by Cate Dean
Published April 16th 2012 by Pentam Press
Source: review copy
Claire Wiche is an ordinary woman, running her Wicca shop in an ordinary California beach town.
But Claire wasn’t always ordinary, and she isn’t quite human. She hides a secret, and a past she thought she had put behind her.
A past that is about to explode into her present.
When it does, and everyone she loves is in danger, Claire must face up to her past – and become what she left behind in order to save them.
Book tour stop brought to Butterfly-o-Meter Books by Bewitching Book Tours.
So, we’re here with a fun read and a rant-tastic review. But I don’t edit my opinions and thoughts on my blogs, so settle in for the ride, lol.
The story starts out slowly, and while reading it I thought, ok, this must be the build-up? See, the issue with reading a lot of urban fantasy/paranormal is that you get used to a certain pace of events. I mean, I didn’t much care for agitated plots when I started out this blog for instance, I was all for the quirky, out of the mold kind of reading. I still am, but I’ve become a creature of habit as well. When I’m reading something about a paranormal being, I’m expecting agitated action. Because that’s just how these books sort of conditioned me to react, you know? Force of habit.
While the rhythm of events did pick up pace and held it throughout, I wasn’t 100% engaged in following the events. As a villain fan generally, I feel the need for a strong antagonist to be part of any story, or at least a set of very unfavorable circumstances to make up for the lack of a hardcore antagonist. The antagonist here started out feeling very promising, but ended up sort of disappointing me by not doing enough, well, evil. This is going to sound weird maybe, but it’s how I felt.
The more I advanced in the read, the more confused I was about the antagonist and the protagonist. I didn’t connect with either of them, an oddity, in fact I did connect with Annie, Claire’s witchy sidekick of sorts, but not an awful lot. I’m not sure why, but they didn’t reach me a lot. Maybe if they would have been more tortured, or tortured more intensely, lol, I don’t know.
The writing was good, though I felt it was maybe a bit too mysterious about the characters backgrounds and motivations. I had a couple of spots there where I thought, ok, so there must have been some short story prequel to this because I feel like I’m missing something here, and the story is told as if either I’d been told about it or I should know about it somehow. And I didn’t. For instance, the entire Wiche family thing, I would have felt better prepared for the story had I known more about it before going into the whole Natasha thing.
In this I tend to make a separate opinion from other readers, in that I like to be told what’s what, what are the circumstances, the motivations, the older conflicts that are at play in a story. Don’t shroud it all out in mystery for me, if I’m in the dark about it I’m not going to be interested about it. Half-measures is the key here for me, give me some of it, but leave me guessing. Don’t just leave me guessing. If I’m not up to speed on things, I’m just watching a Steven Seagal movie – it’s boring, senseless, and a waste of my time even though it’s chuck full of action and blasts (and his ridiculous dyed hair. Does anyone really think it’s not ridiculous? Not to mention the outfits…the whole effort is wasted on me, I will never get some things.).
Anyways, I’m not saying this read was like that at all, it wasn’t, I’m talking about the principle here. The plot did leave me sort of clueless about the family intrigue before we went into it, I would have liked more info there. But maybe that’s just me, I know other readers tend to have an unusual distaste for the parts that actually make agitated action have some logic and sense. The story here made sense, but it could have been a closer call.
A lot of ranting in this review, it’s just one of those days. Sorry.
This read was fun, but I wasn’t with it all the way. There were many good points to it, and I believe it’s the start to a potentially awesome series, it shows great potential.