So, I read something different than epic fantasy or a self-published dark YA novel. I know it’s astounding, but my Kindle actually produced something good in front of me, which I ate (not literally). Yes, I, the e-book hater, used my Kindle for something other than playing games, reading manga, and checking e-mail. Anyways, it was on the Amazon Prime deal, and somehow magically with the free trial of Amazon student got a pretty awesome book for free.
The Line, by J.D. Horn, is a novel set in the magical town of Savannah, Georgia. I haven’t read any modern fantasy in a really long time, and it’s been since middle school when I was in love with the Sookie Stackhouse series that I read a southern modern fantasy. Despite this, I truly enjoyed this book, but let me go through and explain why. But first, have a blurb:
Mercy Taylor, the youngest member of Savannah’s preeminent witching family, was born without the gift of magic. She is accustomed to coming in a distant second to the minutes older, exquisite and gifted twin she adores. Hopelessly in love with her sister’s boyfriend, she goes to a Hoodoo root doctor for a love spell. A spell that will turn her heart to another man, the best friend who has loved her since childhood.
Aunt Ginny, the family’s matriarch, would not approve. But Mercy has more to worry about than a love triangle when Aunt Ginny is brutally murdered. Ginny was the Taylor family’s high commander in the defense of the bewitched line that separates humankind from the demons who once ruled our realm. (From Good Reads)
The setting was the setting. Sometimes the setting is really important, like in the Lord of the Rings, but the setting fell short of the characters. I expected the setting to be overused as it can be in some southern novels, but Horn makes the setting with his colorful characters. He did, however, make me want to visit Savannah. It seems like a beautiful, mysterious town, but as I said, the characters make it for him.
I love the characters. I have seen mixed reviews, deeming the main character a typical “plucky heroine”, but I have to disagree. There is growth in the main character, but some of it is subtle. When thinking back on the book, I initially did agree that Mercy was “typical”, that she was entirely too strong from the beginning allowing no growth. Then I thought on it some more; I think that in the beginning she hid behind her attitude, and then grew in strength. I do think she is a little too strong at times, but I think it is done in an acceptable way. But, enough about the main character, I love Mother Jilo, a black woman who practices “Hoodoo”. I won’t tell you more than that, because, frankly, I just want you to enjoy her.
Finally, let’s talk about the plot. I was surprised and scared to read this. It was free and it was a southern supernatural novel. I’m from the south, which isn’t bad, but I think sometimes we get stereotyped or are romanticized. (I do say “y’all” and “ain’t” though). Thankfully, we weren’t quite stereotyped (though maybe Mother Jilo was). Savannah is a romantic kind of town so it felt sort of romanticized, like New Orleans and their vampires are. I was worried it was going to be all about the “romance” and the mushy love stuff, but it wasn’t. It was there every now and then, but it was not near as prevalent as I imagined. The magic was interesting, and I hope that in future books, it is explored further. It felt like he was just giving me a taste to get me hooked though. And then there’s the twists. There are twists within the twists. I love that. Some people might equate that to soap operas, but I love a good twist.
So there you have it. Read this book if you enjoy American Horror Story or Sookie Stackhouse or that one series I haven’t read yet about witches. If you’re cold like I am, it’s a good book to cuddle up with. If you’re somewhere warm, I hate you, and take it to read by the pool. Though, if you don’t enjoy a little drama every now and then, this book isn’t for you.