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Nocturnal Book Reviews

Blogging at Nocturnal Book Reviews since May 2011 about steampunk, urban fantasy, historical & paranormal fiction, contemporary, fantasy, sci-fi & erotica.

The Line (Witching Savannah)

The Line - J.D. Horn Joint review with Victoria

Karina:

Well, I'm eating my hat now. First of I didn't like this book, ladies and gents. It took awhile to get used to somewhat detached writing style. The emotional accents were not where I was expecting them. But... in the end the whole experience was awesome. J.D. created a story rich in flavour, intensely atmospheric and full of unexpected twists.


What do you think, V.? What were you initial impressions on the book?


Vika:

Okay, so first impression – I might have fallen asleep reading the first couple chapters, but perhaps it wasn’t the book’s fault. Admittedly, I was a tad tired and it was quite late at night. So after I recovered the book picked up quite a bit and the story definitely got my attention. It was a fast read.

Savannah served as a beautiful backdrop to the story, and the characters’ voices were unmistakably southern – I quite liked that actually. And perhaps because of its setting and a somewhat similar storyline of a witch coming into her own power and the conflict between good and bad it strongly reminded me of The Beautiful Creatures, which I haven’t read but I did see that movie... In any way, I wouldn’t say I loved it per se but there was definitely something there. I might have to contemplate it a bit longer.



Karina:

I know where you're coming from, V. There is plenty of potential, but at the same time the main heroine, Mercy, is going through major changes way too fast and plot twists are all over the place. There is also not enough emotional development and background story, however there is certain brilliance in secondary characters, for example, Oliver and Jilo.


If it was an urban fantasy, the pace would have been perfect, but with the publishers comparing it with Deborah Harkness's trilogy... no, just no. This is pretty misleading.


Mercy is a very nice character. Not having an ounce of magic of her own (with all the magic going to her twin) she leads a healthy life away from the Taylors’ intrigues, but when her aunt is murdered and the time comes to choose another anchor for The Line - a magical barrier between demonic worlds and Earth, the magic somehow keeps trying to choose her. Add to it an investigation into her aunt's death, a love spell gone wrong and unexpected jealousy and turbulent, violent feelings from Mercy's twin, and her normal life ends pretty quickly.


Vika:

I couldn’t agree more with you K. There was a lot going on. Potential was there but the execution was at fault here. It felt like the author had too many great ideas and tried to squeeze them all in this book; it lacked development, at least for my taste.

I also couldn’t bring myself to care for Mercy much. I just got a sense that she passed through life and accepted everything life handed her with the same air of nonchalance. Mother Jilo on the other hand – fascinating – I want to read her story! And then there were the rest of the Taylors, talk about dysfunctional family… Still, I was entertained!

Karina:

I admit, I was also sceptical about Mercy’s relationship with her twin, Maisie. As twins they suppose to share a deep bond, so I can't see how Mercy stayed clueless about the changes happening to her sister. Jackson - Peter dynamics were too vague for my taste as well. *sigh*

Still, this was crazily atmospheric! I am giving this book 4 stars because from urban fantasy point of view The Line was wildly entertaining and I hope next book by J.D. Horn will be even better.

Vika:

Agreed. I'm not rating this one as high, I liked it but it was far from "loved it" type of read for me, so 3 stars. Still, I'm curious to see what happens next. I just read description of The Source, second book in the series, which will be out this summer, and I’m quite intrigued!