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TOP 500 REVIEWERon 21 January 2013
The Water Witch Carol Goodman

I received this via Netgalley in return for an honest review. I don't gush and give false praise - I don't believe that helps readers or authors so what you read is what I truly feel about a book.

I saw this in the Netgalley listings and it immediately appealed to me although I haven't read the first book in the series. Its full of my favourite things, gripping storyline with great believable characters and lots of magic and mayhem....Callie is a great main character - she's not some snippy teen, or flighty 20's person but someone we can empathise with and understand her motives. I really wish I'd read the first book - not because it was necessary to understand this one but simply because it seems a great story. I will buy it when funds allow because this series is going to join my keepers list of books I love that I re read often.

The supporting characters are great too and although I didn't know too much of the background story Carol gives enough detail to keep new readers informed without boring established followers of the series. From the start the reader is drawn in to the story and I simply loved it - devoured it in one sitting...Its very well written, a longer length for those of us who really like a good meaty book to get into. I'm not one for 150 pages of light fluff - other readers love that but I like to get so engrossed I become lost in the world of the novel and this found me living in Fairwick voyeuring over the lives of Callie and her friends. The magic was believable - you have to suspend normal beliefs of course for any novel about magic to work, but sometimes authors use magic as a way of getting the hero/heroine out of trouble in a way that leaves reader feeling cheated. Not so here - it was a well paced tale, with great moments in the plots where the magic was necessary but fitted properly in the story. I loved the way Callie's spine was knitted together. Often books that include magic and anything paranormal share experiences but carol brings lots of new ideas about magic forward in this book. The romance is essential and yet isn't overpowering the rest of the tale, and the sex scenes are seductive and erotic without being overly graphic which upsets many people. Fantastic ending - I really can't wait to get to book three to see what happens next, but then I know I'll feel sad to leave the world of Callie and Fairwick. However as I said I'm a great fan of re reading great books and this series will join that file so I can dip back into that world when I want to escape from mine for a while...

This series reminds me very much of two other favourite series - Deborah Harness All Souls trilogy and and Allison Pang's fabulous series that begins with A Brush of Darkness and if you like either of those I'd suggest this trilogy will suit you. Its great value and 354 pages for £4.74 on kindle and its also available in paperback for £5.61 from Amazon.

My star rating: full five - great book, fantastic value read.
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on 8 December 2012
I literally just got finished reading this and I am.... what's the word? Seething. Annoyed. Distraught. The story just ended and I didn't want it to. I wasn't prepared for it to, and now I don't know how long I need to wait until the next instalment is due out.

I thoroughly enjoyed the first book in the series The Demon Lover but the Water Witch builds on the story that was laid out in the first book and builds it into this wonderful world that is damn near impossible to step out of. It seemed to take me days to get caught up in Callie's world with the first book, but with this one I was sucked in immediately and I struggled to put the book down.

I loved the extended descriptions, sometimes when your reading a book there is so much dialogue going on that you can't see where the characters are. But Callie's world is so very clear in my head thanks to the descriptions it feels like I have been there and seen the things she see's.

There are a few points in the story where I found myself literally screaming to Callie "he's not who he says he is" or " how can you not tell?" but there were also a few points that surprised me.

I requested a copy of this from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
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I got the first book in The Fairwick Chronicles series from Amazon Vine and loved it, so I made sure to buy WATER WITCH; the second book in the series. Like the previous book [succubus], all of the different elements that go into WATER WITCH are written in different styles. One minute we're reading Disneyish tales of true love, then bam! Hot succubus sex, gothic romance leads to classic urban fantasy overtones taking over etc.

Not only does the author's writing style change, but she also mixes mythical beings together with creatures of her own making. For example; we start with udines, but then are introduced to zombie beavers [my new favourite thing ever]. The way that the author keeps mixing different elements together keeps everything exciting and fresh; you never see what is coming next...

Cassie is a refreshing change from all of the gun-toting, roundhouse kicking, constantly one-liner cracking, 'sassy' heroines that are constantly thrust upon us in this types of book. Sure; she's in the middle of a otherworldly drama, but she uses her intelligence to research answers instead. She makes mistakes, doesn't conveniently develop any mystical powers or knowledge, and she can't do any physical ass kicking, which helps the tension build as there's never easy way out of the situations she finds herself in. I'd become bored with reading stories with the same prototype of heroine under a different name, so these books have been a real breath of fresh air.

WATER WTCH is told from Callie's POV, but we still feel involved with the secondary characters, in fact Callie's co-workers are more involved this time around, plus we get to see more of their own personal relationships too, instead of focusing solely on Callie.


