The Water Witch by Juliet Dark – Mini Book Review

The Water Witch by Juliet Dark
Published by Ballantine Books, an imprint of Random House

This is the second book in the Fairwick Chronicles series. I have previously reviewed the first book, The Demon Lover. This review may contain spoilers for The Demon Lover.

From the publisher:

After casting out a dark spirit, Callie McFay, a professor of gothic literature, has at last restored a semblance of calm to her rambling Victorian house. But in the nearby thicket of the honeysuckle forest, and in the currents of the rushing Undine stream, more trouble is stirring. . . .

The enchanted town of Fairwick’s dazzling mix of mythical creatures has come under siege from the Grove: a sinister group of witches determined to banish the fey back to their ancestral land. With factions turning on one another, all are cruelly forced to take sides. Callie’s grandmother, a prominent Grove member, demands her granddaughter’s compliance, but half-witch/half-fey Callie can hardly betray her friends and colleagues at the college. To stave off disaster, Callie enlists Duncan Laird, an alluring seductive academic who cultivates her vast magical potential, but to what end? Deeply conflicted, Callie struggles to save her beloved Fairwick, dangerously pushing her extraordinary powers to the limit—risking all, even the needs of her own passionate heart.

I don’t really have ALL THE THINGS to say about The Water Witch, it is definitely the second book in a trilogy, more bridge than anything else. The events of The Water Witch pick up right after those in The Demon Lover and, honestly, not a whole lot of new stuff happens for much of the book and, when things do start happening, they seem to be more a set up for the third book than anything else.

That being said, The Water Witch is still totally engaging and if its purpose is to make me want to read the third book in the series, coming out in September, then it did its job well. Recommended.

For more information, check out the publisher’s page.
Source: Publisher, via LibraryThing Early Reviewers.

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The Demon Lover by Juliet Dark – Book Review

The Demon Lover by Juliet Dark
Published by Ballantine Books, an imprint of Random House

Since Callie was little, a strange man has always visited her in her dreams. A prince, she once believed him to be. Perhaps it was this nightly visitor that inspired her love of fairy tales and Gothic literature, even the subject of her best-selling book, The Sex Lives of Demon Lovers. Thanks to her book, Callie has gotten a position at Fairwick College’s folklore department. With her new job and the new house she’s bought, the man who used to haunt her dreams is back. This time, though, the dreams are graphic, and starting to suck Callie’s energy away from her. Callie is, it appears, being haunted not by simple dreams, but by an incubus, and he’s not the only mythical creature in Fairwick.

Callie’s midnight romps with her incubus get to be a bit much towards the beginning of the book, but once she starts to realize that something strange is going on and trying to figure out exactly what that is, it picks up. By the time I was about a third of the way through the book, I was thoroughly entranced (heehee) by the magic and academia. The Demon Lover reminds me somewhat of A Discovery of Witches, but with a slightly different bent.

Altogether a great start to a trilogy. Recommended.

Buy this book from:

Powells | Indiebound*

Source: library.
* These links are all affiliate links. If you buy your book here I’ll make a very small amount of money that goes towards hosting, giveaways, etc.

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Shadow of Night by Deborah Harkness – Book Review

Shadow of Night by Deborah Harkness
Published by Viking Adult, an imprint of Penguin

This is the second  book in All Souls Trilogy, I previously reviewed the first book, A Discovery of Witches. This review may contain spoilers for previous books in the trilogy.

The present has become far too dangerous for Diana and Matthew. A vampire and a witch are not supposed to be in relationship with one another, and Diana and Matthew’s marriage puts their very lives at risk. With others out looking for them, it would be impossible to find a witch who can help Diana master her long-dormant powers, and her powers must be mastered if the couple and their friends and family are to be safe, and if they are to ever find Ashmole 732.

With so much at stake, staying in the present is not an option. Instead, Diana and Matthew timewalk about to Elizabethan England, stepping into the life that Matthew once lived. For a historian, this seems to be the opportunity of a lifetime – particularly once Diana discovers that Matthew’s circle of friends at the time included the infamous School of Night – but fitting in in the past is more difficult than Diana would have ever thought. Still, being able to see some of the people and events that shaped the Matthew she knows in the present, as well as the possibility of finding Ashmole 732 while still intact and that of learning more about her own abilities, is too great an opportunity for Diana to pass up.

