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100 Reviews
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Warm escapism despite all the ice cream!
A really enjoyable escapist novel. If you like witches, you will love this book. The characters are warm and likeable and you care about the central romance, which intertwines nicely with the main heroine's discovery and development of her powers as a witch. The powerful child witch is also very likeable.

I agree with previous reviews that there are no...
Published on 25 Aug. 2011 by J. W. Dillon Shallard

versus
19 of 20 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Too too cutesy
If you love Romances, and happy endings where everyone's life is enriched and love abounds, then you may enjoy this book - in which case, please ignore the following review.
On the other hand, if you like a plot, an interesting lead character who stumbles, falls, and picks themselves up through willpower and comes out of the experience stronger as a result, having...
Published on 25 Dec. 2011 by Crinkly


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19 of 20 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Too too cutesy, 25 Dec. 2011
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This review is from: A Modern Witch (A Modern Witch Series: Book 1) (Kindle Edition)
If you love Romances, and happy endings where everyone's life is enriched and love abounds, then you may enjoy this book - in which case, please ignore the following review.
On the other hand, if you like a plot, an interesting lead character who stumbles, falls, and picks themselves up through willpower and comes out of the experience stronger as a result, having learned from their mistake - well, this isn't the book for you.

I made it more than half way through, then skipped to the end to see if my awful suspicion was true - and it was. The saccharine lasts to the last paragraph.

I have given the book two stars because the writing is smooth and well structured, and the characters are vaguely three dimensional, but there are three HUGE things wrong with this book.

The first problem is that the entire story is told, not shown. I never got to discover ANYTHING myself. Everything was laid out for me (often with descriptions of interior colour schemes, refreshments and infinitesimal emotional description, from each persons perspective). I would read how someone experienced an event. Then they would tell someone else about it. Then there would be a laboriously detailed conversation about the event in an online chat room. I was skipping the repetitions by the second chapter, just to keep up a sense of momentum. 'Telling' is such a basic way of writing. It completely lacks the subtleties and sophistication of 'Showing', where the reader can draw their own conclusions, and is then invested in reaching the end to discover whether they were right, or not.

The second problem is that everyone and everything is so NICE.
They are sweet people
They care
No one is ever selfish, greedy or resentful
All the women go gooey over the cute children
All the cute children do cute things
All the women know exactly what to say to the nauseatingly cute children (thus showing what excellent mothers they will be in the future)
If anything bad happens it was an unexpected/unavoidable mistake, and the doer takes responsibility anyway
Everyone is helpful, loving and committed
And patient
No one ever uses their witchy powers for gain (or is even TEMPTED!!!)
Everyone is good at what they do, and have a sense of social responsibility...
and on, and on...

And (thirdly) there is no plot. None. Zilch. Zippo. It is about as plot driven as a limp dishrag. Woman has reached 28 years without discovering she is a witch, but gets magically drawn into a chatroom created by witches. It turns out she is the next greatest mind witch (odd how that only showed up in her being VERY GOOD at selling houses to cute pregnant couples). Everyone is in awe of her potential, learning skills and sheer niceness. A bit of training (done with care, understanding and cute child input). Half way through the book and STILL no sign of a plot on the horizon. That's where I gave up.

It all felt (and here is where I risk offending every woman who has ever gone through pregnancy) it felt like the product of Baby Brain. Do you know what I mean? There is a phase during pregnancy and shortly after, when women surf on a gentle haze of hormones, drifting in the cuteness of the smell of a baby's hair, stroking the lovely fluffy baby blankets while gazing adoringly at their newborn. Cute, brainless, lovey dovey. Nothing else exists in their world - for a while. Thankfully for themselves, their family (and the baby!), the phase passes, and reality sets in again.

I just can't help thinking how much better a book it would have been if our heroine had found herself caught up in a story line - struggling to deal with her new powers, experienced a moral dilemma or two, to come out of it a stronger person... but hey, most other reviewers seem to like the book, so maybe Baby Brain is a valid writing style.

I will just go back to Jim Butcher, Carol Berg, Mary Gentle, Robin Hobb, Tad Williams and suchlike. Books that have some backbone, and wouldn't recognise the self-indulgence of cuteness even if it tried to drown them in pink marshmallow.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Warm escapism despite all the ice cream!, 25 Aug. 2011
By 
J. W. Dillon Shallard (Poole, Dorset, UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: A Modern Witch (A Modern Witch Series: Book 1) (Kindle Edition)
A really enjoyable escapist novel. If you like witches, you will love this book. The characters are warm and likeable and you care about the central romance, which intertwines nicely with the main heroine's discovery and development of her powers as a witch. The powerful child witch is also very likeable.

