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review 2017-09-23 19:49
The Lost Child of Lychford by Paul Cornell
The Lost Child of Lychford (Witches of Lychford) - Paul Cornell

Series: Lychford #2

 

I debated between 3.5 and 4 stars for this one, but the weird opening with ranting about Greg Lake Christmas songs was just confusing because I'd never heard of him before. That aside, I had a lot more fun with this installment of the Lychford series.

 

It kicks off with Lizzie the vicar being haunted by a little boy in her church. It turns out that the boy isn't dead though, so the ghost is a weird kind of magical apparition that I'd have to explain using spoilers.

He's basically an echo of an event that takes place in the future when these weird extra dimensional beings for whom time isn't a thing try to break down the barriers of Lychford by sacrificing the child in a ritual.

(spoiler show)

 

Eventually the ghost decides (or gains enough energy) to not just haunt Lizzie in the church but follow her around, and the three witches start trying to figure out what he is exactly and what is going on with him, but then outside influences start messing with the witches' heads and things get a little crazy. The scenes where Lizzie, partially under their influence, tries to break out of it by damaging her hands are both disturbing and funny.

 

We also get to see more of the haunting in Judith's home and the other witches finally find out she's been cursed with the ghost of her dead husband, so I think I'm safe in counting this for "Haunted Houses" for the Halloween Bingo, even if the haunting with the little boy is a non-traditional haunting. This book could also count for the "In the dark, dark woods", the "Witches", the "Supernatural", and the "Ghost" squares. I'm not sure if it could count for "Chilling Children" because although the ghost of the little boy gets significant page time, he doesn't say much and I don't know if he'd count as a main character. He is in danger though.

 

Anyway, I'm looking forward to the next Lychford installment since they seem to be getting better as they go along.

Previous update:

26 of 133 pages

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text 2017-09-23 15:23
Reading progress update: I've read 26 out of 133 pages.
The Lost Child of Lychford (Witches of Lychford) - Paul Cornell

I was going to try to read this for the "Haunted Houses" square in the hopes that it would elaborate on Judith's situation at home (it sounds like it would fit a haunting). This novella kicks off with the ghost of a small boy (or some kind of manifestation anyway) appearing to Lizzie (the vicar) in her church, so this is promising.

 

Here's hoping there's more haunted church stuff!

 

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text 2017-09-09 06:51
Hmmm.... meh.
The Trouble With Witches - Shirley Damsgaard

I have yet to manage reading any of this series in order but most of the books are self contained enough that it doesn't create problems. Some references are lost if you haven't read the previous books, but nothing critical hinges on them. That being said, there really isn't anything critical in this book at all.

 

Somehow, Damsgaard manages to take a fairly spooky premise and water it down enough that it's just tepid. I understand that there's a great evil in the abandoned decaying cabin in the woods. I understand that there's a cultish group of people living on that same property. I understand there's a Sioux medicine man who may or may not be helping. But I don't really feel any of it. The characters are rounded but flat, there isn't any punch to their responses and actions. The pace of the book is jumpy, running fast and hard in some places, slogging along in others. That messes with the tension of the story so there really isn't any to speak of.

 

The clues to who the villain was were all over the place and extremely inconsistent. When it was revealed I thought, "Ok, it makes sense in context, but there was no way I would have reached that conclusion". There's so many people who could be the villain, who make sense to be the baddie, that the actually person is anticlimactic because there's no real buildup for it. It's like Damsgaard decided to pull someone off the wallpaper as the twist at the end of the book. Not working so much for me. 

 

It wasn't a bad story. It wasn't a good story. It was just meh.

 

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review 2017-08-31 20:11
Sea Dreams (The Witches Of New Moon Beach) - Meriam Wilhelm

For a star rating and full review please visit InD'tale magazine online, Sept 2017 issue. http://indtale.com/reviews/paranormal-urban-fantasy/sea-dreams

Source: www.indtale.com
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review 2017-08-22 14:55
The Witches of New York - Ami McKay
I LOVED this book! It's magical, alluring, beautifully plotted and full of fabulous characters, both human, and not-so-human (Oh, Perdue, you lovely raven you!). Plus, let's not forget that Victorian setting. Think of the child Edith Wharton might have had with Charles Dickens. In fact, McKay has used many of the Victorian Penny Dreadful tropes to splendid effect. 

Three women -- witches all -- in their shop, "Tea and Sympathy", a marvelous confection of place, as full of fairies (Dearies) as herbs and potions (some for 'regulating the womb' if you know what I mean). The shop is a place of refuge and care for the women of the neighborhood. Frankly, I want one of these shops near me. Now, please. 

And of course, there must be a villain. For that, we have a group of religious fanatics who pluck the very worst from their teachings and apply them with murderous, misogynistic intent. (Shades of Jack the Ripper anyone?) 

At the heart of this novel is something deliciously subversive: These women, who have suffered terrible loss and heartbreak, and who struggle under the yoke of Victorian patriarchy and hysteria, live with a quiet resolve and autonomy; they assist other women, they stand tall in their truth, and never deny who they are. 

A joy to read from beginning to end and it kept me up at night reading far later than I'd planned. Enjoy.
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