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5.0 out of 5 starsand read through the prequel pretty quickly, as it is only about 80 pages ...
Reviewed in the United States on July 21, 2016
This, as I understand it, is the prequel to the full length book of the same name. I got both earlier today, and read through the prequel pretty quickly, as it is only about 80 pages long. The main character of the book, Morgan, is a witch in a family of witches. The plot involves Morgan coming back to her small home town of Yew Hollow only to discover the body of the town's much loved librarian beneath the huge Yew tree that the town is centered around. She has been killed in a ritualistic manner and posed on an upside down pentagram, surrounded by black candles. Morgan is accused of the crime, and she teams up with the slain woman's ghost (seeing and talking with spirits is her "power") to solve the murder. Dark magic and betrayal ensue. I thoroughly enjoyed the prequel, and am starting the "main feature" book tonight. I highly encourage anyone who likes the cozy mystery mixed with magic genre to read both. And please leave a review on both, as the only review on the book that was posted when I looked was one where the woman had only read the first page and gave the book one star. If the writing in the prequel is any indication, this was a grossly unfair review, in my opinion. Let's give this author some much deserved support.
The author has a solid grasp of writing mechanics. The language flowed well, typos didn't distract me, and I didn't notice any inconsistencies. That said, the plot _was not_ cozy, though it was written in a somewhat cozy tone. It also wrapped up in an overly cozy manner, despite the plot moving to the horrific pretty early on. I mean that in a genre sense. The town's origins involve lots of human sacrifice, committed by our protagonist's ancestors. Which might not be so bad if they walked away from that, but instead the practice simply faded (they don't really know when), and the family still wields the power built up by those sacrifices.
It was also a very predictable book. I knew who the antagonist was by the time the mystery was set up. I even knew the semi-twist to it.
The characters were oddly flat, except for the murder victim. Since the only interesting character was dead at the beginning of the book, it was hard to get engaged.
It was a decent book to read. But it was predictable, without depth, and had tone problems. It felt a bit like the author tried to do a paint-by-numbers book, but couldn't actually stick to the template nor come up with original additions. It wasn't a hectic read, but it wasn't soothing either.
I found this prequel short-story to be entertaining, rather light but still suspenseful, and a lot of fun to read. While there were scary elements, there was nothing that would deeply affect anyone over the age of about ten. The book (if you couldn't tell from the cover and title [lol]) is a paranormal fantasy book. This means there is mention of witchcraft, ghosts, dark magic, spells, etc. If you don't care for the paranormal, skip this book. If you enjoy the paranormal, this is a very "light" example. Most magic in this book is presented as protective and beneficial in nature. I confess I did not think the ending was right, mostly because of the way justice was and was not served. If the series continues (which I hope it will) I would like to see the consequences of the decisions that were made at the end of the book. Bottom line is read this book. It's short, fun, and you'll enjoy getting to know the quirky residents of Yew Hollow.
In this well written book that was easy reading and spell binding to the end, the author presented and delivered a wonderful story to introduce a series to be enjoyed my anyone who loves paranormal stories!! I'm on the next one!! Feel free to join me!!
I've only recently discovered cozy mysteries and I really enjoy this fun genre. I joined a cozy mystery challenge on Goodreads and while searching for a new book, I ran across this FREE cozy on Amazon. While the story is short, it's a great introduction to a series that seems full of promise. I was initially intrigued by the protagonist's relationship to an ancient coven of witches. Who doesn't find witches fascinating? When I was young, one of my favorite television shows was BEWITCHED. I could've watch Samantha cast her spells all day long. Like Samantha, the main witch in this story just wants to live a normal life, away from magic and witchcraft. Morgan Summers can move to the ends of the world to escape her family of witches but it's impossible to run from the dead and the spirit world where the dead reside.
After an unsuccessful attempt to separate her identity from her family and start her own life in New York City, Morgan must return to her childhood home in Yew Hollow. Back in town, she's immediately engulfed in the mysterious murder of Yew Hollow's beloved historian and librarian. Being the first to discover the body, Morgan unwittingly becomes the prime suspect, especially after evidence at the crime scene points to witchcraft.
For the most part, I quickly put the pieces of the puzzle together but I DID enjoy the storyline. As I mentioned, this is the first book in the series and I think the author did a nice job of introducing characters and the small town of Yew Hollow. Overall, entertaining and a nice start to a fun series.
This is a quick, easy, enjoyable read. Its a good read for the season now. You can curl up on the couch now while fall is in the air and really enjoy a afternoon of reading. This is a story about a witch who has left her home town and family just to get away from the history of her family....they are witches. When Morgan decided to return home she lands in a murder investigation of a beloved librarian and becomes the main suspect when she is the one to discover the body. Morgan's gift is she can talk to ghost so the victim asks for Morgan's help in crossing over but they have to find out who really did kill her. The murder was done by black magic and Morgan in order to clear her name agrees to help. Keeps you interested from start to finish.
Clearly Alexandria Clarke knows how to put words together to make a story... the writing style is easy to read and doesn't get in the way of the story. I immediately felt comfortable with the main character, but was less convinced about some of the supporting cast. If you can ignore some of the 'over the top' nasty character traits then it's a good read... personally I just skipped the bits of the story I didn't like.
5.0 out of 5 starsComing home was bad enough but coming home to be accused of murder!
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on February 11, 2018
A great short read. Mix one very dysfunctional witch family, a wayward daughter and a murder and mix well with magic, lies and an inept police department to get a story that will kept you reading until the last page. Great characters and plot that lost absolutely nothing in the fact that this was a short story. Well worth reading.