I did thoroughly enjoy WATER WITCH, but, to be honest, I did prefer the pacing in the first book in the series [Incubus] as everything ran together more smoothly and didn't seem quite so paint-by-numbers in structure. In WATER WITCH the outcome of a possible love triangle between some characters, and the secret identity of a few people did all seem obvious to me, so I found that the pace was slowed down partway as I waited for the characters to catch up to where I already was. Maybe I've just read too many fantasy books, so recognize the approaching cliches before they are fully formed?

After initially being lead to believe that this would be an ongoing series, it has now started being listed as a trilogy. This is a shame, as despite a few pacing issues, the author's storytelling abilities and characters are wonderfully unique, and the directions events could lead seem endless right now.
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on 14 December 2012
Apologies for the spoilers in this review; however, given how little plot there is and how badly written it is, you might prefer the spoilers and waiting for the next book, hopefully written up to the standards of the first, and of her normal work.

This really is like a rough draft fanfic written by a teenager, and I'm surprised at Carol Goodman's editors for letting it through.

Many promising plot lines were set up, and set up far more deftly, in the first novel. This novel is amazingly stingy on plot, and frustratingly implausible in places. The hearing/convocation is extensively trailed, yet, like a bad lawyer, suddenly and clumsily produces evidence (characters and plot) not mentioned earlier (only in the first book).

Callie herself is like a teenager, not only in her stubborn emo determination to do what she wants and not listen to any reasonable objections (which might have created more dramatic tension, or even plot), but also, rather sadly, in not seeming all that committed to what she supposedly wants: she repeatedly has sex with her incubus but without apparent desire, almost like a teenaged girl with no self-esteem who thinks she Ought To, because he wants it (or because he asks, as it's not clear he wants her, either).

The writing is shocking, too. Referring to her squeeze as "pretty" and effectively saying : "isn't he cuuuute?" is inane and boring in a teenager gossiping about her, like, boyfriend, but does nothing for a reader.

I'm very sorry to trash Carol Goodman in this way, as she is a good and suspenseful writer. Even though the first Fairwick book was not entirely polished and comfortable in the genre, her "usual" novels are great, and Fairwick 1 was at least a damned sight better than this (Water Witch). The Fairwick premise is an interesting one, and it's frustrating to see it devalued here.

Perhaps it was a fanfic, and Carol Goodman should sue?
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on 26 December 2012
From the author of Incubus comes the second installment within the fairwick chronicles, as you Callie's quest to save Liam from his watery prison continues. Character-driven, full of suspense and tension this exciting, original and inspired tale will delight many fans of the Young Adult genre. Intensely gripping and absorbing I was left screaming out after reading this book, as I was left desperately wanting to read on, distraught that the story had come to an end! Once you have read Incubus I would warn you that you will not rest until you have devoured the entire series, and so I am now waiting in anticipation as to the next book. The world building is clever, the characters are distinctive and whom you can really connect to and the storyline as a whole concept is utterly spellbinding hence I cannot praise Carol Goodman enough. I was hypnotized by this tale that caught my imagination so that I lost myself within a world of danger, supernatural surprises, demons and magic. If you love YA fantasy, gothic romance, magic, Vampires and adventure then this is a book that will delight, entertain and which you will loose yourself within for hours.

You have only to call my name to bring me back," he whispered, his breath hot in my ear. "You have only to love me to make me human."

Seduced by a powerful incubus demon, Callie has succeeded in banishing him to the Borderlands but Liam still haunts her dreams, tempting her with the knowledge of how to bring him back. But loving an incubus usually ends in death for a human. For her own sake, Callie must learn to control her desires and ensure Liam remains trapped for all eternity in his watery prison. Only there is a more dangerous creature than Liam in the Borderlands. The Water Witch is looking for a way back...

As a huge fan of Stephanie Meyer's Twilight saga, I absolutely LOVED this book and so I would highly recommend it as a spectacular read as well as Incubus - that is a brilliant Vampire thriller. Sucked into this story almost instantly I struggled to put the book down, for the strong narrative and substantial plot grabs hold of its reader after only a few pages. Atmospheric and full of such beautiful, detailed description one is able to visualize Callie's world that is totally believable and compelling. This has to be my guilty pleasure for I can honestly say that `Water Witch' is so addictive, and truly magical, enchanting and containing such exquisite imagery. Contemporary and modern the world that Carol Goodman has created is utterly believable, and the surprising, shocking ending is optimistic with a dash of bittersweet romance to make it a fitting end to a breathtaking triumph.

