Author: Heidi R. Kling.
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.
"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.