(This novel was purchased through Amazon's new Kindle First feature, which allows for editor's picks of upcoming ebooks to be purchased prior to their release date. The Line (Witching Savannah #1) will be available on February 1st).
Alright, I'm beginning to realize how much of a cover snob I really am, after exercises in organizing my review library and some general perusing of Amazon's Kindle Daily Deals... I mean, it's my Kindle! I don't even have to look at the covers, and yet, I will choose a book with a gorgeous cover, even if their contents aren't as in my line of preference, over an ugly one that was practically written for my tastes.
Which is why I borderline started salivating when I saw this fantastic cover for The Line, by J.D. Horn, which actually happens to be both gorgeous, and full of fun twisty plot points and relatable characters and everything else I hold dear in some of my favorite books. And I got it for $1.99? Lord, save me from myself. I was diving into the first few pages mere moments after the contents had fully downloaded onto the device, and I finished the book in one sitting. I'm not joking.
The Line details the story of Mercy Taylor, one of the youngest members of Savannah's preeminent witching family, but sadly one whose twin sister got all the power, leaving her with the family nickname of The Disappointment. Dealing with the scorn of her clan and some very unwelcome feelings of attraction to her sister's dedicated beau, Mercy goes to a Hoodoo witch for some help... and ends up getting into a lot more trouble than she asked for, after the powerful matriarch of the Taylor family winds up dead.
The book has been marketed towards fans of the Sookie Stackhouse series, and honestly, after finishing this book, that fact alone makes me really, really want to get to watching True Blood, because this was awesome. I never really got on board the whole "witch" train - I got bored with a lot of paranormal after people started switching to mermaids, and there's enough of that "bitchy witchy" stuff on even The Vampire Diaries or the current season of American Horror Story - but I guess I'm going to have to re-evaluate my stance, because the mythology of this book straddled just the right line between magic and reality.
One of the things I loved most about it was the incredibly fast pace: it just thrashes through plot twist after plot twist at breakneck speeds, and successfully builds a captivating world of witches and magic at the heart of the history-wracked Southern city of Savannah. I mean, it's true that sometimes the constant plot reveals can gave you a bit of whiplash, but honestly, it was nice going through a modern urban fantasy novel where you couldn't guess everything ahead of time. It has a bit of a clunky start, but give it two chapters, at least, before you even think about DNFing, because once you start moving into the actual plot, you're not going to want to put it down.
Special kudos goes out to our sweet and spunky heroine, Mercy, too, who underwent a spiritual journey of her own, without sacrificing any of the friendliness and moral grounding that made her so appealing in the first place. She's a good kid, which was also nice, because she was written by a guy, so I appreciate the well-rounded character, who can totally kick ass, but still has her moments of insecurity, and always takes the higher ground. A well-written lady.
But of course, everyone's got their problems, and The Line did have a couple of plot holes and a few kind-of stock characters. But honestly, it was just so much fun, that I didn't even care.
For a book that's all about magic and mystery in one of the South's sweetest cities, that's short on simmer and big on bang, pick up a copy of The Line, while I go pick up a copy of Charlaine Harris' work.