Storyline: Under Witch Moon by Maria Schneider is just plain entertaining (and somewhat informational too!). It has a bit of magic, a dash of romance, a dollop of mystery and an extra helping of action.
Adriel is a witch for hire, helping those who can’t help themselves (by conventional means, anyway) and when one of her latest clients ends up murdered, she must pull it together and figure out how to stop her killer. But, it isn’t as cut and dry as she first thought and things get even more complicated when some vampires, shape shifters and a voodoo witch get involved.
Grammar/Spelling: I noticed very few issues with spelling or grammar. I think another good read-through by a beta reader and the story would make the story perfecto!
Character Development: It takes all kinds of folks to make the world go ‘round and even more when the occult is brought into play and Adriel is up to her witchy ears in just about every occult player there is.
Adriel is a “good” witch and she’s a good witch – probably one of the best in the Phoenix area. She’s young, but not lacking in wisdom and experience. Adriel is smart, resourceful and even pretty witty and very likeable. She shows that being a witch isn’t just about riding on broomsticks and twitching your nose – it’s all about hard work and follow-through. (Much like life in general, I suppose.)
Lynx, her link to the underground, is really something else. He’s a young street urchin and is her eyes and ears around town. Like Adriel, the reader is never really sure what it is that Lynx is until the end. He’s an opportunist, yet still very loyal. Lynx keeps Adriel grounded as much as she keeps him fed.
Writing Style: Under Witch Moon is written from Adriel’s quirky perspective on the world. (Of course, it’s only “quirky” because she’s a witch, y’all!) The reader is given somewhat of a crash course on all things of witchery and supernatural. Ms. Schneider is both very detailed and technical with the descriptions of the various potions, spells and general magickery (Is that even a word?!) without it feeling like a how-to manual on the world of the mysterious occult.
The only issue, if it can be considered an issue, was the dialogue at the very beginning between Adriel and Delores. It seems a bit old fashioned and doesn’t really fit into the typical contemporary style of speaking. Though, after the first chapter (really, the first bit of dialogue at all) this problem disappears and the remaining characters’ interactions are realistic, believable and true to our modern day world.
Continuity: I noticed no issues with continuity.
Overall Rating: 4
I’ve got to be honest, while I reading Under Witch Moon, I was worried that Ms. Schneider wasn’t going to be able to bring all of the different elements, creatures and characters together for a cohesive resolution. Boy! Was I wrong! I shouldn’t have worried about it in the least. This book has it all: magic, love, action, drama, suspense, comedy and all of it set in the beautiful desert of Arizona! I would encourage anyone to read this and nearly anyone can read this as it doesn’t have too many adult situations or graphic scenes.
Ms. Schneider did an excellent job and I hope she’ll allow me to review her next book!