Tag Archives: witches


Book Review: Awakening, by S.C. Mitchell

I picked up a freebie copy of S.C. Mitchell‘s Awakening (Demon Gate Chronicles, #1) from Amazon. I read it as part of my March Awakening Challenge, where I set out to read eight books titled Awakening.

awakening by sc mitchell

Demons among us…

Thousands of years ago, a portal opened between Earth and the demon dimension of Ballor. Since that time, demons have been crossing over to hide among us cloaked in illusion.

Jack Hughes is cursed. Each full moon, his body is taken over by a demonic force. He’s learned to cope by locking himself in a cell each night to keep the demon from breaking free. It’s a dark secret he’s not willing to share with anyone, until one night when the demon breaks out.

Sorceress Anna Brown is one of the leading experts on demons for the Arcanists. She knows Jack’s secret and how to help him, if he’ll let her. The local demons are after Anna. She has a power they want to control. Does she have enough magic to save Jack and keep the local Demon Lord at bay?

my review

I wouldn’t go so far as to say that this is super bad, though I might say it’s bad. Either way it’s far too simple and uni-dimensional to be called good. There is no depth here, not of characters, plot, mystery, world, anything. It makes for a predictable and uninteresting read.

On a personal note, I work assiduously to avoid rape in the books I read for entertainment. Despite that, it creeps in pretty regularly. It always annoys me. But it is especially annoying when authors use it as a short-hand for evil. Want a character to be an obvious villain? Make him a rapist, no further development needed apparently. But it’s even worse still when authors do this and don’t have the decency to call it rape. Mitchell has a horde of demons who keep harems to breed lesser demons and he references it repeatedly. But the sanitized language hides the horror of what he’s actually suggesting. The word rape isn’t once used in this context, despite rape being referenced multiple times. If you’re going to base a large portion of your plot on rapists raping, then have the decency to use the language.

Speaking of demons, it was painfully obvious that almost no real thought or creativity went into them. Mitchell held in his hands the chance to create something new and interesting, and I thought he might when one of the first demons was mentioned to be sexless. But as soon as we meet the rest of the demons we run right into patriarchal, no-thought plotting. The male thinks about his female mate as a good mate because she knows her place (below him), but he’s ready to trade her for someone younger and fresher. He leers and threatens rape (by any other name), etc. He’s a blunt instrument of a villain and the demons in general are cardboard cutouts.

All in all, disappoint but readable.

awakening mitchell

the dragon spell

Book Review: The Dragon’s Spell, by Bonnie Burrows

I picked up a free Audible code for a copy of Bonnie Burrows’ The Dragon’s Spell.

the dragon's spell

The witches were disappearing and Faye Everleigh’s sister was the latest who had been taken.

Faye had good reason to suspect that a nearby clan of dragons were behind all the kidnappings and she was planning to do anything and everything within her power to get her sister back.

However, she did not bargain on Rylan, the dragon clan leader, being so impossibly handsome.

And before she knew it, a man who should really be her enemy was becoming a friend, an ally and a lover all in one.

Was the witch now under the dragon’s spell? Or was there more to this than meets the eye?

Meh, this wasn’t horrible. But it wasn’t great either. There just didn’t seem to be a lot to the plotgirl sets out to find her sister, gets captured, lazes about falling in love for a while, then, they save the day in basically one chapter.

Rylan was a nice change from the alpha-asshole, but his uncertainty made his feel weak and wishy-washy. Faye was pleasantly determined, but still didn’t actually DO much of anything throughout the book. The villain was obvious from the beginning and there’s really no depth to their machinationsevil for evil’s sake. I wasn’t at all invested in it.

Lastly, Morgan’s narration started out pretty rough, but it smoothed out eventually. But I noticed a lot of misplaced and mispronounced words. So many in fact, I have to wonder if he was doing a poor job OR an excellent one of reading the book just as it’s printed, errors and all.

the dragon spell



Book Review: Awakened (The Oracle Chronicles #1), by Moni Boyce

I picked up a copy of Moni Boyce‘s Awakened as a freebie on Amazon.

Description from Goodreads:

Secret lineage, a ruthless vampire, and forbidden love.

Willow Stevens dreams of stardom are eclipsed by the real nightmares of a sinister man haunting her dreams. Unbeknownst to her, Eli Walker, her hot but snobbish co-worker, may know the reason nightmares plague her, but their history shows he is more prone to reject her, than help her.

Then Willow passes out at work only to wake in Eli’s apartment. There she has her chance to learn more about her heritage. But, knowing why the vampire king stalks her doesn’t make the nightmares disappear. If anything, they become more real as she now faces off against a slew of creatures she’d always believed were myth.

That Eli is one of those creatures is just her luck. Secret witch guild or not, his natural ways are casting spells her heart can’t escape. As a Protector his only focus should be her safety. Anything else is forbidden. He plans to stay in task, but some women break a man, or tempt him to break the rules.

Can Eli keep Willow alive and safe from the vampires long enough for her to grow her own powers or will both cast aside rules for a reckless passion that will only lead to danger?


Not very good, not totally horrendous, but not great either. The book has an interesting world and premise and an absolutely gorgeous cover, but it needs more editing, the writing is amateurish at times, and the transitions are often clunky. Plus, I had some serious suspension of disbelief issues with the plot and I found both Willow and Eli unlikable. She’s 26 and he’s even older, but they both act like children, and she’s especially self-centered, bratty, and easily manipulated.

As for the problem being able to suspend belief, which is something exceptionally hard for a book to overcome, it was two-fold. One, the book goes on and on about how important it is for her to learn to defend herself. So, it made no sense to me that the Protectors had followed her years and years instead of teaching her to defend herself until it’s basically too late. It’s not like they didn’t know there was a threat.

Secondly, all of the angst around the romance subplot could have and (and IMO should have) been completely bypassed if someone had simply told Willow that Protectors are forbidden from having relationships with Oracles. I don’t mean this as telling the author how to write her book, simply that as a reader I couldn’t understand why the characters were creating all the unneeded drama and hurt when it would make a million times more sense than the BS lies Eli rolls out for her

Lastly, it’s also the only book I’ve ever read with a warning before the epilogue like this:

If you plan to continue with this series, there’s an epilogue…but I suggest you stop here if you don’t like cliffhangers and don’t plan to continue. Thanks for reading!

It seems pointless because, even if you don’t read the epilogue (which I didn’t since I have no intention of continuing the series), the book ends with Willow injured, and both she and Eli unconscious. So, it’s already a cliffhanger.

All in all, I’m sorry to say the book just wasn’t a winner for me.