Friday, February 3, 2017

REVIEW: Witch Hunt: Of The Blood by various

Witch Hunt: Of The Blood
by Devin O'Branagan, Suzanne Hayes Campbell, Keri Lake, Krista Walsh, K. L. Schwengel

Publisher
: self
Page Count: 364
Release Date: December 8, 2012
Format: Kindle

How got: personal buy via Amazon

First attention getter: enjoyed book 1

Synopsis:

From GoodReads:

Five novellas based on Devin O'Branagan's bestselling novel, Witch Hunt.

The anthology begins with O'Branagan's own novella about the Hawthorne matriarch, Vivian. She and her fellow British witches work together to prevent a Nazi invasion during World War II. Then there is Colonial maiden, Bridget, who struggles with the guilt of failing her family in Salem, 1692. Her younger sister, Prissy, mysteriously disappears and finds another magical world. Julia, torn by family loyalties, love, and her spiritual quest, pays a huge price to continue the bloodline. And Miranda uses her powers against the great influenza outbreak of 1918 - but finds the ultimate foe is prejudice against her kind.

Discover what was left out of Witch Hunt and revisit your favorite characters with these exciting novellas.The story isn't done until the battle's lost and won.

My Thoughts:

Star Rating - 4

I was already a fan of the first book in the series that I read back in October on my family road trip. That book was one of my best reads of 2016; so needless to say, this collection of short stories that explore some of the secondary characters from that book was a must read for me. For the most part, it held true to its promise, but it lacks the magic (sorry for the pun LOL) of the original work.

I enjoyed exploring the background and personality quirks of some of the lesser characters from the original. I think Vivian especially benefited from a second look. In the original, she comes off as a bit of a bitch with little to recommend her. Yet, her tale in the collection gave us more of a look at why her personality developed as it did and why her distrust of non-witches is so strong. The actions that she takes in book one are more understandable after watching her core personality develop.

My favorite tale though, hands-down, is Madeline. The idea of exploring the Spanish flu and how witchcraft, or the illusion there of, might influence the actions of those in that time period was fascinating to explore. Madeline herself also made the story. I loved her dedication to her craft and her vulnerability when love finally found her. It was the end of that tale, though, that cemented my love. The author showed incredible bravery to go where she did, and this reader, at least, appreciated the journey. Definitely have a hanky handy for this story.

I also liked that the tales in this book, for the most part, followed in the footsteps of the original in their tone. The first book stood out in that it wasn't afraid to explore harsh and tragic themes in all their blaring light. The tales in this anthology follow suit. Not every story has a happy ending, and the one that does, isn't smooth sailing. We get to see an early modern version of a witchhunt, character death, and horrific pain. These tales will break your heart just as much as the original book does, so be forewarned on that point.

My one disappointment for this book, though, was that for some of the characters, I didn't feel as invested with their stories as others. Priscilla I actually found a bit boring. I guess compared to all the drama and tragedy of her other family members, her tale was fairly tame. I also had a hard time connecting to Julia's tale, even though it was loaded with as much drama and despair as Vivian’s.

Though not all the characters grabbed me as strongly as others, this collection of character pieces still stand as a worthy follow up to book one. Secondary characters are more fleshed out and the overall mythology of the witch world Devin's created is added to. If you liked book one, definitely check out this one!

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