Saturday, 25 July 2015

Book Review: Witch: A New Beginning by L.S. Gagnon

The point of a review is to review a story for people considering it, not to ruin that by divulging everything. I'll try and keep the actual story line and themes out of this review so I don't ruin it for potential readers. 

I do go into the main character a bit - be warned.

All views in this are my own and honest opinion. 

Witch: A New Beginning

The Witch Series

Within the first chapter a lot of things kinda get thrown at you. I like a book that gets into it quickly but by that I mean straight into the character or setting. This chapter just felt too busy for me. I haven't even begun to understand this character or even read anything much about her before she's thrown into a situation where you need to feel some sort of emotion for her. I find it difficult to empathise with a character I don't know at all. Plus one chapter in I've already learned about her boss, hobby and job but don't know her age or how she really looks or acts. 

Further into this chapter I do start to learn more about the main character. To me she's needy, overly sensitive and a bit pathetic. She seems too dramatic and weak willed. I'm already finding it difficult to like this characters. 

Chapter two is even more busy than the first but with revelations and not quick descriptions of characters. A lot goes on in this one - and quickly. I feel like this could have been drawn out a little bit more and that I've just had half a books worth of information dumped on me. 

After forcing myself to pick this book up again I'm relieved that the next few chapters had me hooked and wanting to read on. More revelations and twists but not as difficult to believe now as we're getting into things. I think some of the characters language is off putting though. Especially when they veer into old English which sometimes is so thick I had to re-read a paragraph twice to understand what they were trying to say. 

Things start heating up but one thing that has been persistently bugging me from the beginning is the supporting characters reluctance to share information. I understand due to the story they are being vague for a reason but it's every other paragraph where a question is asked and not answered. It doesn't help that the lead is such a pushover she finds any excuse to avoid confronting them about it. Even when she does any betrayal or annoyance is swiftly swept under the rug. It's for the purpose of the story which I understand but as the reader it's incredibly frustrating to be so close to learning about someone or the storyline to then be so quickly and easily pulled away from it. At least give me a good reason to be disappointed.

The reason for the quick dumping of information in the first few chapters becomes apparent as a little way past the halfway mark and it seems like a million things have happened. I felt like it was gearing up for the end to draw to a conclusion but was actually just at only halfway. At first I was a bit disheartened thinking I had loads left to do but as I went on, I relished that there was more time to find out what was going on and learn more about the characters.

As we go on, the main character to me is still just unlikeable. She acts like a petulant child, flies off the handle all the time and when confronted with an explanation - no matter how thin - she instantly melts and forgives. Never stands her ground or berates them for not revealing truths in the first place. Again, this is a fantasy book. If I'd have had half the things placed on me in real life as she did I'm sure I'd be a nervous wreck too. So i tried to look past this and keep reading. My advice to anyone reading or planning to read this book to do the same. She is not a strong lead. Yet.

It wasn't all annoying characters or sometimes difficult language though. I think the concept is brilliant. I haven't seen too many - if any, thinking about it - supernaturally witchey stories out there. Some of their quirks, historical background and powers are much more than a simple witch with a wand, they're more thought out and incredibly imaginative. The spells, the potions, the magical things they can do to each other and how. It's very well thought out in that respect. 

By the end I'm stuck into the storyline and I know exactly what cliffhanger is coming up, leaving it open for the second book. Bravo. Because man, does it have me ready to read the next one. The characters are beginning to be more like-able and I'm even beginning to sympathise with the lead. As you go through the book you realise why she seemed so sad in the start and - without giving too much away - I believe the reason was to create a stark contrast with how she is in the end.

Halfway through this book I was sure to give it 3 stars but now it's definitely a good 4. I have a feeling this series is going to get better as it continues so I'll be keeping my eyes on it. I've already found the next book on iBooks and brought it. I'd recommend it to anyone who wants a good read. Something to concentrate on and get their teeth into.

SIDE NOTE: The good thing about this book is that I think its been re-released or something as its dated 2015 but books two and three are dated 2013 and already out so no waiting around to find out what happens. I personally love reading a series where everything's already released so I don't have to wait.

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