TITLE: SERPENT’S KISS
AUTHOR: MELISSA DE LA CRUZ
Details: no. 2 Witches of the East
Received from Sphere through
North Hampton is a town in New York state, but it is off the map, not completely part of the rest of the world, although by no means separate from it either. In North Hampton the three Beauchamp witches are trying to live their lives in a quiet way, using their magic to help those around them without interfering too much or being too open about it. But although life appears peaceful and good, stormy times are ahead for the witches. Joanne Beauchamp, the matriarch is receiving signs from an unsettled spirit. This spirit has an important message for Joanne but in order to retrieve it Joanne has to decipher a code and try to link up with the past. Her youngest daughter Freya should be completely happy, dividing her time between her job in a bar and the love of her life, Killian except that her twin Freddie has escaped from limbo and is convinced that Killian is the one who betrayed him and the one who should be imprisoned. Torn between her brother and her lover, Freya has to uncover the truth in order to save both men. Ingrid is a quiet girl, working as a librarian she has fallen in love for the very first time, despite having lived for centuries. That the object of her affection is the local, mortal, policeman who doesn’t believe in magic complicates matters almost as much as the fact that she is still a virgin does. And really, this description only scratches at the service of the problems the Beauchamp women will have to deal with.
This is the second book in a series of which I didn’t read the first book. And, considering the numerous references to earlier events, I assume that it would be smart to read the first book before starting this one. Having said that, this book can be read as a stand-alone novel. While I did at times find myself wondering about certain events that were referenced in the story, I never had a problem keeping up with what was going on in this book even though there is an awful lot happening on these pages and a lot of information to absorb.
I enjoyed the story which is fast paced with lots of twists and turns but liked the way in which it was told less. The story is told in fragments and doesn’t really flow. It is almost as if each chapter is a separate short story. I felt I was being thrown from scene to scene with none of them being properly concluded or connected to each other. With the start of each new chapter I felt as if I had landed in the middle of the next scene with no idea how the previous one had ended. I also felt the writing was a bit too descriptive. The surroundings and everything the characters do or feel is described in detail but as if from a distance. While I was told what people were thinking or feeling, there was no emotion attached to those bits of information. I read what was happening but I never experienced it. And this is a shame since I feel this is a story that could have truly captured me had it been told in a different way. I really liked the idea of the witches and the Gods. I love that the author has them living in our world while using their magic to help those around them. And I was intrigued by the rivalries and politics in the magical world. I just never felt truly involved in the story.
Overall I would call this an interesting story that would have been more captivating if had been written in a more flowing style.