Title: The Line (Witching Savannah #1)
Author: J.D. Horn
Release Date: February 1, 2014
Acquired Via: TLC Book Tours
Savannah is considered a Southern treasure, a city of beauty with a rich, colorful past. Some might even call it magical…
To the uninitiated, Savannah shows only her bright face and genteel manner. Those who know her well, though, can see beyond her colonial trappings and small-city charm to a world where witchcraft is respected, Hoodoo is feared, and spirits linger. Mercy Taylor is all too familiar with the supernatural side of Savannah, being a member of the most powerful family of witches in the South.
Despite being powerless herself, of course.
Having grown up without magic of her own, in the shadow of her talented and charismatic twin sister, Mercy has always thought herself content. But when a series of mishaps—culminating in the death of the Taylor matriarch—leaves a vacuum in the mystical underpinnings of Savannah, she finds herself thrust into a mystery that could shake her family apart…and unleash a darkness the line of Taylor witches has been keeping at bay for generations.
In The Line, the first book of the Witching Savannah series, J.D. Horn weaves magic, romance, and betrayal into a captivating Southern Gothic fantasy with a contemporary flare.
I must have paid some sort of sacrifice to the god of bestowing wonderful books because I've come across many lately, with J.D. Horn's debut, The Line, being the latest of the bunch. I was worried that I wouldn't like the book, despite it being a paranormal fantasy set in the South. However, the main character, Mercy Taylor, and Horn's excellent writing won me over within the first handful of pages.
Because of Anne Rice, I've noticed that many people expect Southern Gothic literature to be set in New Orleans. Savannah, Georgia is a spellbinding (see what I did there?) alternative to the Big Easy because it is also a city rich with history, ghosts, and promises of magic. I felt that Savannah was just as much a character in the story as Uncle Oliver or Jilo because we are shown so many landmarks and quirks of the city throughout the story. The Savannah in The Line is probably in our world, but there are just a few differences. Magic, hoodoo and witches are kept under wraps for the most part, but those who believe in it are generally accepting of it.
The characters in The Line are flawed, secretive, and thoroughly intriguing. There are love triangles, lies, scandals, betrayal, and murder - you know, a typical Southern family. Seriously though, the Taylors are very dysfunctional, and their treatment of Mercy made me cheer for her even harder. Let me just say though, Mercy makes her money by lying (guiding the Liar's Tour of Savannah), and she is head over heels in love with her sister's boyfriend. Perfect she is not.
After reading The Line, I was very surprised to learn that this was Horn's debut. His writing is clean and sharp, and it was difficult for me to put the book down. There were twists and turns in this book that blew my mind. I'm usually good at guessing how things would turn out, but that was not the case. There was one bit that I thought I saw coming, and then it was turned on its head. My mouth was genuinely hanging open.
The only gripe that I have about The Line is that the ending was a little rushed. I think things started tying up too quickly, and I didn't get enough information to back up some of the twists. They still made sense, but I wanted to know more. I will cut the book some slack because there is a sequel coming out later this year.
The Line is a wonderful book that any readers of Southern Gothic and the paranormal will enjoy immensely. It's one of the best books that I've read so far this year, and I can't wait to read more books from Horn.
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About the Author
J.D. Horn was raised in rural Tennessee, and has since carried a bit of its red clay in him while traveling the world, from Hollywood, to Paris, to Tokyo. He studied comparative literature as an undergrad, focusing on French and Russian in particular. He also holds an MBA in international business and worked as a financial analyst before becoming a novelist. When not writing he is likely running, and he has race bibs from two full marathons and about thirty half marathons. He and his spouse, Rich, and their three pets split their time between Portland, Oregon and San Francisco.
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To satisfy FTC guidelines, I am disclosing that I received a copy of the novel from the publisher through TLC Book Tours in exchange for an unbiased review. It has in no way affected the outcome. All expressed opinions are awesome, honest, and courtesy of me.