I agree with previous reviews that there are no twists or major threat to the protagonists along the way, but the book doesn't suffer for this, due to the strength of the characterisation.

If I had one (minor) criticism, it would be that there is (a little) too much ice cream eating in the novel. Were Ben and Jerrys sponsoring the book?

A good read.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Very simple -nothing happens, 29 July 2013
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This review is from: A Modern Witch (A Modern Witch Series: Book 1) (Kindle Edition)
This could have been written in one or two chapters and then a main story devolved -nothing happens in this book at all. There is no dramatic action, no moments of suspense or tension, no interest evoked in the characters' lives and no plot!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars A modern witch, 15 Jan. 2013
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This review is from: A Modern Witch (A Modern Witch Series: Book 1) (Kindle Edition)
A story about a young woman discovering by accident that she has witch powers and the people who help her deal with it. The story could have done with a bit more depth in the plot.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Disappointing., 5 Nov. 2012
This review is from: A Modern Witch (A Modern Witch Series: Book 1) (Kindle Edition)
This book failed to live upto my expectations after the glowing praise it received in other reviews. The standard of writing is very basic, and the storyline lacks discernable plot to such an extent that it is possibly best described as banal. Trite and sickeningly sweet. Alas not for me!
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14 of 16 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Oh dear!, 25 Feb. 2013
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This review is from: A Modern Witch (A Modern Witch Series: Book 1) (Kindle Edition)
A Marmite of a book and if you love that's fine, but I thought it was awful...I like a bit of fantasy escapism with the best of them but there needs to be some connection with real people to make characters work as human beings. Lauren discovers that she is a powerful mind witch, despite having been oblivious to this for 28 years, and within a month both she and her best friend have made massive life changing decisions about careers, property, marriage and families in relation to a family of witches they have only just met! Everyone lives in a dream world where no-one gets much more than "cranky" and the cure for that is ice cream or chocolate, and no-one feels tempted to use their magical abilities for personal gain...expect that many of the witches are extremely wealthy...hmmm. Oh, and nothing happens! Apart from a 4 year old witch fixes the San Andreas Fault...but this Startling event is so patchily dealt with it might as well have not occurred.

Alarm bells always start ringing for me when the following words get used a lot in a book: tiny (as in tiny flowers, tiny pastries) delicate (as in delicate lace, delicate jewellery), adorable (as in adorable toddler, adorable dress), and in this book you get a lot of adorable toddlers dressed in delicate lacy dresses embroidered with tiny flowerss!!!! It's like Pinterest in novel form!
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14 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Can't wait for the next, 26 Jun. 2011
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This review is from: A Modern Witch (A Modern Witch Series: Book 1) (Kindle Edition)
I really enjoyed this book, I loved the characters and the magic. There were no big cliff hangers, or twists or sensational battles, but a book with well developed characters and a solid plot doesn't need these distractions. Would highly recommend and can't wait for the next one.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Lovely Fun Relaxing Read, 12 May 2012
This review is from: A Modern Witch (A Modern Witch Series: Book 1) (Kindle Edition)
The last reviwer really put this book down but I have to say I thoroughly enjoyed it. Yes it has no evil villans or high adventure it is simply a "easy to read" saga type story about the lives of modern day witches. I would highly recommend this book and all its sequels to any reader who wants to sit, read and relax.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great fun, 9 July 2011
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This review is from: A Modern Witch (A Modern Witch Series: Book 1) (Kindle Edition)
This was recommended to me by a friend- so glad she did.

Great fun and hard to put down - a modern witch for the 21CE!

Very much looking forward to the sequel.
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11 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars funny warm look at witches, 30 April 2011
This review is from: A Modern Witch (A Modern Witch Series: Book 1) (Kindle Edition)
Review of a giveaway eBook

Lauren is a successful realtor who when doing her online shopping gets pulled in to a chat room where she is told she is a witch. Initially sceptical when confronted by real magic she comes to accept that she has magical powers. Due to an accident she has to travel to California where she learns to control her powers with the aid of a family of witches and their community.
This was a fun engaging read. The sprawling community of witches with their family interactions was warm, funny and sympathetic. I was drawn into the story and look forward to more in the series.

Highly recommended.
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