Wednesday, March 23, 2011
REVIEW: "Under Witch Moon" by Maria E. Schneider
When a giggly, nervous woman comes to Adriel asking for protection from a werewolf, Adriel thinks nothing of it. After all, she makes her living selling spells to the public. Sewing silver protection into a blouse isn't such a difficult job. But Adriel realizes it may not be so simple after all when that woman ends up dead, ripped apart by the very werewolf now staring straight at Adriel. Even worse, it turns out this isn't the first woman to have played with a werewolf and lost. As she tries to uncover the secret of these deaths, Adriel quickly realizes she may be playing with much more powerful magic than she ever imagined. She may be good at spells, but is she good enough to stop an evil witch with an evil plan and friends in high places?
A first installment in the Moon Shadow series by Maria E. Schneider, this paranormal mystery is an engaging, quick read. Wonderfully lighthearted, but solid in its structure, this story contains an interesting cast of characters. Adriel herself is a fun character- she's got some good skills and ideas, but needs a little boost sometimes to make them work. That boost comes in the form of Lynx and White Feather. Lynx, a young shapeshifter, is Adriel's link to new customers, and to information that helps Adriel do her job. White Feather is a mysterious connection who uses Adriel for information, but he's got a few secrets of his own. The main characters in this story have some nice characterization, but in the length of the novel, it could have gone a few steps further to help flesh out some of these characters. White Feather, in particular, could have used some additional meat to his story. He seems to have such a fascinating history and some more secrets to share. I really wanted to get to know him a bit more. Lynx and Adriel have some nice development, but I hope to find out more about their backstories as well in the next installment.
One of the things I loved about this novel was the explanation of all things "witchy." This world of spells has clear rules and structure, and the author does a delightful job of weaving that information into the storyline. The story flows along pretty well, with very few bumps along the way. There were a few times I took a quick look back to confirm an action or a character, or reread a passage to be sure I could visualize what just happened, but that was the exception rather than the rule. For the most part, the story flows along smoothly. I only noticed a few typos (two come to mind immediately: the first being a word that didn't quite make sense--"train" when I thought maybe "gain" would be more fitting, and the second was an apostrophe on a plural).
Overall, a fun read and a great start to a new series!
4 /5 stars
Available at Smashwords, Amazon, and Barnes & Noble
(Check out my review of another book by this author, "Executive Lunch!")