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review 2016-06-24 13:10
Jilo DNF?
Jilo (Witching Savannah) - J.D. Horn

I received a free copy of this book through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.


There's not much I can say about this book. It sounded really interesting when I requested it:

Aged Mother Jilo is wise in the ways of magic…but once upon a time, she was just a girl.

1950s Georgia: King Cotton has fallen. Savannah is known as the “beautiful woman with a dirty face,” its stately elegance faded by neglect, its soul withering from racial injustice and political corruption.

Young Jilo—fiercely independent, intelligent, and ambitious, but thwarted by Savannah’s maddeningly genteel version of bigotry—finds herself forced to embrace a dark power that has pursued her family for generations, an ancient magic that may prove her salvation…or her undoing.

Explore the fascinating history of one of the Witching Savannah series’ most vivid and beloved characters, as the resourceful and determined Jilo comes of age, strives to master formidable magical skills in the face of overwhelming adversity, and forges her strange destiny against the turbulent backdrop of the civil rights struggle in the American South.

I just wasn't able to get into it and I kept finding excuses to not read it. I can't even say why I had trouble connecting with it, which is a shame because going off the synopsis, it sounded really interesting. I'll probably come back to this at a later date and try to read it again, but for now it's being added to my DNF pile.

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review 2016-05-16 00:06
Jilo (Witching Savannah #4) by J.D. Horn
Jilo (Witching Savannah) - J.D. Horn

I’ve liked Jilo as a major character in the Witching Savannah Series as a powerful and clearly complex figure. She has awesome potential and we have a lot of allusions to a long and complex history. The problem is that this series is not about her, it was all about Mercy. Jilo’s relationship with Mercy has been very complex but, on the whole, it has been one of mentor and student. Or an almost maternal relationship. There are times when Jilo even refers to herself as Mercy’s mother figure


Of course, that’s a trope. It’s certainly a trope with an elderly Black woman with a young white lady in Savannah.


That made this book extremely necessary. It’s a book that focuses not just entirely on Jilo’s history but also on her family history and her magic as well. I think that’s extremely necessary because Mercy’s family has also been very much about her family history and the importance and uniqueness of her magic. By talking about Jilo’s family and relationship with magic we put her on an equal level of importance and value as Mercy


It also allows a wonderful expansion of the world building with us seeing magical systems and sources beyond Mercy’s family’s relationship with the Line and the Old Ones – and it’s equally as powerful while being completely different. Jilo’s family’s relationship with the Beekeeper and the old powers is only tangentially created related to the kind of magic that Mercy’s family practices. This shows there is magic beyond Mercy’s magic and that there are magical struggles and storylines that do not involve them. This is not Jilo playing a part in Mercy’ storyline. This is not Jilo living a lesser for of Mercy’s storyline. This is Jilo having an entirely separate magical storyline which doesn’t involve the Taylor family at all


Jilo’s family history goes back 3 generations – and it goes back 3 generations of Black people in Savannah, following them through the 20s, 30s, 40s, 50s and onwards. While this includes a lot of fascinating insight into the magical system and the desperate struggle each generation has faced to try and turn away from magic but inevitably be drawn back, it is equally a story of race in America and it permeates every element of the family’s story including the supernatural elements


We have rich white sorcerers who feel entitled to Jilo’s family’s magic and service, who constantly exploit and use them every generation and get away with it due to their wealth and race and power. As antagonists they are inherently people who force Jilo’s family to turn to magic time and again because in a system that makes them so vulnerable how else can the possibly protect themselves?


While that’s a common driving force for them seeking magic or being forced to resort to magic so is the simple realities of living in a racist, segregated time. The magic they have to turn to too survive not just against threats – but also economically. There’s Jilo’s grandmother, raising 4 young girls and increasingly too old to perform the hard physical labour of cleaning – magic, despite all her misgivings, provides an income when she has few other options.


