Review 106. Heidi R. Kling – Witch’s brew.

Witch's Brew (The Spellspinners of Melas County, #1)Title: Witch’s brew.
Author: Heidi R. Kling.
Pages: 342.
Published: January 11th 2012 by Coliloquy, LLC.
Sort: Part one of ‘The spellspinsters of Melas Country.’
Source: I received an e-copy from the publisher.
The Spellspinners of Melas County is a fantasy YA romance series about a witch, a warlock, and their fight for their forbidden but prophesied love. Once soulmates, the witch and warlock covens of the California coast have been estranged for a century. Raised to hate each other, their teenagers meet in the Solstice Stones, a magical battleground where they draw energy from each other to maintain their balance. 16 year olds Logan and Lily have spent years training for their first Stones…only to discover just days before that the enemy may not be what either of them had thought. In Witch’s Brew, Lily is torn between her feelings for Logan and her coven’s need to know who—or what—he is. The young lovers race against time, their distrust for each other, and the powerful influence of their elders to unravel the mystery of their pasts before their future is destroyed.
Rating:

I guess this book just didn’t work for me. This is an active fiction title and according to Goodreads:

"Active fiction" is a new type of e-reading experience that allows the reader and the author to interact with each other and the text in new and different ways. In Witch’s Brew, Lily and Logan's fate is already decided, but Heidi explores several different possible pathways for how they get there. She shares scenes that wouldn’t normally fit in a book format and gives readers more precious moments between the two young lovers. As the series progresses, you'll see some normal narrative forms, interspersed with smaller scenes, alternate points of view, and a lot of "what if" scenarios.

It sounded like fun to me, but I didn’t like it. Despite the fact that there are only 2 ‘what if’ scenario’s, it was too chaotic for my taste. The two paths were quite similar, so I had the idea that I was reading the same thing twice – with just a little twist. It made it a bit harder to follow the real story and there were also some flaws.


This story tells about the 16-year-old Lily. She is Leader of the Daughters of light, a witch coven. They are training for their first Gleaning. This is a special battle that takes place on the same date every year. They will be fighting against wizards, this time lead by Logan. When the two of them meet – something that is strict forbidden – things are starting to change. He might be the one from the Prophecy and Lily must do everything to find out if he bears the mark. If he is the one, he can safe all of them.

Years ago, the Sisters punished the witch community with a curse. Women wanted to live amongst humans, while the men wanted to rule with their magic. The females got eternal youth and beauty, forcing the warlocks to desire what they couldn’t have. The witches were forced to watch their magical equals wither away before their eyes, without ever knowing love. The Gleaning is there so they can fill up the hole in their magic, but the end is coming. If the curse doesn’t get broken this year, their powers will fade away entirely.

I must admit, this concept sounds great, doesn’t it? Unfortunately, I didn’t like the execution. The writing-style is very choppy and felt unnatural. The dialogues were a bit boring and short. I felt like this story was meant for a younger audience, because of the easy choice of words. The characters were alright. They aren’t really memorable and I didn’t like their instant-connection. I did like the plot, but it took a long time before we got there. The story ended very abrupt. Like someone ripped out the last pages (in my case: deleted them from my e-copy). One thing that also annoyed me, was the fact that there is a constant switch between Logan and Lily's POV. It didn't add anything to the story in my opinion. That’s why I’m wondering if I should continue or not, because I do want to know more about The Gleaning.

Overall: great promise, but disappointing.
Eye-ore

23 comments

  1. Hmm. This sounds so weird. I haven't heard of an Active Fiction book before I'm not sure I'd like it it just sounds so strange to me lol. Too bad it didn't work for you though it seems like it will attract a very specific audience.

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    1. A lot of people on Goodreads seemed to like this book, so perhaps it just wasn't for me.

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  2. Oh, I don't think I would like this one either... but I didn't like the chose your path stories, always seemed like a great idea, but I couldn't stand it.
    Happy reading,
    Brandi from Blkosiner’s Book Blog

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    1. If you didn't like that when you were younger, than you definitely won't like it in this book :)

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  3. I hate it when I go to try something new and it does not work. I haven't tried any active fiction before. Not sure I would like it either. I do really like the cover though:)

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  4. Yeah not sure "Active fiction" is for me. I remember when I was little I used to like those choose your own fate books where you could turn to different pages and see different outcomes. Is this kind of like that? Could be interesting.

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    1. It could have been something like that, yeah. I really liked those books when I was younger, but it didn't work for me in this book. There are hardly any choices and they are so similar, that I didn't get the use of it. But perhaps you should try it out to see if it works for you! :)

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  5. Active fiction? Hm. I hadn't heard of it until now. I'm so sorry this one disappointed you, Mel. I hate it when my expectations are't met. I don't know if I'll try active fiction because it does sound quite chaotic!

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  6. That's too bad. It sounded really good. :(

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  7. Oh, I've never heard of active fiction but it sounds like such a fun, new experience. Such a shame it didn't work out for you and that you felt it was slightly chaotic. I hate when the writing is choppy - it just ruins the whole read for me. The unnatural dialogue would annoy me too!

    Thanks for the great, honest review, Mel <3

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  8. Too bad this let you down! I thought the story sounded quite interesting, but I HATE those active stories. Hate them. If I'd want to decide how the story goes, I'd write it myself. (Ken je dat boek Lover of Loser van Carry Slee? Dat vond ik al verschrikkelijk!) I'll probably won't read this one :)

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    1. I have heard of that book, but I wasn't interested enough to try it out.

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  9. Hmm, yeah I'm conflicted about these types of books. On the one hand, they do sound fun. But I agree that I think the execution of it is crucial and if not done right, it wouldn't make for such a great read. Sorry this didn't really work for you! Maybe I'll stay on the lookout for another active fiction book that gets better reviews and try that one out.

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    1. Precisely! They sound unique and fun, but the execution needs to be spot on.

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  10. Great, honest review Mel! I have to admit, the premise of this book seems so fascinating... (I've never heard of Active Fiction... it sounds so strange!), but it really sucks that it wasn't executed well. There's nothing worse than a promising plot that could have been so much better but wasn't. Uh I am super picky about the author's writing style! And I agree, choppy writing styles make me want to punch something. :P Sorry you didn't enjoy this Mel, but thanks for the lovely review! :)

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  11. Active fiction... like choose your own adventure? Sounds iffy

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  12. "Active Fiction" - the concept does sound cool, although I'd think it might be more enjoyable if it's done in a game format instead?

    Hope your next-read will give you more joy :)

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  13. I love the concept behind this one as I remember reading those which would you pick sort of books when I was younger. It's too bad though that the execution isn't great. I've got a copy of this one but will hold off on reading it for now. Thanks for the review, Mel!

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  14. Hmmm, I agree, the concept sounds really great, and I can (usually) never say 'no' to a witch book... the cover looks like one for a YA book, but the writing doesn't reflect that? It's too bad that this one didn't work out for you, Mel :( Really great honest review, though! I shall skip over this one then.

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