I read the first book of the Fearless series, The Forest Bull, by Terry Maggert (and gave it 4 Stars), so when I saw this book and its interesting cover, I knew I would be in for a treat. I was correct!
Synopsis (from the author): Carlie McEwan loves many things.
She loves being a witch. She loves her town of Halfway, NY—a tourist destination nestled on the shores of an Adirondack lake. Carlie loves her enormous familiar, Gus, who is twenty-five pounds of judgmental Maine Coon cat, and she positively worships her Grandmother, a witch of incredible power and wisdom. Carlie spends her days cooking at the finest—and only—real diner in town, and her life is a balance between magic and the mundane, just as she likes it.
When a blonde stranger sits at the diner counter and calls her by name, that balance is gone. Major Pickford asks Carlie to lead him into the deepest shadows of the forest to find a mythical circle of chestnut trees, thought lost to forever to mankind. There are ghosts in the forest, and one of them cries out to Carlie across the years. Come find me.
Danger, like the shadowed pools of the forest, can run deep. The danger is real, but Carlie’s magic is born of a pure spirit. With the help of Gus, and Gran, and a rugged cop who really does want to save the world, she’ll fight to bring a ghost home, and deliver justice to a murderer who hides in the cool, mysterious green of a forest gone mad with magic.
What I liked: I have to say that I liked this story! Carlie was a good witch and her regular job as a cook in the local diner made her believable. Her cat acted like a typical cat with all the quirks associated with the animal - despite being her familiar. I liked the occasional interaction with her grandmother and her amazing magic. The addition of the cop as part of the trek into the forest to save the ghost made a nice addition, as did the potential love interest (in the form of a half-Viking half-vampire who lives in the forest). Add to that the excellent writing style and you have an entertaining read!
What I didn’t like: One of the characters referenced in the synopsis was Major Pickford, who appeared to have potential as a antagonist. Other than the brief appearance, the character disappeared, and since he had asked Carlie to accompany him to the chestnut trees, I thought he would play a significant role. I was left wondering why he was included. I also would have liked more about Carlie’s grandmother.
Overall impression: Halfway Dead is a well-written, entertaining book. With a nice plot, memorable characters, and enough action to keep my interest, this is an excellent read. Give this one a try!
My rating: 5 Stars!!