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Move over, Sookie Stackhouse—the witches of Savannah are the new talk of the South. Bold, flirty, and with a touch of darkness, debut author J.D. Horn spins a mesmerizing tale of a family of witches . . . and the problem that can arise from being so powerful. As Charlaine Harris’ series winds down—and as Deborah Harkness’ series heats up—Witching Savannah is new contemporary fantasy that will be sure to enchant new readers.
Mercy Taylor, the youngest member of Savannah’s preeminent witching family, was born without the gift of magic. She is accustomed to coming in a distant second to the minutes older, exquisite and gifted twin she adores. Hopelessly in love with her sister’s boyfriend, she goes to a Hoodoo root doctor for a love spell. A spell that will turn her heart to another man, the best friend who has loved her since childhood.
Aunt Ginny, the family’s matriarch, would not approve. But Mercy has more to worry about than a love triangle when Aunt Ginny is brutally murdered. Ginny was the Taylor family’s high commander in the defense of the bewitched line that separates humankind from the demons who once ruled our realm.
A demon invasion looms now that the line is compromised. Worse yet, some within the witching world stand to gain from a demon takeover. Mercy, entangled in the dark magic of her love spell, fighting for her sister’s trust, and hopelessly without magic, must tap the strength born from being an outcast to protect the line she doesn’t feel a part of…
In this riveting contemporary fantasy, Horn delivers the full betrayal, blood, and familial discord of the best of Southern gothic.
All right, so, this book caught me by surprise. Urban Fantasy – with the exception of the Dresden Files – doesn’t generally tend to be something I read a whole lot of on my own. But someone pitched The Line to me and I couldn’t help it. I was intrigued. It was probably the setting. I came very close to choosing to take the bar exam in Georgia and Savannah had an allure that I couldn’t shake.
I didn’t expect to get so drawn into the world or story. I didn’t expect to care so much about Mercy and her family, her life, her experiences. But pretty much from our first look at her leading her “liar’s tour” of Savannah I figured this was a character I could enjoy. Mercy was a character I thought I could even possibly relate to and that was enough to get me hooked. See, unlike the other people in Mercy’s family, she was born without the ability to use magic. Her family is very powerful and yet she isn’t able to do anything. And yet she still gets by. Her twin sister, Maisie, is the one with all the power and after their grandmother is murdered she seems to the be the poised to take over in her place.
That very murder kicks off the book but it’s not the only plot twist.
Not by a long shot.
I think that’s one of the reasons I really liked this book.
You never really know what’s going to come next. The second you think you’ve got a read on the story or on a certain character something seems to happen. It makes a it a great read; better than a lot of others. It’s fun. It’s exciting. Horn really has a knack for story telling. I mean, some aspects of the book are a little weak. I never really got the love triangle between Mercy, her best friend, and her sister’s boyfriend. Horn did some awesome things with it in the end but the whole thing seemed to sort of lose it’s importance for a while. But for the most part it was absolutely spot on.
The characters in particular were great. No one was perfect, everyone had their demons, and though at times the way they interacted was a bit glitchy the whole thing was still believable. I loved Mercy but I also loved Oliver, her aunts, and even her boyfriend. I loved them for their flaws and their bad choices, their dark histories and their redeeming qualities. I even liked Jilo, the hoodoo lady, even though I thought her character was going to wind up being nothing but stereotypes and hokey, fake magic. Surprisingly she turned out to be one of the best characters in the entire book.
I don’t want to say too much about this book and the particulars of the plot because I don’t want to spoil anything. This book is unique in a lot of ways. The twists and turns will definitely catch you by surprise and you need to experience those moments for yourself. It’s part of the fun. This really isn’t a book you want to miss.
I think The Line might actually be my top read of 2014 so far. Which, considering I’ve read about twenty books this year, that’s saying something. If you’re an urban fantasy fan or have a thing for Southern gothic fantasy you should pick this one up. You won’t be disappointed and you’ll be left waiting anxiously for the next book to come out. I know I am.