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Review: The Line by J.D. Horn


The Line
Author:  J.D. Horn
Series:  Witching Savannah 1
Publisher:  47North, February 1, 2014
Format:  Trade Paperback and Kindle eBook, 296 pages
List Price:  $14.95 (print)
ISBN:  9781477809730 (print)
Review Copy:  Provided by the Publisher

Review:  The Line by J.D. Horn
Savannah is considered a Southern treasure, a city of beauty with a rich, colorful past. Some might even call it magical…

To the uninitiated, Savannah shows only her bright face and genteel manner. Those who know her well, though, can see beyond her colonial trappings and small-city charm to a world where witchcraft is respected, Hoodoo is feared, and spirits linger. Mercy Taylor is all too familiar with the supernatural side of Savannah, being a member of the most powerful family of witches in the South.

Despite being powerless herself, of course.

Having grown up without magic of her own, in the shadow of her talented and charismatic twin sister, Mercy has always thought herself content. But when a series of mishaps—culminating in the death of the Taylor matriarch—leaves a vacuum in the mystical underpinnings of Savannah, she finds herself thrust into a mystery that could shake her family apart…and unleash a darkness the line of Taylor witches has been keeping at bay for generations.

In The Line, the first book of the Witching Savannah series, J.D. Horn weaves magic, romance, and betrayal into a captivating Southern Gothic fantasy with a contemporary flare.



Doreen’s Thoughts

I was impressed with the opening concept of J. D. Horn’s The Line. The idea of twins who do not share everything equally, especially magic, was particularly intriguing. At nearly 21, Mercy has a distinct Southern voice, with a unique job. She is the proprietor of “The Liar’s Tour of Savannah,” where she takes groups of people around the streets of Savannah, getting them buzzed on their choice of alcohol and telling them lies about the sites of the town. Starting off with a Liar’s tour was a great introduction to this novel.

I also liked the contrast between the magic of the Taylor family with the hoodoo of Mother Jilo. Despite having a long-time boyfriend of her own, Peter, Mercy is in love with her sister’s boyfriend, Jackson. Because she loves Maisie with more than her life, Mercy is determined to stop moping about Jackson and concentrate on Peter; however, she decides she needs help and she turns to Mother Jilo to make her a love spell so she will fall in love with the boy who has always loved her. Unfortunately, everything goes wrong after that, starting with finding her least-favorite person, Aunt Ginny, dead.

I found Mercy to be a somewhat frustrating main character. I did not understand her desire for Jackson, since he seemed to be more stuck-up than the level-headed Peter. I also found it hard to understand her lack of displeasure with her own sister, who seemed to have it all – the beauty, the perfect boyfriend, and most of all, the magic. Her sister seemed to be spoiled with all the love and devotion of a family that simply left Mercy to her own devices. Somehow Mercy escaped feeling resentful about her circumstances, which made me even more frustrated with her.

Most of the characters in this story were difficult to like. All of them seemed to have secrets of their own which somehow tainted them – Mercy herself was not above it. Despite knowing how wrong it was, she still tried to obtain a love spell. Without giving much away, I can say that the love spell backfired, and that is when the book gets better.

Despite some flaws, I enjoyed The Line. Unlikeable characters seem to be in keeping with Southern gothic stories, and eventually, Mercy grows up enough to become more likeable. I somewhat saw the ending before it happened, but it still came with enough twists to make it memorable. Overall, I look forward to seeing what happens to the Taylor family in the next two novels.

The View From Monday - February 3, 2014


Happy first Monday in February. The groundhog saw his shadow yesterday and predicted 6 more weeks of winter here. I think he was right for once - schools are closed today due to snow! There are 2 more snowstorms predicted for this week.



The View From Monday - February 3, 2014



This is a very full release week with 3 debuts:

The Line (Witching Savannah 1) by J. D. Horn;

Three Princes by Ramona Wheeler;

and

Archetype by M. D. Waters.


From formerly featured Debut Author Challenge Authors:

Broken Homes (Rivers of London/Peter Grant 4) by  Ben Aaronovitch;

and

Wolfhound Century by Peter Higgins comes out in Trade Paperback.


February 1, 2014
TITLEAUTHORSERIES
The First Last Unicorn and Other Beginnings Peter S Beagle F - Stories
Claimed by the Wolf (e) Saranna DeWylde PNR
The Line (D) J. D. Horn UF - Witching Savannah 1
A Hunter's Passion (e) Gwen Knight PNR
December Phil Rickman Oc /Su
Descending Son Scott Shepherd H
John Golden (e) Django Wexler Techno/F/Noir



February 2, 2014
TITLEAUTHORSERIES
Wizards, Aliens, and Starships: Physics and Math in Fantasy and Science Fiction (e) Charles L. Adler Science