This brilliant book is a must-read and one that I highly praise!
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on 22 February 2013
I received this as a review copy but this has not affected my opinion.
After reading 'The Demon Lover' I was interested to see how Juliet Dark would continue Fairwick's story in 'The Water Witch'. I was comforted by the opening of the book in which Callie is in a familiar dream with her incubus lover. However, aware of his fate at the end of the previous book I knew that this was just a creation of her subconscious mind, rather than his return to the story.
The paranormal residents of Fairwick are again in need of Callie's help as the gateway to Faery needs opening to allow the Undines through following their spawning season. In her magical immaturity Callie mistakenly is pulled into Faery with the Water Nymphs, meeting an old friend, but incurring the wrath of an old Undine who threatens to follow her back to Fairwick. Callie's life then becomes more complicated as her grandmother's magical order endangers the last Faery portal in Fairwick, so a magical tutor is found to help Callie channel her abilities and learn how to fully use her powers.
In 'The Demon Lover'Juliet Dark concentrated upon establishing the paranormal history of Fairwick and Callie's connection to her Incubus lover. This meant that the story was relatively drawn out. In 'The Water Witch' Juliet Dark is not restrained by backstory, so she is able to develop her characters and use her time to explore the paranormal nature of the plot. I feel that because of this the reader is able to connect on a different level with Callie, and as we learn more of her history we grow a respect and empathy for her.
The plot is exciting, fast-paced and Juliet dark designs it to keep her reader in suspense. Her descriptions are full of imagery, immediately transporting her reader away.
I feel that this sequel exceeded 'The Demon Lover' and I am pleased to learn that Juliet Dark is continuing The Fairwick Chronicles.
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on 1 October 2012
Finished this in 2 days. A must if you read the first fairwick novel. Can't wait for the next one.
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on 17 September 2012
I read Incubus, the first book in Carol Goodman's fantasy series, last year soon after publication. After reading that, I was intrigued by the setting and interested in the characters. Especially our Incubus character. I felt an almost righteous solidarity towards him in a lot of ways - he took on the role of what is usually played by the female of the gothic novel genre. The poor heroine, being pushed about and manipulated by the men around her who ultimately seal her fate. This is what I felt had happened with him. He was plucked out of nowhere and had his life shaped and changed by the women around him over an extensive period of time.

The creation of such a juxtaposed and interesting character is of course testament to Goodman's narrative skill. She elicits pathos and at times frustration with her characters. This therefore would propel a reader to want, quite simply, MORE.

The 'more' in my case was the arrival, after an unfeasibly long wait, of the follow up novel 'Water Witch'.

Goodman's narrator spends a lot of time recounting for the audience what has happened in the previous novel. This, although irritating for the established reader, is necessary for anyone choosing to read this book first.

We focus in on Callie's summer period between academic years and the events therein. The time span is quicker paced than the previous novel and the pages fly by.

We find Callie not quite able to move on from the events of the previous novel, but having her powers drawn on by her friends. I didn't feel like I gained much insight into the narrators character in this novel, or her relationships in this novel, but I felt happy with how they were set up previously to overlook this.

Goodman does throw a lot of intrigue and guessing-games into the mix, which of course keeps the reader interested. It took me two days to read this and during my breaks in reading, I was silently adding up the facts presented thus far to come to my own conclusions about characters. In terms of Bill and Duncan, I was right. I won't tell you how or why I was, that would just spoil it for you.

I felt a bit better about the fate of our friendly neighbourhood Incubus by the end of this novel than I did from the last. The last one left me feeling cold and sad for him. This time, I sort of felt a bit less desperate than I did last time, inducing me to pre-order my copy of 'Water Witch' to find out what became of him.

In summary, I would say that this novel is a very good follow up and has me very intrigued and indeed, hooked. I cannot wait to find out what happens next. The novel ends ominously, without giving too much away and leaves it wide open for many more novels to come. Which I cannot wait for.

I look forward to more instalments and would recommend these novels to anyone. I do not read fantasy fiction (other than Pratchett, of course), so this is definitely also a series for those who don't really read it to get into it. It isn't chock full of vampires or eye-rolling cliché either. Definitely worth a look.
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on 1 March 2013
(Source: I received a digital copy of this book for free on a read-to-review basis. Thanks to Random House Publishing Group - Ballantine, and Netgalley.)
This is the second book in the `Fairwick Chronicles' series, and picks up 4 months after the end of book 1.) **Warning - some unavoidable spoilers for book 1 `The Demon Lover'**
At the end of book 1 Callie banished her boyfriend Liam, (who turned out to be incubus) to the borderlands of Faerie, and is now getting on with her life.

