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Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Review: Before the Witches

Before the Witches: An Original NovellaTitle: Before the Witches
Author: Karina Cooper
Page Count: 317 KB
Publisher: Avon Impulse
Genre: paranormal romantic suspense
Copy for review provided by the publisher in anticipation of an honest review

Synopsis:

In America, they didn’t care about witches. But all that was about to change.
Katya Zhuvova fled a country that fearedher gifts, but her escape to Seattle left her at themercy of a ruthless man. With no one left toturn to, Katya hatches a desperate escape plan.Undercover Detective Nigel Ferris is determinedto bring down a prostitution ring, whatever the cost.In order to get the answers he needs, he attemptsto win the trust of one of the prostitutes involved—but one look at the deceptively sultry Katyaand the cool, objective cop disappears.Before either can put their plans into place,Mother Nature shrugs: a cataclysm rocks Seattle,and life is turned upside down.

Brought together by chance, Nigel and Katyaare in the fight for their lives. Surrounded by deathand fear, shattered by immeasurable loss, they have only a bond forged in fire to cling to as they struggleto survive in a world gone straight to hell.
*****

Before the Witches is first and foremost a prequel, one that strives to set the stage for the first full-length novel in the series, Blood of the Wicked.  Personally I've not read the full-length installment so I'm reviewing the prequel on its own merits, which is refreshing.  Many times the background information comes out after the series has already started so it feels mostly like gaps are being filled in; here we get the chance to sample the setting and world building before investing in a full-length novel.

This story packs a lot into a few short pages.  It's novella length, but doesn't read like one, as there are lots of moments of action, suspense, drama and romance.  Add that to the backdrop of volcanic destruction of Seattle and you've got a decent story already.

The main characters, Nigel (an undercover cop) and Katya (a witch forced to work as a prostitute) are arresting, and their attraction is immediate.  The reader does have to suspend disbelief since they fall fast and hard for each other, but personally I was able to overlook the whirlwind relationship development in light of the fact that the world as they knew it was pretty much ending.  Faced with a fiery death, saying I love you doesn't seem like such a big issue.

As a sales tool, this works well- I hadn't heard too much about this book or series but upon sampling the writing, characters, and premise, I was interested in finding out more.  With a digital price of $1.99 it's definitely a good deal.

Overall Grade: B
 
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