February 4, 2014
TITLEAUTHORSERIES
Broken Homes Ben Aaronovitch UF - Rivers of London 4
The Phantom Lover and Other Thrilling Tales of Thailand Jim Algie H - Stories
Night's Promise Amanda Ashley PNR - Children of the Night 6
Wings of Death James Axler
(Douglas P Wojtowicz)
SF - Outlanders 26
Tristano Nanni Balestrini Meta
A Natural History of Dragons: A Memoir by Lady Trent (h2tp) Marie Brennan F
The Reaver Richard Lee Byers F - D&D: Forgotten Realms: The Sundering 4
A Draw of Kings Patrick W. Carr F - The Staff and the Sword 3
Fallout James K. Decker SF - Haan 2
Reave the Just and Other Tales Stephen R. Donaldson F - Short Stories
Scarlet Devices Delphine Dryden PNR - Steam and Seduction 2
By Blood We Live Glen Duncan H - Last Werewolf Trilogy 3
Lynx Destiny Doranna Durgin PNR - Sentinels 8
1632 (Leatherbound Edition) Eric Flint AH/TT - Ring of Fire 1
Now Comes the Night P. G. Forte PNR - Children of the Night 3
Dreamwalker C.S. Friedman F
Only the Good Die Young Chris Marie Green UF - Jensen Murphy, Ghost For Hire 1
Falling Light Thea Harrison PNR - Game of Shadows 2
Wolfhound Century (h2tp) Peter Higgins AH - Wolfhound Century 1
Soul Deep Anne Hope PNR - Dark Souls 4
Blood Lines (ri) Tanya Huff UF - Blood/Victoria Nelson 3
Dust Devils Jonathan Janz H
Storm of Light Nate Kenyon F - Diablo III
Red Delicious Caitlin R. Kiernan UF - Siobhan Quinn 2
Mark of Evil (h2tp) Tim LaHaye
Craig Parshall
PA - End 1
Carousel Sun Sharon Lee UF/Th - Carousel 2
Rule Breaker Lora Leigh PNR - Breeds 29
The Best of All Possible Worlds (h2tp) Karen Lord SF/R
Stolen Crown Dennis L. McKiernan F - Mithgar 17
One Night with the Shifter Theresa Meyers PNR
The Tesla Gate John D. Mimms SF/P
Line and Orbit Sunny Moraine
Lisa Soem
SFR
Wild Things Chloe Neill UF - Chicagoland Vampires 9
Who Fears Death (ri) Nnedi Okorafor MR
Song of Ireland (ri) Juilene Osborne-McKnight HistF
The Flight of the Silvers Daniel Price SF/Adv
Avenger's Heat Katie Reus PNR - Moon Shifter 6
Magic Man (ri) Patricia Rice PNR - Magic 6
To Sail a Darkling Sea John Ringo SF - Black Tide Rising 2
Sword-Bound (h2mm) Jennifer Roberson F - Tiger and Del 7
Black Rose (ri) Nora Roberts R - In the Garden Trilogy 2
The Companions (h2mm) R. A. Salvatore F - The Sundering 1
Go Kill Crazy! Bryan Smith H
V-S Day: A Novel of Alternate History Allen Steele AH 
Shadows of Falling Night (h2mm) S. M. Stirling UF - Shadowspawn 3
The Collection: A Registry Novel Shannon Stoker Dys - Registry 2
Definitely Maybe Arkady and Boris Strugatsky SF
Strange Bodies Marcel Theroux F/Th
Path of the Eldar Omnibus Gav Thorpe F - Warhammer 40,000
Annihilation: A Novel Jeff VanderMeer SF - Southern Reach Trilogy 1
Lover Enshrined (ri) J.R. Ward PNR - Black Dagger Brotherhood 6
Empire of Man David Weber
John Ringo
SF - Eveness 3
Dryad-Born Jeff Wheeler F - Whispers from Mirrowen 2
Three Princes (D) Ramona Wheeler AH



February 5, 2014
TITLEAUTHORSERIES
Mad Maudlin: A Tor.Com Original (e) Marie Brennan F
No One Noticed the Cat (ri) Anne McCaffrey F



February 6, 2014
TITLEAUTHORSERIES
Doctor Who: Keeping Up with the Joneses (e) Nick Harkaway SF - Doctor Who
Archetype (D) M. D. Waters SF/Sus - Archetype 1



D - Debut
e - eBook
h2mm - Hardcover to Mass Market Paperback
h2tp - Hardcover to Trade Paperback
ri - Reissue or Reprint


Adv - Adventure
AH - Alternate History
Dys - Dystopian
F - Fantasy
H - Horror
HistF - Historical Fantasy
Meta - Metaphysical
MR - Magical Realism
Oc - Occult
P - Paranormal
PA - Post Apocalyptic
PNR - Paranormal Romance
R - Romance
SF - Science Fiction
SFR - Science Fiction Romance
Su - Supernatural
Sus - Suspense
Th - Thriller
TT - Time Travel
UF - Urban Fantasy
Review:  The Line by J.D. HornThe View From Monday - February 3, 2014

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