Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Tuesday Review Day!

FINALLY!! I have finally finished this book and I have to explain that I honestly do not believe it was because of the story that it took me so long to finish (about two months). I've been so busy and preoccupied that I haven't been dedicating much time to my reading, which I hope to change soon. Anyway, I finished it, so here it is:

Written by: Shawn C. Sproatt
Publication date: March 11, 2011
Released in Kindle and ebook
248 pages

3 stars 

Synopsis: 15-year-old Wanda Windsor is not the most popular student at Hecate High. In fact, amongst her fellow witches, the fairies, the shifters, the vampires, and the werewolves, she's one of the least popular students. However, she never thought anyone hated her enough to try attack her. During her sophomore year someone uses mind control on other students to force them to hurt Wanda, and she manages to just barely escape each attack. Wanda isn't sure who would want to hurt her, but she's fairly certain it has to do with the introverted new student who has visions of the future.

When she isn't dodging death, Wanda spends her time trying to pass Geometry, avoiding (unsuccessfully) the subject of boys, and getting into mischief with her friends.

My Review: Right from the start, things take off which I loved because that means no drawn out intro about scenery and character or history. Not that a background story isn't good, however in this case it wasn't particularly necessary.

Wanda (hate the name) is being attacked by unknown assailants and the suspense is held out until the very end. The first attack is right in the first chapter and it immediately gets your mind reeling with "whoddunit". The supernatural community created in this story is so detailed as they had a supernatural version of everything for everything; yet I had a hard time remembering who was who, who was what, and what was what. There were witches, vampires, fairies, werewolves, shifters and more. Equally difficult to remember were the different rules and taboos between all the different races. Not everyone felt that dating outside of your race was acceptable. Wanda and her small group of friends consisted of a witch, Wanda, a fairy, Ari, Dean was the group vampire, Lu is a shifter and Alec a werewolf. They are all fiercely loyal to each other. Although they are in high school, you can tell that Wanda is the last of her friends to mature. As far as characters go, some stuck out more than others, even though the characters were all consistent, as in frequently changing or new ones being introduced. One character in particular, Lu, I kept forgetting if she was a guy or a girl and if she was related to Alec (another main character) or if she was romantically interested in him.

For the story to take place in a supernatural high school and town, there really was not a lot of magic going on. There was a lot of description about places and things but not enough about events. At one point Wanda is teaching herself defensive spells and practicing them on her friends but we don't get to see what she's doing or even hear the spells she's casting. I think the mystery part of this story was well written but the paranormal part was lacking. The author mentions witches having 'familiars' as though it were everyday knowledge and I was already supposed to know what that meant. I didn't. Their purpose, their powers and the advantages of having one were still a mystery until very close to the end of the book where they came into play more, because Wanda had two familiars, which is rare and reserved for especially powerful witches.

What I didn't like was how clueless Wanda was at a lot of critical times in the story. I understand that when you are in the eye of the storm, it is easy to miss things but I still felt that she should have been able to figure some of these things out. She would blindly walk into traps without even considering the possibility that it was a trap in the first place. I found myself getting frustrated and yelling at Wanda, "Oh come on!"

The end result, the big secret, the big reveal or whatever you want to call it can only be described with one word: flat. I was all excited to find out who was behind this whole grand scheme (and what the grand scheme was since it was such a well guarded secret), but when everything was laid out before me, I was just left feeling like "That's it? That's what I waited for all this time?" The person behind it all was no surprise either. Introduced early in the story as a potential villain so you are already given the feeling that this person was going to be guilty in the end. There was a whole lot of misdirection to make the reader believe it really could be anyone else, but it wasn't, and I think it would have been better if it was a completely different character. It would have made all my detective work feel worth it.

The writing was riddled with typos and spelling errors. I don't necessarily blame it on the author but I'm pretty sure the editor missed a few things.

Overall: Even though I wasn't in love with this book I did like it a lot and I'm glad I finally finished it and I look forward to the sequel. There were a lot of unresolved issues like inter-racial/species couples being seriously frowned upon. Racism is intolerable, period, and I would like to see that aspect of the story changed in the next book. And what about Wanda and Patrick (potential love interest and vampire)? Are they going to finally admit their feelings for each other and be together? If Wanda really is strong enough to require two familiars than are we going to get to see her powers develop? Let's not forget about Rose and Stephanie, (school jerks) I'd really like to see Wanda put them in their place for good!

Witches in the Holy City is the beginning of a new series set to debut in ebook on June 28, 2011 with the hopes of a Mistfit sequel in July!

Click here to visit Shawn C. Sproatt's blog.

Happy Reading!

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