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Witching Savannah #2
Description⎮Reviewed Mar. 2016
Narrator: Shannon McManus
Length: 10h 56m
Publisher: Brilliance Audio⎮2014
4.75 ★ Audiobook⎮
I’m tempted to bump this up to a 4.75 rating. The only thing that’s stopping me is that there were a couple of scenes Screw it. This deserves a 4.75 rating. That ending got me right in the feels. I was going to say that there were a couple of scenes that I felt could have been played out a little a little better to spare me some confusion in the moment, but most everything got ironed out pretty quickly anyhow. I’m just not very quick on the uptake all of the time. Now that I think about it, this sequel far exceeded my expectations. With second installments, there’s always the risk of a “sophomore slump”, but this installment actually picked up momentum. There was so much freaking action in this book that is understandable why I felt a little overwhelmed at times, but only slightly. This author does a nice job of balancing action-packed scenes with explanatory ones, without resorting to “information dumps”. When at any point I felt like I couldn’t fully process what had just happened, the author provided some type of explanation (liked having it explained to another character or having the MC provide a refresher). I have to hand it to J.D Horn. He seems to be very in tune with his readers, enough that he can anticipate their needs. This installment solidified my obsession with the series and I cannot for the life of me figure out why I’ve never seen anyone talking about it. This is another one of those series that I would have never known about if I hadn’t randomly stumbled upon it while “window shopping” on Audible.com. A hidden gem, I guess you could say. This series has everything that I love about paranormal and each time I think that it may be getting a little too bizarre for my liking, Horn dials it back and ties it all back into the main storyline. As I mentioned in my review of the first installment, one of the things that I most appreciate about this series is its maturity. I wouldn’t classify the series as Young Adult, especially after this installment, which included one of the sexiest love scenes I’ve read in a long, long time. I’m so used to reading the nearly squeaky clean Young Adult genre, that it didn’t take much of this much to make me blush! Mind you, that is not a complaint.
I’ve come to really appreciate Horn’s style of character development. The main character and her family were extremely well-developed in the first installment. This installment indeed furthered the development, but what impressed me most was his way of developing the antagonists in the story. It’s usually easy to identify a “villain” and form negative feelings towards them because of their evil deeds or even just because they are filling the role of villain. I normally dislike a villain because they are the villain and I know that’s what is expected of me as the reader. Only in certain cases, like that of Dolores Umbridge, do I harbor such venomous hatred toward a villain that I actually have to pause the story and take a deep breaths in order to cool my temper down. This story presented another one of those times when I was practically seething with hatred. Horn developed his antagonist’s villainous-ness not only around evil deeds, but primarily around an innate evil nature. Although probably controversial, the thing that most effectively made this point was Horn’s choice to have the antagonist be both a murderous racist and a raging homophobe. Slurs were uttered that I cannot recall ever hearing in a story set in modern-day. It was this that caused my unequivocal loathing of the character, which I’m sure is exactly what Mr. Horn intended. Well, mission accomplished.
Narration review: Yet again, I have been floored by Shannon McManus’ narration abilities. The voice distinction she provided for the main character’s aunts, Iris and Ellen, alone was beyond impressive. McManus put on a one woman show! Her Savannah southern accent is utterly delightful and I think it has inadvertently caused me to thicken my own southern accent. I’m hesitant to say that she is the best narrator I’ve ever heard, because that sounds so definitive, but I’m really tempted to say it anyway. At the rate things are going now, it wouldn’t surprise me if I’m over my commitment issues and ready to declare her my all-time favorite by the end of the series. ♣︎