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A Book Review

I’m going to do something a little different today: a book review. Actually, it’s more of a series review than one single book, and it has nothing to do with crafts, at least not any that you generally find in my blog posts!

Anyone who knows me well knows how much a part of my life books are. My mom was a librarian; is it any wonder that I love books? My particular favorites all fall under the genre of fantasy. Epic fantasy, urban fantasy, it doesn’t matter. I’ll even occasionally read a paranormal romance, if the writing is good enough and avoids the sappy damsel in distress or the hell-bitch on wheels, pardon my French. But I came across a series recently, thanks to Pixel of Ink, that was so good, I had to buy every single one for my Kindle after only reading the first few pages of the first book.

The series, which is written by Debora Geary, starts with A Modern Witch. I thought it was going to be a paranormal romance. Truly, that thought had actually made me avoid clicking on the titles for awhile. For one thing, a lot of paranormal romance is nauseatingly cheesy. For another, a lot of it is written and self-published by people who really aren’t that good, and whose grammar and spelling make me cringe. You find a lot of it on websites that tell you about free and bargain books for your Kindle. So, as you might imagine, I was not in the market for more paranormal romance.

Finally, one night, in a fit of boredom, I clicked on the title. I used Amazon’s “look inside” function. And I was hooked.

This is not your typical paranormal romance.

The romance is there, don’t get me wrong!!! But it is not the main story, and didn’t even take place between the main two characters of the story! The main story was about a normal, average woman, a realtor, finding out she is a witch and getting trained so she doesn’t hurt herself or anyone else. Her trainer is a male witch who happens to fall in love with her best friend, a complete non-witch who can roll with any punch you send her way. But the romance takes a backseat to everything else, and there isn’t a single rated X or R scene in the book, which delighted me, because I generally skip the hot and heavy portion of any romance novel. My imagination can do a much better job if I need it to, thanks!

All of the books are alike in one way: they show the lives of these witches from the viewpoint of the everyday. None of them is arrogant or drunk on power. They’ve grown up with magic, and to them, it’s just another talent, like someone being a great baseball player or painter. The most powerful witch in the series is a four-year-old little boy named Aervyn, and he’s as down-to-earth and mischievous as any preschooler. He also has hearing aids – there’s a message in there: magic cannot fix everything. There are still the mundane problems like paying the bills, going to school or work, and oh, yeah, not losing control of your magic.

Debora Geary just gets to you with her writing. In every book – and I’ve read every last one and am now waiting for the seventh book with bated breath – she made me laugh, made me cry, made me cheer. And despite the possession of magic, there was no high drama, no death and devastation, no gore, it was just the everyday things that people go through, with a little something extra thrown into the mix. Falling in love, raising a family, running a business, and she makes you feel like you’re part of it, even though you can’t shoot flames from your fingers without a Zippo in hand. She wrote family, whether blood-related or not, with all the little quirks and foibles that drive you insane, but that you can laugh at in hindsight. Siblings that make you want to sock them, but who you’d defend to the death. Grandmothers who meddle and matchmake with abandon. Moms with the same eyes in the back of their heads that your own mom had.

I don’t think I’m really saying what I want to say. I’m not Siskel or Ebert here. The gist of it is that not reading these books (in order, if you please!) would be a monumental mistake. They are all manner of awesome. And if you don’t come out the other side absolutely believing in some kind of magic, you’ve got a harder heart than I do. Oh, and for the crafty: knitting figures prominently in the training of witches. Who knew?

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