That’s a definite part of Jilo’s own storyline that is defined by this. A single mother with no income and no chance to use her education. And she had an education and brilliant ambitions – but not chance to become the doctor she dreamed as a Black woman (flatly told that there were very few chances for Black doctors – and those choices should go to Black men who can actually help their community). Even her accent that seemed so stereotypical in the main books is revealed to be creation, along with the whole persona of “Mother Jilo”. In all, Jilo is a brilliant woman from a line of brilliant women – intelligent, wise, capable and determined – facing insurmountable obstacles and carrying on.


I also like that while race permeates their story, it isn’t the only obstacles they have faced, and it’s above and beyond the magical obstacles they face. They have both economic hurdles and even as simple as Jilo’s terrible terrible taste in men who have used her and failed her and exploited her time and time again. Jilo has led a hard life, not just from magic and not just from being Black but also from being a Black woman and with more than a few men willing to use her. Including these excellent lines when a man asks if Jilo’s child is his:



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Source: www.fangsforthefantasy.com/2016/05/jilo-witching-savannah-4-by-jd-horn.html
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review 2015-10-30 21:31
The Source (Witching Savannah #2) by J.D. Horn
The Source - J.D. Horn

Mercy is now the family’s Anchor and technically in charge of the magic of her family and one of the most powerful witches in the world. If the other Anchors would let her be. Hemmed in, limited, constantly spied on to say nothing of her struggle for control, Mercy isn’t finding power particularly easy to live with – especially since all that power cannot be used to find her lost sister


Her fragile world is further thrown into disarray with the return of her mother – who she thought dead in child birth. Her mother has an entirely different story not just of her death and her family but of the origins of magic herself. Mercy, who knows all too well that her family can and does lie to her, now has to try and find the truth between the competing sides and the reality of magic itself – knowing whichever side she chooses will mean losing family.




Throughout a lot of this book we’re left very much in doubt about who to trust, who to support and what the truth is.


A lot of books trey to create this – and usually fail pretty badly. Usually it’s very clear which person is actually the bad guy and while the protagonist may trust them, it’s usually while the reader yells “noooo what are you doing?!”


But both the first book and this book has done an excellent job of continuing that uncertainty and leaving us never sure which character can be trusted. Not because they’re all evil – but because they’re all very human and very flawed. They have their own foibles, they have their own weaknesses, they have their own problems, their own agendas their own values. From Oliver’s light, often self-centredness and casual manipulation to Iris and Ellen with their own tumultuous love lives all overshadowed by loyalty to the Line that permeates the families and makes them make rather extreme decisions if they begin to think the line is under threat.

And the Line itself adds a whole new level of complexity and uncertainty. We have the “official” version of what the line is – of the barrier that keeps the demons at bay that would enslave them all as they have in the past. But that is the official version, the Anchor’s version – a version that suits them well and empowers them. A version pushed by Ginny who we know was deceptive and dangerous and manipulative and certainly didn’t have Mercy’s best interests at heart.  But there are rebel families – it seems rather unlikely that the rebel families aren’t fighting for the eager chance to be slaves – so an alternate narrative seems likely, especially since those Anchors love their secrecy.


This is even more complicated by the witches even acting in the best of faith simply not understanding the true nature of the line or the world they’re in – which, in turn, makes them potential antagonists towards Mercy.



Throw in the added difficulty of family connection, Mercy’s long lost mother and her mere existence pointing towards deception among those closest to her (and after those closest to her having already hurt her already) means we’re genuinely in a position of not knowing who to trust.


This makes the whole plot work – it makes Mercy’s conflicts work on top of not knowing what to tell Claire and Peter (while at the same time expanding the world building in a very new way with them) and be far more than Mercy just sitting around stewing and worrying.



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Source: www.fangsforthefantasy.com/2015/10/the-source-witching-savannah-2-by-jd.html
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review 2015-04-28 09:26
Ród - J.D. Horn

“… przebaczyć nie można ot tak. Trzeba podjąć decyzję i za każdym razem, gdy zło wyrządzone ci przez daną osobę wraca, starać się koncentrować na jej zaletach.”


