THE WATER WITCH by Juliet Dark
Author: Juliet Dark
Rating: 4 out of 5 Stars
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Format: Print, EBook
Publisher: Random House/Ballantine Books
Release Date: February 12, 2013
Recommended Reading: 17+
Received a review copy in exchange for an honest review.
****THERE ARE NO SPOILERS****
THE GIST: About month ago I reviewed The Demon Lover, the prequel to this book. As you may remember, I hated the title, but loved the book. So much so, that I rushed out like a heroin addict going through withdrawals, searching for the follow-up. I was eager to find out what happened to the to leads; one, a hot corporeal male sentenced to eternity in a fairyland hell, the other, a female professor conflicted with her decision to send him there. Lucky for me the publishers sent me The Water Witch within a week. Without hesitation, I grabbed my Kindle and tore through the pages at lightening speed knowing this one would knock it out of the park. What I got was a sub par follow-up that dumbed down a brilliant lead and a story that fell just a few feet short of it’s predecessor. It’s not that I didn’t like it, I just didn’t like it as much as I had hoped.
SYNOPSIS: “After casting out a dark spirit, Callie McFay, a professor of gothic literature, has at last restored a semblance of calm to her rambling Victorian house. But in the nearby thicket of the honeysuckle forest, and in the currents of the rushing Undine stream, more trouble is stirring…
The enchanted town of Fairwick’s dazzling mix of mythical creatures has come under siege from the Grove: a sinister group of witches determined to banish the fey back to their ancestral land. With factions turning on one another, all are cruelly forced to take sides. Callie’s grandmother, a prominent Grove member, demands her granddaughter’s compliance, but half-witch/half-fey Callie can hardly betray her friends and colleagues at the college. To stave off disaster, Callie enlists Duncan Laird, an alluring seductive academic who cultivates her vast magical potential, but to what end? Deeply conflicted, Callie struggles to save her beloved Fairwick, dangerously pushing her extraordinary powers to the limit—risking all, even the needs of her own passionate heart.”
THE LOWDOWN: Juliet Dark writes with vivid descriptions, transplanting the reader smack dab into the center of the sleepy little town of Fairwick hidden in Upstate New York. Each townsperson and creature that inhabits the community is written with rich details that make you feel like a member of the community. You believe in the fairies and witches and vampires…oh my, like they really do exist. However, there are so many otherworldly creatures with hard to pronounce Gaelic names, I quickly found myself wishing for a character map.
The drama ramps up right from the beginning, but slowed down considerably about a quarter of the way through, leaving me debating whether or not to skip forward to get to the good stuff. Don’t me wrong, when it was good, it was really good. I loved the back-stories and knotty subplots that eventually mold into the main theme seamlessly. There was deception, greed, love and hate and towards the end the book had me swaying from the emotional rollercoaster I felt I was on. I just wished there was more interaction between the incubus and his obsession. More of the passion I felt so deeply in the first installment and less of the female protagonists unwarranted distrust and insecure wishy-washiness. Her character was strong and intelligent in Demon Lover, but weak and naïve in The Water Witch. The switch felt inorganic and it did nothing but frustrate me, right up until the ending when she got back her strength and courage.
Now, I won’t give anything away, but I will say that this book almost drew a tear from me…almost. The ending was not what I expected and I give the author credit for taking the book where she did. It was daring and unexpected, leaving me breathless and wanting for more. Basically, making up for all the slips I felt earlier. Sometimes a great ending that opens up limitless possibilities is the perfect boost to a weak story. If you read Demon Lover, you’re going to want to check this one out, but stick it out because I promise those droopy in-betweens pay off in the end.