Archive | December 28, 2014

The Devlin Witch books 1-4


The Devlin Witch books 1-4
I reviewed these as individual books some time ago, and now Bernadette has publsihed them as one book which I think is a great idea. I love to read series back to back so this works well for me. Stupidly I don’t seem to have kept the review from book one but the next three are below as I read them.

Devils Shore Bernadette Walsh

Arc supplied by publisher
This is the second in a series of books about the Devlin family, I hadn’t read the first but it was easy to follow the tale regardless.. Orla doesn’t subscribe the family witch theory and the shadow of the mountains that has claimed the first born daughter for generations. When her mother dies she still stands up against her destiny as a witch despite visits from her dead grandmother. A promotion for her husband means the family moves to America and she believes the curse on the family is far behind her but her witch powers grow stronger and make her feel unsettled. Joining what she thinks is a yoga group she discovers its actually a group of witches who have felt her power and want her to join the. Forced to acknowledge the need to control herself after a series of “accidents “ in the home she agrees and meets Simon, a delicious, attractive, sexy male witch. She loves her husband and family but she feels an uncontrollable attraction to Simon. Like the other witches though things and people are not as they seem and Orla is drawn into a dangerous confrontation with the Demon that has controlled her family for so many generations.

The story is compelling, characters seem real and we see how circumstances take Orla down a road she doesn’t really want to travel. At times the plot verges on a horror one – there’s certainly eroticism, but of the dangerous kind not the sexy romantic sort. It reaches a gripping conclusion and the ends tie up neatly with a clever tie in for the next book suggested by subsequent events.

If you’re looking for erotic romance stop there – this book doesn’t have that, but what it does have is a story that races along full of pace and character, magic and danger, witches and demons. The solutions to the problems are written in a totally believable way ( OK – I know we have to suspend belief for a fantasy/supernatural novel but the plots and solutions still need to be achievable – not the often used cop out of a dream or a new power suddenly produced by hero or heroine)

Stars: 4 for me – its well written and edited, priced well for the length at 218kb for £1.28 but I prefer something with a lighter romantic feel, but this novel was quite dark in places. Its easy to read and follow though and well thought out so if you like your books a just little darker but not in the “horror” genre this fits the bill.

Devil’s Daughter Bernadette Walsh

Book three in an unusual series – its fantasy/paranormal with elements of horror thrown in – not too deep though thankfully……! regular readers will recall my weak head for horror…..
Well, Orla and her family are back on the mountain – and life is relatively normal. Her husband seems a bit distant but then I felt he didn’t really understand Orla right from the start and in this book he still is trying to ignore her talent as a witch and protector. Orla meets Fiona – a slightly strange girl, who seems very like her mother to look at, and things develop from there. Simon is back – that was good, though he was really evil to Orla much of it was under dark magical influence and he’s a great “bad boy” hero, too good not to be resurrected in some way. He knows Rosemary is really his daughter and not Orla’s husbands and has come back to take part in her upbringing. Last time Orla saw him he was in a wheelchair and without power but somehow he’s gained strong magic back. He persuades her she needs his help to fight what’s happening in the mountain.

Once again we’ve a tale of mystery and intrigue, magic and mayhem and danger to the inhabitants of the mountain. Bernadette carefully weaves together innocuous incidents until they become part of the wider story. I enjoyed meeting Orla again, still felt her husband wasn’t supportive and wondered what they ever had in common and was so glad to see Simon was back – need a few bad guys in a story, except this time the bad guys aren’t who you first think. I loved the way the tale unfolds, drawing the reader in slowly and making us wonder where its going next. I really didn’t expect the ending that Bernadette gave us – and loved it, it wrapped everything up in a very satisfying way. Its been a great series, very different from the vampires and shifters that make up so much of the fantasy/paranormal genre (even though I love those its good to have variety)

as always its well written and edited and at £2.04 for 192kb its not a bad price. Its quite a short novel – I don’t have the number of pages but I’d guess at around 100-120. I prefer longer books usually but as part of a series to read back to back I’m happy to read shorter ones a s much of the world and character building is already done so we can get straight into the story. This like the others is definitely in my keepers file.

Stars: well deserved four stars – if it was longer I’d have gone for five, that’s my personal preference – a good long book to get stuck into, but lots of readers prefer shorter reads that they can fit into their daily routine and still have time to finish the book.

The Devlin Witch. Bernadette Walsh.

Arc supplied by publisher.

I’d thought the last book was the end for the series but thankfully Bernadette has given us more from the Devlin family. I loved the past books, and the characters were such strong people. It grew more on me as the series went on and reading this I was trying to fit the new characters into the past I knew. It came together in time and the link ups were there. The magic too was something different, not just sweet sparkles and magic wands, fairies daintily casting spells but something much darker, with elemental creatures claiming people to their hidden lives, and the Devlin Legacy being one of dark magic and tragedy.
As always the magic comes at a cost, and here Bernadette makes magic and the search for power have strong repercussions. We’ve seen in past books how the Devlin Legacy impacts upon families, sometimes with tragic ends. And the magic it contains on the mountain and the elementals within has a very strong, dark influence taking over people’s lived and wants. This time it begins in US with Anne Marie and Rita’s granny whose linked to the Legacy dying, but rather than old age she’s attacked in her own house. Rita is desperate for a baby, Anne Marie wants love, and both so far have been unsuccessful. In the midst of what seem like ordinary lives with everyday problems their grans’ death changes everything. Sorting out gran’s home they find the ancestral Book of Magic and it takes them to Ireland, to the Mountain and enmeshes them in all the danger from past books once more. We meet Simon Gardiner again, still on his quest for power, find out about Oral and Rosemary her and Simons’ daughter, meet some of the aunts and cousins, and Rita and Anne Marie get woven into another web of deceit and conspiracy in the search for power. Being a Devlin witch carries a high price and brings danger – is it worth it?
Bernadette weaves a tale of Magic and mayhem, creatures from the supernatural, murders, attacks, and constant danger. Is being the next Devlin witch worth that? Rita is certainly interested as are the Irish cousins, Anne Marie doesn’t think so but gets caught up by Slaithenoair, ( I think that’s right) a type of mud elemental, and all the weird and dangerous things associated with him. Whether she wants him or not she faces a hard battle to escape. Its a welcome change from the fluffy, light, sparkling magic we so often see, and good to remind readers that any sort of power can carry a heavy cost to it – whether magical or not. Magic and the search for the power it wields can bring out the worst in people, and we certainly see that here.
Its a great wrap up to the series – but who knows when the Devlin powers are going to come over Bernadette once more and bring her into writing more stories 🙂 They’re certainly something interesting and a welcome difference to what we so often read. There’s no sweet, sickly romances, no loving, protective shape shifters, witches or sorcerers, but just dark, deep, dangerous magic wrought hard from people, and carrying a sometimes tragic cost. I haven’t pricing info yet, and its quite a short novel at just 123 pages but its packed full with only words relevant to the story, no side ventures into fillers and padding.
Stars: Loved this series and the way its so different – the edge of darkness it contains is so realistic and certainly keeps reader on the edge of knowing what will happen, holding breath to see who escapes and who is trapped. I’m going for the full five.

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