It is no secret that I adored Deborah Harkness’s debut novel, A Discovery of Witches. Shadow of Night picks up exactly where A Discovery of Witches left off and, is perhaps even the better book. Many times, the second book in a series serves more as a connector between the first book and the second than a story worth telling in and of itself. Shadow of Night, however, is a strong story on its own, and does not require the extensive character and world building that A Discovery of Witches had, thus allowing Harkness to jump straight into the story – after all, we were left with a bit of a cliffhanger at the end of A Discovery of Witches. There is a bit less of her vampire/daemon/witch mythology here than there was in the first book, which is mildly disappointing, but only in retrospect. While reading, there is no time to wish for anything more, what with the witch hunts lurking ever present in the background, and meeting Matthew’s father.

The one problem with Shadow of Night? I don’t even know how long I’m going to have to wait for the end of the trilogy.

Highly recommended.

Buy this book from:
Powells | Indiebound*

Source: Publisher, via Netgalley.
* These links are all affiliate links. If you buy your book here I’ll make a very small amount of money that goes towards hosting, giveaways, etc.

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The Name of the Star by Maureen Johnson – Book Review

The Name of the Star by Maureen Johnson
Published by Putnam Juvenile, an imprint of Penguin

Rory Deveaux is used to her life in Louisiana, but she’s still excited about the prospect a year at a British boarding school. Her parents will be teaching in England for the year, so going with them seems like a no-brainer. Unfortunately, Rory’s arrival in London coincides with the anniversary of the first Jack the Ripper murder, and what appears to be a spate of copycat murders. When Rory sees a man who seems to be the number one suspect, she suddenly finds herself in very real danger.

The Name of the Star is an incredibly entertaining book. Rory is an interesting and complex character, in a fascinating – if somewhat unconventional situation. Johnson has a very engaging writing style, and she can draw the reader into even a Jack the Ripper ghost story.

I thoroughly enjoyed The Name of the Star, although I’m not entirely sure how I feel about it being a series. I think it was a great success as a standalone, but Rory’s continued adventures with the cast of characters she met in The Name of the Star don’t terribly excite me, although I’ll be more than willing to read the next book and see where Johnson takes the story.

Buy this book from:
Powells | Indiebound*

Source: Library.
* These links are all affiliate links. If you buy your book here I’ll make a very small amount of money that goes towards hosting, giveaways, etc.

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Soulless by Gail Carriger – Book Review

Soulless by Gail Carriger
Published by Orbit Books, an imprint of Hachette

This is the first book in the Parasol Protectorate series.

Being a soulless, half-Italian spinster doesn’t exactly put Alexa Tarabotti at the top of the height of the Victorian social scene. Basically ignored and disdained by her mother and flouffy half sisters (think Cinderella’s evil stepsisters, but too stupid to be truly evil). Even though she isn’t exactly sought after, she still is not used to being attacked by vampires at dinner parties. A normal vampire would know better than to attack someone who is soulless, since the soulless negate the powers of the over-soulled paranormal creatures like vampires and werewolves. Next thing Alexa knows, she is working with the Lord Maccon to discover what is happening to the plethora of missing werewolves and vampires, as well as the strange new creatures which have been wandering around London.

Soulless is a highly entertaining, quite funny paranormal steampunk romance:

Her mama thought her a bluestocking, which was soulless enough as far as Mrs. Loontwill was concerned, and was terribly upset by her eldest daughter’s propensity for libraries. – p. 17

If the description of ‘paranormal steampunk romance’ makes it sound like Soulless suffers from an excess of genres, that may in fact be the case, but Carriger pulls all of them off quite well, neither taking them too seriously nor making them too ridiculous. Alexa Tarabotti is a strong-willed young woman who makes for a fantastic protagonist, but perhaps even more interesting than Alexa was Carriger’s alternate Victorian era, which was molded quite well from the world with which we are familiar:

Miss Tarabotti shook her head in sorrow. The narrowmindedness of it all! She knew her history. The puritans left Queen Elizabeth’s England for the New World because the queen sanctioned the supernatural presence in the British Isle. The Colonies had been entirely backward ever since: religious fingers in all their dealings with vampires, werewolves, and ghosts. It made America into a deeply superstitious place. Fates only knew what they’d think of someone like her! -p. 102

All in all it makes for a very enjoyable romp of a read. I definitely plan on continuing in this series.

Buy this book from:
Powells | Indiebound*

Source: Personal copy.
* These links are all affiliate links. If you buy your book here I’ll make a very small amount of money that goes towards hosting, giveaways, etc.
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