The Water Witch (Fairwick Chronicles #2)
By Juliet Dark (pseudonym for Carol Goodman)
Published February 12, 2013
Urban Fantasy | Paranormal Romance
Source: Received from Ballantine Books (via NetGalley) in exchange for an unbiased review – Thank you!
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About the book:
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 River, 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.
A funny thing happened on the way to reviewing this book. I started writing the review from my notes and realized my notes utterly sucked dishwater. I’m sure that’s happened to everyone, right? I don’t know what everyone else does but what do I do? I re-read! Yep, that’s right. Now, granted, I skim the boring stuff like the pondering to themselves, talking to un-important people, blah, blah, blah…
But what was originally a 3.5 star review has now turned into a solid 4 star review. Is that morally right? Is it fair? Should I have done the review sooner? Should I have taken better notes? The answer is “I don’t know”, “probably not”, “yeppers”, and “you betcha”. But that’s not real life and so I’m here to tell you why I really like this series and why I’m anxiously waiting for the next book in the series. I’ll also tell you why I changed my mind on my original review.
World Building / Setting
In case you didn’t read my review of the first book in the series, The Demon Lover, let me again say that I believe the covers and the titles of this series really don’t the stories the justice it deserves as an urban fantasy tale. Oh, don’t get me wrong, both books are full of romance (more on that in a minute) but Ms. Dark does a phenomenal job building up a whole world of supernaturals that converge upon a small town in upstate New York called Fairwick. In the case of The Water Witch, we actually see more of the area around Fairwick and not so much on the college campus itself. I missed the college campus setting from the first book and that was one area where I “dinged” the book. But after my re-read, I actually didn’t care so much about the campus; I got caught up in the story of why all these supernaturals live around Fairwick and their history there.
Story / Tempo
The reason why all these supernaturals are in and around Fairwick is because there is a “door” that opens up to the other world where the fae live. Unfortunately for the fae, there’s a group of witches bent on closing this door to keep out the nasties, which, in the witches’ eyes, are everyone else but witches.
While Fairwick is preparing to “battle” this group of witches, Callie is trying to unlock her powers which were warded (or bound). There are about four to five intersecting story lines going on through all this that keeps the pace of the book moving all the way to the climatic ending. I still gasped (again!) and couldn’t believe so little time was spent dwelling on the realization that comes at the very end (I can say NO more so don’t ask).
It was here in the characters section where in my notes I got heavy handed in my assessment of the book. I was waaaayyy too harsh. You see, I really missed a lot of characters from the first book. I’m talking characters that drove the first story. I was completely smitten with the characters from the first story that I couldn’t let go. In retrospect, Ms. Dark needed to let go of a few of them to take the story in the direction she wanted to.
I’m not saying that all the characters I loved are gone. Oh no, we still have Liz, Diana, Soheila, and Frank, among others. And I love that Ralph, her familiar is back and smarter than ever (mice are smart, you know!) I did miss the vampires, though! They sure were a fun, campy bunch from the last book.
But we do meet some new characters. There’s The Fates who are never how I would have ever imagined them. Unfortunately, one of my favorite characters only sticks around this book but I hope to see her again in the future (maybe?)
Romance? Yes, there is romance! Am I completely and utterly heartbroken that it’s not with her true love? Yes… and no. Did my heart break into little itty bitty pieces at the end of the book? Oh, yes it did, with so many unanswered questions. Speaking of which…
The next book in the series, The Angel Stone (Fairwick Chronicles #2) is expected out September 3rd, 2013.
Other Books in the Series:
Heidi at Rainy Day Ramblings
Kimba the Caffeinated Book Reviewer
Melissa at Melissa’s Eclectic Bookshelf