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Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Witches by Kathryn Meyer Griffith

Witches by Kathryn Meyer Griffith
Publisher: Damnation Books
Genre: Contemporary, Historical, Paranormal, Sci-Fi/Fantasy
Length: Full Length (288 pgs)
Heat Level: Sweet
Rating: 4 books
Reviewed by Jasmine

Amanda Givens is careful how she uses her powers. She doesn’t want the people of Canaan, Connecticut, to know they have a witch among them...even a good, white witch. For years, she’s lived quietly in a remote cabin in the woods with Amadeus, her feline familiar.

When she’s wrongly blamed for a rash of ritualistic murders committed by a satanic cult, she knows she can’t hide any longer. She’s the one the cult’s after. More than that, she’s the only one who can stop them and prove her innocence. In doing this, she’s drawn back in time by the ghost of the malevolent witch, Rachel Coxe, who was drowned for practicing black magic in the 17th century. Now, as Amanda tries to rehabilitate Rachel's reputation in an effort to save lives, as well as her own, she has to rely on a sister's love and magical knowledge, and a powerful sect of witches called the Guardians, to help her get home safely.

Are witches still persecuted in modern times? If you live in a small town where crazy things have been happening and the towns people suspect that you might be a witch, the answer could be yes. In this book, we are shown what it could be like for modern day witches, even good ones, when things go bad. Then, the author flips the coin, taking us to the past and showing us what it was like during historic times when the witch hysteria was in full swing.

We are also shown the difference between good witches and bad witches. Unfortunately, even when you are a good person, bad things can happen and sometimes it might take a while for good to overcome evil. Karma always wins in the end though. The concept of the Guardians is something new and it would be fun to see more of them. The author also shows us the scary side of evil without making it gory, though it does get very creepy in some spots. The concept of love transcending time is a theme throughout, as Amanda finds her deceased husband (in another form) in the past. However, this is primarily a good versus evil book rather than a romance. The romance is more implied than it is a main star of the book.

The fun parts of this book include talking familiars, magic (of course) and watching a modern woman try to blend in during the 1700's. The idea that witches are given a familiar at a young age that stays with them throughout their life, bonds with them and can communicate with them was interesting. It was funny how a witch could end up with almost anything as it's familiar. Amanda has a cat, but her sister has a mouse. The mouse is hilarious, with his cowardly lion impression and squeaky voice.

Very few areas of complaint can be found with this book. One thing that did drive me crazy was that the author kept saying “twentieth-first century” rather than the “twenty-first century”. Used once it is easily overlooked, but it was actually phrased this way several times and each time it was a bit jarring. There's not a lot of dialogue at the beginning of this book, other than maybe with Amanda's cat familiar, as we get to know the main character. Grieving her husband, Amanda has isolated herself, so there isn't any interaction with others for quite a while at the beginning. It's not all narrative though, as we get to learn about her powers as a witch. It's important to get to know these things about her, but it does make the beginning pretty slow paced, but it certainly picks up as the story progresses.

If you are looking for a paranormal book about magic with a creepy twist and a slight romantic element, this is an excellent book to invest in. My advice is to read it on a stormy night, or near Halloween, but then I love that sort of thing.