Tag Archives: witches

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Book Review: Hex After Forty, by M.J. Caan

I picked up a copy of M.J. Caan‘s Hex After Forty on Amazon…Well, technically my husband did. Whenever he gets digital credits he lets the add up and then gives them to me to buy ebooks with, since we share libraries.

hex after forty mj caan

Torie Bliss thought that being over forty and having your husband dump you over your favorite meal would be rock bottom. Then she learned that the perfect life he had created for them was built on a foundation of lies.

A very public fall from grace leaves her penniless and homeless. Thinking she had nothing else to lose, she decides to move in with her estranged mother in a picturesque town in the mountains of North Carolina. Only to discover that her mother is quite the witch. Literally.

And so is Torie. They are from a line of witches who develop their magic after the age of forty. As if hot flashes and night sweats weren’t enough, she now has to contend with wild magic that she has no idea how to control.

But she must learn to tap into her strange new powers to help her new friends solve a terrifying mystery.

Someone is killing off shifters in the sleepy town of Singing Falls, and if Torie can’t get her act together, she just may be next on the supernatural serial killer’s list.

Can Torie let go of her past in order to embrace her new future?

my review

I wouldn’t call this all out bad, just shallow and scattered. I liked Torie and all the friends she made in her new town. But I could barely tell all the ladies apart. Plus, the plot and mystery doesn’t really develop so much as just kind of stutter along until the villain decides to reveal themselves.

The writing is perfectly readable, though the editing has a few (though not an overwhelming number) hiccups. I raised a particular eyebrow at this one, “They knew her mother in this life, new her in a way that Torie did not.” <.<

But I do have to make a half-joking objection to calling a book Hex After Forty, which is obviously a play on Sex After Forty, which Torie even says at one point, and then not having any sex in the book, barely even the beginning of a maybe future romance. That’s just mean.

All in all, I wouldn’t warn anyone off the book but I’m not in any hurry to continue the series either.

hex after forty photo



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