These ‘about me’ sections, or even sections that inform you about blogs, have never been my forte. Much to my chagrin, I was never taught the unwritten rules of what you are supposed to say. The links at the side of the blog – Twitter and Goodreads, for example – are liable to tell you more than I could ever say in words.

Mostly, this will be a book blog. I read a lot, and I love to share my views on my most recent reads. I try to read a little bit of everything, but if you look closely you’ll notice I will occasionally become obsessed with one specific genre for a short period of time. Old books, new books, yet to be released books – I read them all. If you’re an author looking for advance readers or just wish for more reviews of a book you’ve already released, please feel free to contact me. There is a contact form at the side of my blog – if you scroll down below the Twitter and Goodreads sidebar you will find it – so drop me a message and I’ll be sure to get back to you in double time. After all, finding new authors is what makes the book world go around.

Thanks for taking your time to read this. With a little bit of luck, you will find my blog much more interesting than this mundane introductory section.

Tuesday, 8 November 2016

Review: Pretty Witches All In A Row

Pretty witches all in a row Pretty Witches All In A Row by Lisa Olsen
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I had conflicted notions about what Pretty Witches All in a Row would give me. One part of me expected a crime thriller. One part of me expected a pure fantasy read. One part of me expected a romance. One part of me expected some kind of hybrid. The final is the closest to what I was given, although the type of hybrid it turned out to be wasn’t really what I had expected. Overall, it was an okay read: it kept me entertained but it failed to give me exactly what I wanted.

As I had expected multiple things from this book, and wasn’t really given any of them in full, I will address each of them in turn. I feel as though it will make my review easier to work with, and then at the end I can deal with the general points.

First off, we have the crime aspect. In a way, this is a cosy mystery: we’re curious about the whodunit aspect and yet we’re not dealing with the gore of the harder hitting crime novels. As a big lover of crime novels, I find I have to be in the mood for cosy mysteries. I do not dislike them; I simply prefer the darker stuff (think Karin Slaughter, Mo Hayder, and Sharon Bolton). As a cosy mystery, this one is decent enough. Things are pretty obvious from early on, but the author does throw in a few red herrings to leave you second-guessing whether or not you’re correct. What I felt was lacking, however, was the actual police procedure. Having read countless crime thrillers, this one felt rather lacking. We follow the detective in charge of the case, and yet the police side of the storyline didn’t feel very real to me. I’m sure such a thing will not bother most people, but it prevented me from getting into the story as much as I had hoped for.

Secondly, we have the fantasy aspect. We have the word ‘witches’ in the title of the book, thus my mind expected a lot of magic. In reality, such is not the case. We have a few simple spells, some prophetic dreams, but as a whole the witch aspect wasn’t played up as much as I had hoped it would be. I’d expected something more, rather than just an acceptance of the occult world. Don’t get me wrong, there’s nothing wrong with low-key witch business – I rather enjoy such stories when they’re done well, and I don’t always ask for fireballs and curses – but this one felt as though it existed simply to make our character open his eyes to a side of the world he knew nothing about. There wasn’t as much depth to it as I had hoped: it was simply there.

Third and finally, we have the romance aspect. I never used to be a fan of romance reads, but I’m slowly growing to enjoy them. In fact, having read so many this year, I think I can safely say I’m now a romance fan. Despite this, I’m still picky about my romance. I like to watch things develop. I dislike instalove. I enjoy it when there is chemistry between the characters. I dislike it when characters are thrown together simply to add a romantic element to the storyline. In this one, I felt as though the romance was more in line with what I disliked. There were a couple of moments where I smiled at the interaction of the characters, but for the most part it felt forced. I didn’t really buy into the whole romance element of the story. Not only did it feel highly unprofessional of the cop, it also felt as though it existed simply to allow certain events to unfold.

It wasn’t all bad, though. I was entertained throughout. I did want to see how things would end, turning page after page to see what happened next. The mystery aspect was decent enough, even if it was obvious. The fantasy aspect did have a high point towards the end (I won’t say what, as I have no wish to spoil it), even if it was a little bit clich├ęs. As a whole, I was pulled into the story; it simply wasn’t all I had hoped it would be, and I believe a part of this is because I never came to enjoy the main characters as much as I had wanted to.

Whilst I won’t be reading more of this particular series, I will be taking a look at some of the author’s other work – hopefully, I will enjoy her other work more, as this one did have promise.

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