fast paced (because the events feel rushed) and another says it’s too slowly paced (because there is too much between each important event). So, let’s split the difference and say the pacing is inconsistent.

Outside of that, I enjoyed the characters, setting, Slavic mythos, and writing. The editing is pretty good too, up until the end when I noticed an increase in errors (though they weren’t overly disruptive even then). All in all, I’m going to call it a middle of the road read for me. But, of course, your mileage might vary.

verenas whistle


Book Review: Feast of the Mother, by Miranda Honfleur and Nicolette Andrews

feast of the mother

I picked up Miranda Honfleur and Nicolette Andrews‘ book Feast of the Mother when it was free on Amazon. I seem to recall that it was part of a group freebie event.

about the book

A witch. A murder. A curse…

Beneath the murky waters of the lake, an ancient being slumbers, and Brygida is its servant. Kept sheltered in the woods by her mothers from the nearby village, Brygida has never had so much as a friend—until the day she meets a charming stranger painting by the lake. He invites her to the village’s harvest feast, but her taste of the forbidden ends with a murder.

Called into service for the first time, Brygida must take up her ancestral duty as Reaper of Death and solve the murder within three days. If she brings the murderer to the lake on the third day, the being she serves will be sated. If she fails, Brygida herself will be drawn beneath the murky waters, and the village massacred. There’s only one problem: the main suspect is her charming painter, Kaspian.

As Brygida investigates, the dangers are many and answers few. The village and her family stand against her, and with time running short, the lake demands a price. Brygida believes Kaspian is innocent, but can she stake her life on it, when failure means condemning the rest of the village, and being dragged into the deep…?

my review


As I said, I picked up Feast of the Mother as an Amazon freebie. As we all know, Amazon freebies are hit and miss. I’m happy to say this one is a hit. It’s a tad on the repetitive side and the plot isn’t very deep (essentially being a murder mystery with a smallish pool of suspects). But the characters are likeable and have some depth, the world interesting, the writing quite readable, and conclusion satisfying. I’d have liked the villain to have been more developed and would have enjoyed seeing everyone’s contrition (but acknowledge it probably would have been inelegant to include it). All in all, I’ll be happy to read another of Honfleur and Andrews’ books.

feast of the mother