Zachęcona intrygującą okładką i bardzo dobrymi opiniami na Lubimy Czytać, wiedziałam, że muszę po nią sięgnąć. Kolejna książka przeznaczona dla młodzieży. Czy oby na pewno? Bohaterką powieści nie jest przecież nastolatka z problemami emocjonalnymi. Bardziej skierowałabym ją dla młodych dorosłych, co ostatnio stało się bardzo modne. A jak zawartość?


Mamy przewodniczkę wycieczek po Savannah, kobietę jeszcze nie pełnoletnią (wszak nie ma jeszcze 21 lat, a jest tuż przed), ale już doświadczoną przez los, a zwłaszcza własną rodzinę. Wszystko w jej życiu staje się kłamstwem. Zakazane uczucie do wybrańca siostry, z którym walczy. To właśnie wiedzie ją w zakazane rejony Matki Jilo. Myślę, że właśnie to staje się tym wydarzeniem, które rozpoczyna cały szereg następnych komplikacji. Jedno życzenie, jedno zaklęcie, a świat staje na głowie. Nagła śmierć w rodzinie, zjazd innych Rodów Czarownic, zakazane emocje i ogrom sekretów, które wychodzą na jaw. I to jeszcze jak. A gdzieś tam, nasza Mercy, próbująca ogarnąć to wszystko w zrozumiałą całość. Chwila nieuwagi i może zniszczyć nie tylko siebie i rodzinę, ale skazać na demonów cały świat. Zdrada, poszukiwanie własnego miejsca, scalanie rodziny swoim dobrym sercem. Komu może ufać Mercy, gdy każdy ma swój własny plan, prowadzi własną grę? W jednej chwili wszystko staje się zupełnie inne, niż bohaterka dotąd znała. A wróg staje się sprzymierzeńcem.


Podsumowując – książka warta przeczytania. Dużo akcji, ciekawe dialogi i bardzo przystępny język. Wciągająca, to z pewnością. I co, dla mnie akurat bardzo ważne, nareszcie brak błędów w treści. Jedyne, co mi nie pasowało, to ogrom sekretów wyjawionych przez członków rodziny. Jedno po drugim, choć praktycznie w ciągu jednego czy dwóch dni. Za dużo na jeden raz. Wiem, taka jest wizja autora, jednak dla mnie było to już za dużo. Mimo to wiem, że muszę przeczytać kolejny tom. Może w drugiej części może będzie więcej magii, w tym nie za wiele o nim było, a może ja po prostu spodziewałam się więcej ;)


Przede wszystkim ogromne podziękowania dla Dobrej Duszyczki, osoby, dzięki której mam ten egzemplarz. To był wyśmienity prezent i cudowna niespodzianka. Udowodniłeś, że są ludzie z dobrym sercem, którzy potrafią pozytywnie zaskoczyć. Dziękuję :)


“…ludzie niezrównoważeni emocjonalnie bywają bardziej pobudzeni podczas pełni…”

Source: smag-rekomendacje.blogspot.com
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review 2015-03-02 05:56
The Line
The Line - J.D. Horn

This sounded so good. The next Sookie? Bring it! In reality? A bit disappointing. Not bad. Not great.
There is a love triangle. Mercy is in love with Jackson. Okay. But wait for it....Jackson happens to be Maisie's boyfriend. Her twin. Then there is Peter. Mercy also loves Peter, but not in the way she *hearts* Jackson. Thankfully, this does get resolved. Oh the angst!
It kills me how mean some in Mercy's family were to her, who through no fault of her own, was born just the way she was. Mercy is surprisingly loyal to those who have shown her minimal or no love or affection.
That said, the twists were what made me give a 3 and not a 2. I liked certain elements. Disliked others.

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