Stephanie's Reviews > Witchful Thinking

Witchful Thinking by H.P. Mallory
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's review
Mar 16, 2012

liked it

Orignal post at my blog: FANGSWANDS AND FAIRY DUST March 16, 2012

When is someone's style truly unique and and when is it simply good in some areas and lacking in others? I think Mallory has some strong points in her writing that make it unique and fun: voice, plot outline, twists, character development. I think her work falls short a bit in believable continuity and plot execution, emotional content.

No work or writer is "perfect" though so you have to read a book and decide whether its strengths outweigh its limitations.

Mallory writes from her character, Jolie's, point of view. Jolie is two years into being part of this supernatural underworld of a variety of species. I missed the second book so the introduction of the "Prophetess" character was new, and I failed to understand why anyone trusted this character. And the character no one is supposed to trust, Sinjin, turns out to be, well....

I also didn't believe the stated emotions between Jolie and her guy, Rand. Emotionally, the story overall felt a bit insulated against what the characters "real" emotions. Could it have been the result of some kind of spell cast by the Prophetess? I don't know. I just found it hard to believe the plot as a result of the associated behaviors and emotions.

One of the central themes of the story is reanimation of basically any supernatural killed in the battle between the good and bad supes. What plagued me throughout was the idea that Jolie could reanimate pretty much anyone after which they seem to be whole and healed. She suffers a loss of energy, but hardly enough. The use of magic to stop headaches or whatever is cheaply applied. She gets a crick in her neck because she turns her head fast and "magicks it away." But magic always has a cost, or it's too cheaply held and hard to take seriously.

On the other hand, Mallory stays true to Jolie's humble, yet snarky, voice. I can accept the ambivalence with which she approaches being queen and with being a modern woman from the United States thrust into a very weird place both politically and emotionally. I think the approach she takes toward governing the underworld could have been much more directly stated. Mallory took the long trip around the barn.

In summary, I like the voice with which Jolie is written but I don't believe the plot and the emotional content. The idea of the plot is unique, especially the twists and turns, but it felt like an outline. I also think the use of magic is too easy and without substantial cost. If magic is too easy it is hard to suspend disbelief.
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