Saturday, August 8, 2015

Mini-Review: Smoke on the Water

Smoke on the Water (Sisters of the Craft #3)

by Lori Handeland


Abandoned beneath a black willow tree on the banks of a northern Wisconsin creek, Willow Black spent her entire childhood in foster care. Her entire life she's had terrifying visions, and it is these visions that eventually land her in a psychiatric facility. And so Willow takes her meds and believes she is getting better. Until she meets a fellow patient who doesn't think she is crazy at all. She thinks Willow is a witch.
Willow's psychiatrist, Dr. Sebastian Crane, works hard to resist his feeling that he and Willow are destined to be together while also working to convince her that strange occurrences aren't the result of witchcraft… until he is thrown into the middle of a storm of supernatural events that can't be explained any other way…
Themes: witches, demons, paranormal
Rating: 4 stars
Heat Rating: 
The intriguing new trilogy by Lori Handeland ends with a bang and some unexpected surprises.  I enjoyed this book, with only a few things driving me crazy, mainly the way the story overlapped so much in time with the two previous stories.  I guess I see in a way why it was done that way, but I always hate when stories are like that and there is no lead up or warning to it.  Really if you haven’t read the other three stories you will be missing the majority of what is happening until time catches up with the ends of the two previous novels.  That being said, since I have in fact read the previous novels, I was able to catch on quickly as to the fact the timelines overlapped and follow along pretty well with the overall plot line.  Being the big finale there were a lot of battles in this one as well as the reunion of the long lost sisters and the integration of their men into the family and battle plans.  There were quite a few laughs since Willow has such a dry wit and her humor is right up my alley.  Seeing her come in to her power and begin to understand the true ramifications of all her abilities was pretty awesome, but the favorite parts for me involved times when she was talking in circles around Sebastian and turning him into the most adorably confused smart guy I’ve ever seen.  The relationship between Willow and Sebastian was obviously set with many pitfalls and obstacles for them to overcome, not the least of which is their surroundings, but they both show such caring and concern that the love that develops is a little more believable.  The reunion between the sisters was sweet and charming, while the battles between the Sisters’ Team and the demon that has haunted them through time were well written and suspenseful.  I can honestly say I didn’t enjoy the trilogy as much as the previous series I’ve read by Lori, but each book was well written with plenty of danger, drama, romance, and love, so all in all not a bad day’s read.  My biggest peeve of course was the fact the story was written partially in first person and partially in third, which personally made me crazy and was a departure from most Handeland works I’ve read in the past.  For fans of the Night Creature series, we continue to see some favorite characters carried over and I am hoping she will soon bring back that series as well as other projects down the line. Lori remains one of my authors to watch, but this series was not my favorite and didn’t quite meet my hopes for the set-up.
*eARC provided by publisher (via netgalley) for the purpose of an honest and unbiased review.  No compensation was provided. 

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