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Samantha Ryan?homicide detective by choice, witch hunter by necessity?has left Salem for San Francisco, hoping a move will help her forget the horrors of her past. But she?s about to discover that witches tempted by the dark side are everywhere....
Samantha is doing whatever she can to forget her terrible childhood in a coven destroyed by its members? greed and lust for power. Now she?s a San Francisco ...
Samantha Ryan—homicide detective by choice, witch hunter by necessity—has left Salem for San Francisco, hoping a move will help her forget the horrors of her past. But she’s about to discover that witches tempted by the dark side are everywhere....
Samantha is doing whatever she can to forget her terrible childhood in a coven destroyed by its members’ greed and lust for power. Now she’s a San Francisco detective struggling to fight her own desire to turn to magic. But as she discovers, escaping who you are isn’t easy.
Her latest case seems straightforward enough—the murder of a local historian named Winona Lightfoot. But strange clues take Samantha to the Santa Cruz Mountains, a place teeming with witches and black magic. As she works to uncover the connection between Winona and this coven, an earthquake rocks the Bay Area. That’s when Samantha has a premonition: Something is coming. Something evil.
To survive—and save everyone around her—she will have to tackle her greatest fear, and hope she isn’t the next one put into a deep, dark grave....
Posted March 6, 2013
Exhilarating & Thrilling!
**ARC provided by publisher in exchange for an honest review
Reviewed by Book Monster's Reviewer - Michelle M.
When I was asked to read this book I was a little wary, I usually prefer to read books in order and I haven't tried anything of Debbie's before but once I read the synopsis and realized it sounded like my kind of book I hesitantly agreed and when I sat down to dive in ALL my expectations where exceeded. In fact this series has now been promoted to auto-buy and I'm going to hunt down a copy of book 1 so I can read it in order and enjoy it all over again!
Samantha Ryan has been running from her past for most of her life, a tragedy as a child has left her skittish and unable to trust herself. Her memory has huge holes in it and she's afraid to fill them in in case she doesn't like what she finds. Samantha's choice to become a Police Detective shows her strength of character, she's unwilling to play the part of victim, instead she has chosen to be a voice for those who can no longer speak. Her sense of self has taken a beating, after her past and present collided and she has ran to the other side of the country to start afresh. Unfortunately the past isn't ready to let her go and it starts to creep into the new life she is making.
I don't want to spoil what happens for anyone but let me just say that this leg of Samantha's journey brought many surprises for me and her. If you like your urban fantasy on the darker side or you love a book with witches and magic and the unexpected then I can't recommend this one enough! I put this book down turned to my husband and said "Holy sh*t that was a good book".
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Posted April 14, 2014
In the second novel in the Witch Hunt series, Samantha Ryan has left Massachusetts to start over in San Francisco after decimating a coven of evil witches (for the second time). Instead of being able to escape the past, however, the past comes calling with a vengeance. Faced with yet another evil coven of witches and "timequakes," Samantha has no choice but to unlock the memories, and the magic, that she has tried so hard to forget and deny.
I liked this second novel less than the first one, and frankly, I liked Samantha less as a character in this novel. I get that she's not a paragon of virtue. She is human, after all, even if she is a witch. However, she just seems much more self-centered in this book, caring less about the actual case that she's supposed to be solving and much more about her own issues. In fact, it seems from the snippet from the next novel that she is completely abandoning the cop portion of her life, so I guess this book was a transitional one in that respect. Samantha goes to some really dark places in this novel, and I think by this point she's actually enjoying it far too much. On some levels it felt like there was an awful lot going on in this book, but when you actually think about it, nothing much really happened. There was an awful lot of inaction (unless you count the interaction the various-aged Samantha's have with each other inside her head), mixed in with an occasional, "Gee, we really should do something about catching this murderer." The end wasn't very satisfying for me, although it wasn't really an end but rather a cliffhanger, and we leave off with a seriously ticked off witch (which is a big problem for someone since she has such a hard time controlling her magic when she gets emotional).
Posted March 31, 2013
Our Review, by LITERAL ADDICTION's Pack Alpha - Michelle L. Olson:
*ARC received from the Publisher in exchange for an honest review
I unexpectedly received the first book of this series (The Thirteenth Sacrifice) from the Publisher back before it was released in 2012.
After reading (and loving!) it, I immediately reached out to Penguin to see if I could possibly do a promotional Event for book 2 as soon
as the release date was announced. In true 'happy dance' fashion, I was told that a copy was already on its way...
As soon as the book arrived in the mail I settled in. Later that night, I wrote this on GoodReads: "O.M.G! 5 Skulls is not enough for this
intensely insane thrill ride! Book #1 was amazing, but this installment was so gripping I couldn't put it down & stayed up most of the
night reading. I cannot wait for Circle of Blood!"
The Last Grave starts a short time in the future following the Events of The Thirteenth Sacrifice, wherein Samantha has moved to
California to start fresh following the catastrophic battle between herself and her old coven back in her old hometown that basically left
her the last witch standing. She's once again attempting to leave her old life behind and live the life she has earned as a homicide
detective, instead of the life she was born into as a dark witch. Unfortunately, the new murder that she and her partner are investigating
has an undeniable magickal signature, and Samantha quickly learns that her attempt at a 'normal' life just isn't going to happen. At
least not yet.
There is just SO much that happens in this book, and so many twists and turns that this review is incredibly difficult to write; especially
given that I don't write spoilery reviews...
I can tell you this much: I lost count at how many times I changed my mind regarding what I thought was going on, & every time I had
another "huh?" moment, Debbie would introduce one more action-packed sequence and have me shaking my head with wonder.
There were twists, turns and surprises around every corner, & it was jam packed with action. Book #1 was quite dark, but The Last
Grave was even darker (something I THOROUGHLY enjoy in my books), and the storyline was incredibly unique and undoubtedly
mysterious & intriguing.
I personally loved the book and would recommend it to anyone!! If you've read some of the other pre-release reviews out there are are
confused at the discrepancy in ratings, here are my 2 cents - While I'm sure Debbie intended The Last Grave to be a stand-alone novel,
it would be much better enjoyed and understood by readers who have read Book #1. In addition, this isn't a quick and lighthearted read.
It's dark, it's deep, and I would highly suggest that if you'd like to take the plunge (and I would recommend that you do), that you do it
when you have time to utterly devote to a book without outside distractions or too much on your mind. The storyline weaved throughout
The Last Grave requires a decent amount of thought to follow along with and navigate all of the twists, and in my opinion, would be
much better received as an uninterrupted read.
With all of that said, LITERAL ADDICTION gives The Last Grave 5 Skulls and is incredibly excited for book #3.
Posted March 29, 2013