I have a confession to make. I have put off writing this review for what feels like eternity, and I still don't think I'm ready. You see, my problem is that I don't ...trust myself to do these books justice. When you find an author with a style so perfect, so entrancing, that you know full well you'd read their shopping list if that's what they decided to publish, what could you say to make a difference?
I'm supposed to be good with words, but they fail me now. So I guess I'll just have to stick to being as objective and clinical as I can. Here's what I thought of the first two books in the Witchwood Estate series. First impression: I would read this series 'till the world came to an end. I secretly hope Patti Roberts never ever stops writing. Her imagination is unequalled.
Voice: smooth storytelling, trance-inducing, the kind that seeps into your brain and surreptitiously replaces reality with a fantastic life you couldn't help but want to be a part of.
Plot: Oh, how many possibilities! From a simple intro and clear focus, the action picks up and threads of intrigue, mystery and hidden threats begin to weave into the main fabric. As more characters are introduced, their purpose and intent are implied, understood, twisted and finally revealed to be something no one could have foreseen. There are enough twists in there for at least another ten books! And I want to read them all.
Characters: perfectly formed, from the smallest secondary role to the protagonist. Alexandria is the kind of best friend all of us need. Andrew is so sweet, and his character has so much yet-untapped potential. Then, there is black magic, and shape-shifters, and ghosts.
Descriptions: original and just right for forming the right picture. I felt as if I knew my way around, right there, in the story.
Extras: Flick through the pages, and you'll find spells Alexandria has inherited from her mother. There are illustrations accompanying the spells, with lists of ingredients, method, verses and chants to make the spells work. Patti Roberts' artistic abilities are well-known, but still, this is a very inspired little detail that adds depth and value to the story.
Emotion: The author's ability to share a character's emotion is incredible. Living as an outcast, or at least someone different, comes across very well at the beginning of this series, and is presented with a kindness not many people are capable of. My eyes teared up because I could imagine or identify with many of the sentiments the characters were dealing with, even in this limited portion of the story.
The overall effect is of being at one with the book. Flawless in every way, the writing is exceptional. I fell head-first into the magic and I can't wait to see where the story is heading next. A beautiful, modern tale about a witch and what it takes to make your own way in life. This is a six-star book, at the very least.
Ella Medler.Author and Editor