The problem in Fairwick this time is that the `Grove' are trying to permanently close the last door to faerie, which means that those faeries still in this world would die, and those in faerie would be unable to come back.

Obviously the faeries are in uproar, and the witches are in uproar, and everyone is generally pretty hacked off.

I'm not even sure I can bring myself to finish writing the summary for this book. I just had so many issues with it, not least of all that it was so dull! And Callie just made some stupid decisions. I gave the first book the benefit of the doubt - it wasn't a favourite, but it was okay. This one was definitely not better. In fact, I had trouble finishing it. I was actually finding other things to do instead of reading it! It was totally one of those sort of books!

So what didn't I like? Anybody who saw my status updates on Goodreads, will have caught a few of these already, but here goes.

Firstly; Callie is off to open another gate (yes - there is only 1 gate to faerie (the one in book 1), but conveniently there is also a second gate - just for the undines in the water to pass through) - Why say that there is only 1 gate to faerie, and then go and invent another one! Check your own story here for heaven's sake!

Secondly - Callie goes to open said second gate, gets dragged into the water by the undines, and goes for an underwater swim through to fairie. Hang on a minute - Callie is human-ish -surely she needs to breathe? How many people can ride underground streams without drowning? Come on!

Thirdly; once Callie makes it through to fairy, she bumps into said ex-boyfriend - Liam the incubus who was killing her, and who she banished to the boarder-lands of faerie for good. So what does Callie do? Obviously, she unchains him, and has sex with him on the river bank. Exactly what every girl in their right mind would do. NOT. Why go to the trouble of banishing him, to then immediately unshackle him and have sex with him. Give me a break.

Fourthly; when Callie gets back from Faerie, she finds that the storm created by one of the undines knocked her handy man off her roof and killed him. Do they arrange a burial? A cremation? No, they decide that his spirit is hovering nearby, and they'll try and put it back in his body. So do they get to it? No, they decide to wait 24 hours, just because. Sorry, but either let the bloke die or do something now. Can you say brain damage????

Fifthly, god this is getting old. When they then decide to put said spirit back in its body, they decide to let Callie join the circle, even though her magic is `untrained and volatile'. Great idea when you're trying to un-kill somebody. And then, when everything goes wrong (I wasn't surprised), they decide to hire someone to teach Callie, so hire someone they've never met, who tries to teach her to shapeshift. I mean seriously, that's where every witch in training should start eh? Shapeshifting? What happened to lighting sticks on fire, and taking petals off a flower or something. I mean, Callie is enough trouble as it is without adding shapeshifting to the pot!

Okay, that was the first 35%-ish of the book. After that, it was just dull. So dull, and the decisions didn't get any better! By 50% the dusting was looking like something more interesting to do (which is not a good thing).

Overall; somebody else might enjoy this book, but after this book and the first in the series, you are going to have to put a gun to my head to get me to read anything else this author writes. Save yourselves now and steer clear of this one.
3.5 out of 10.
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on 27 October 2012
After being seduced by a powerful incubus demon, Callie has now successfully banished Liam to the borderlands, however he still haunts her dreams, tempting her with the knowledge of how to bring him back. It's now the summer and months since Callie banished Liam to his watery grave and she's now hoping to move on and discover more about herself and her powers, but it's not as simple as that. As Callie is the doorkeeper she finds her powers being used by her friends for different things, in one case she is called upon to help guide the Undines back to Faerie, but with her powers being limited at the moment this doesn't go to plan.

There is also the introduction of new character Duncan Laird who has come to help Callie with her powers, however there is more to him than meets the eye and he is hiding a dark and dangerous secret that keeps you guessing what he is until the very end. When Callie has her suspicions of what Duncan's true identity is, he try's to convince her that he's not what she suspects him to be. Duncan is very convincing that you almost want to believe what he say's and what I like about Callie is that she doesn't take what Duncan is telling her at face-value, she likes to do her own investigation and do a couple of spells to find out the truth.

There is also another new character Bill or handyman Bill who becomes a new love interest for Callie who has his own secret. I kept trying to guess what he was and I had my suspicions to who he really was, at the end my suspicions were correct.

Throughout the book there is also the threat of the last door to Faerie being closed by the Grove, and Callie as the doorkeeper is trying to find a way to keep the door open.

I really enjoyed this book, I liked the introduction of the new characters even if I didn't like some of them, I was completely hooked throughout the book and couldn't wait to find out what would happen in each chapter and the ending left me wanting more. I can't wait for the next one!
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