September 25, 2013

Book of Shadows

I really am unsure how I feel about this book. On one hand, I love witches and stories which break down stereotypes and the demonization of Wicca. On the other hand, I didn’t think the story was very well constructed.

Book of Shadows was short, only 175ish pages. That would not bother me if a complete story had been constructed. Sanderson proved that 175 pages is sufficient to craft a fantastic story, but this isn’t so for Tiernan. The story stops before any real climax happens, and worse, the book ends with a random kiss.

The book felt like a cross between The Secret Circle Series and The Craft. Bloodwitch finds out she has powers when she starts practicing with a circle? Straight out of The Craft. And the amount of similarities between The Secret Circle are too numerous to mention. Then I found out that Tiernan edited The Secret Circle Series (in her biography on Shelfari). I cannot believe that L.J. Smith hasn’t sued Tiernan into the ground…

There were also some lines that made me want to punch the editor for negligence:

The beginning:The beginning is so Twilight-esque I wanted to throw up. Basically it was “My life started when I saw Cal. He was so hot.” Warning strobe lights going off in my head…never a good way to start a story if you want to be taken seriously.

First interaction with hot guy: As he walks away from their first conversation she comments that she can still feel the warmth of his touch. I re-read that section three times…he never touched her.

Horrendous line: “Just looking at the books’ spines, I felt that my mind was blooming like a flower.” First of all…cliché simile alert!!! And second, it is so poorly phrased I can’t even… I read it, snorted, and then promptly wondered why the heck I was reading this nonsense.

But I am intrigued. Because there was no real climax, I want to keep reading to find out what will happen. Specifically I want to know more about Cal. He causes so much trouble between best friends, Bree and Morgan, I cannot imagine he is good. Why would anyone with half a brain sleep with Bree while trying to get Morgan’s attention? Either he is stupid or malicious, and I intend to find out which it is.

I give Book of Shadows two and a half stars. The faint stench of plagiarism ruins any exciting story material, and the editorial mistakes dock it further.

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