Monday, October 6, 2014

Review: Dark Witch by Nora Roberts

When I heard that Nora Roberts was releasing a new Supernatural trilogy I couldn't wait.  But I did, I forced myself to wait for months.  I bought Dark Witch, and then Shadow Spell, and by the end of this month Blood Magick will be out.  Normally when a series is announced I pre-order each book as soon as I can, and start reading it the moment I unwrap the package.  Then I wait and wait and wait for the next one.

This time I decided that I would save them up, so I didn't have that torturous wait between instalments,  As the final book in the trilogy will be out shortly I decided that it was safe to start book one.

I try to only write reviews about books I really like... But this was on my mind, and I felt like I had to write this.  I'm sorry to say that this one left me a little cold.  I gave it three out of five stars on Goodreads.  It's OK, but it's not up to normal standard.

It started out well, and then disintegrated. Here's why:

  • I loved Sorcha, she had power, strength of character, deep feelings and was fairly rounded out character for all that she's only in it a short while.
  • I kind of like the characters, at least what you see of them, they're pretty one-dimensional.
  • Iona (the female romantic lead) has no internal thoughts. Every little thing gets blurted out, and every other sentence contains 'Sorry'.  Seriously, it was verging on the ridiculousness of Fifty Shades.
  • Boyle (the mail romantic lead) has no personality. Whatsoever. Iona's horse has more personality!

And finally... The turn of phrase used by ALL characters is EXACTLY the same. This REALLY got on my nerves.  It doesn't seem to matter if you're a 13th Century Irish witch, her young children, an early 21st Century American in Ireland, or her two Irish born and bred cousins or their friends. Even gender and age don't change the way they speak.  Everybody gets the same voice.  Even so far as I felt like I was reading one of the 'In Death' books.  It made me wonder if Ms Roberts jumped straight from writing for Eve Dallas,  mid-21st century New York City cop to writing for Sorcha, 13th century Irish witch, without as much as stopping for a cup of tea (or coffee).

It would have been nice if each character had more of a distinct voice, especially where geography and cultural upbringing vary so wildly.  My sister and I are reasonably close in age, grew up in the same house, with the same parents, went to the same schools, and yet we have totally different voices.  It would have been nice to see some variation in characterisation.

I am now part way through book two in the series (Shadow Spell) and it's the same, though on a positive note there is some better characterisation of the leads in this one.

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