Book Review: Mark of The Witch (Boston Witches #1) by Jessica Gibson

Cover_Shot CropTitle: Mark of the Witch (Boston Witches #1)

Author: Jessica Gibson

Genre: Paranormal Romance

Age Group: Adult (18+)

Rating: 3 stars

Review copy provided by the author in exchange for an honest review.

Magic flows through Jillian Proctor’s veins as surely as blood, but so far her life outside Boston has been peaceful. William Morgan blows into Jilly’s life like a hurricane, unleashing her magic and sending her out of control. Unknowingly, William brings an enemy who only wants to posses the power of the witch. Jilly must learn to harness her magic before she loses it – and everything in her life is destroyed.

Jilly and Caroline are both witches. They’re also sisters, which instantly reminded me of Charmed. The book stays quite truthful to the way Charmed handles witches as well. Jilly makes potions using a cauldron, for example. Whereas Jilly fully accepts her powers and witch-status, Caroline resents her powers and wishes she were normal. This has caused a divide between both sisters, and they’ve grown apart. When their mother dies and Caroline moves halfway across the country, their relationship nearly vanishes completely.

Then the book takes a jump in time. Caroline and Jilly are now adults, and whereas Jilly is still very much in sync with who she is and her powers, Caroline is struggling. Her marriage is falling apart, and desperate for a new scene, she returns home to reconcile with Jilly. Meanwhile Jilly’s life is a lot more upbeat, but she hasn’t found someone to love yet, until William comes along. He’s everything a girl can look for in a man, a true prince charming, a sweet, gentle man.

The downside is that as soon as Jilly meets William, she gets terrifying dreams and visions about the past and about evil creatures called Amaranthines, who much resemble vampires. They get to live forever, and while they don’t have to feed on blood, immortality does to them what it does to all supernatural creatures: make them evil and emotionless. It’s possible for amaranthines to keep their humanity, but it’s rare. The amaranthine who has now set her eyes on Jilly, Sabine, is a powerful immortal who can reach Jilly through her dreams, and turn her life into a living hell.

I liked the plot. It reminded me a lot of Charmed, but the amaranthines made everything more special. They’re unique and original. However, my main problems with this book were a) the characters and b) the pacing. The story started at Caroline and Jilly’s 13th birthday when they got their powers, then jumped in time. I was all right with that, but the next few chapters/pages keep on going at this incredible speed, and it’s hard to catch up. Then when the pacing finally settles down and the real story begins, it’s still not hundred percent right. Now and then, I felt like the chapters weren’t fleshed out enough, and if they were, it was in the wrong places. It wasn’t constant, just now and then, that I felt a certain scene or event demanded more attention, and other, more boring scenes, dragged on.

The characters were also a bit too cut and clean. It’s easy to see who’s the bad guys and who is the good guys. I prefer my villains in shades of grey, here it’s a completely black/white story.

Overall, not too bad. I actually enjoyed reading it, and I thought the plot had great potential. If it weren’t for the pacing issues, this book would’ve gotten a higher rating. Hence why I mentioned the book could’ve used another editing round – a skilled editor would’ve caught the off-pacing.

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