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Coming Soon:
~Review: The Killing Woods
~Review: The Waiting Sky
~Review: A Certain Slant of Light
~Review: Timepiece
~Review: Infinityglass

Monday, January 21, 2013

Review: Witch's Brew & The Gleaning by Heidi R. Kling

Witch's Brew
Heidi R. Kling
Publisher: Coliloquy
Pub. Date: January 11th 2012
Series: Spellspinners of Melas County, #1
Age Level: 13+ (YA)
Source: For Review from Publisher

Synopsis via Goodreads
The Spellspinners of Melas County is a fantasy YA romance series about a witch, a warlock, and their fight for their forbidden but prophesied love.

Once soulmates, the witch and warlock covens of the California coast have been estranged for a century. Raised to hate each other, their teenagers meet in the Solstice Stones, a magical battleground where they draw energy from each other to maintain their balance. 16 year olds Logan and Lily have spent years training for their first Stones…only to discover just days before that the enemy may not be what either of them had thought.

In Witch’s Brew, Lily is torn between her feelings for Logan and her coven’s need to know who—or what—he is. The young lovers race against time, their distrust for each other, and the powerful influence of their elders to unravel the mystery of their pasts before their future is destroyed.

This is an Active Fiction title
"Active fiction" is a new type of e-reading experience that allows the reader and the author to interact with each other and the text in new and different ways.

In Witch’s Brew, Lily and Logan's fate is already decided, but Heidi explores several different possible pathways for how they get there. She shares scenes that wouldn’t normally fit in a book format and gives readers more precious moments between the two young lovers. As the series progresses, you'll see some normal narrative forms, interspersed with smaller scenes, alternate points of view, and a lot of "what if" scenarios.

The Gleaning
Heidi R. Kling
Publisher: Coliloquy
Pub. Date: Oct. 2012
Series: Spellspinners of Melas County, #2
Age Level: 13+ (YA)
Source: For review from publisher.


Heidi R. Kling frequently teased us readers with the mentions of a "sexah magic book" on twitter when she was writing Witch's Brew. Needless to say, I was excited to get to read this one. Since The Gleaning picks up right where Witch's Brew leaves off, and they're short, I decided to just review them together. (No spoilers, I promise)

The Spellspinners of Melas County features a wide array of characters, both major and minor, all with their own distinct personalities. The heroine, Lily, gave me so many reasons to love her.She followed her heart and instincts, was strong, not afraid to go against the grain, and had a sharp wit about her. She doesn't really feel deserving of her chosen role as a future leader, and I could kind of understand this, but she more than proved herself capable and fitting for the position throughout the first two books. I enjoyed watching her grow in confidence and as a character. Then there is Logan. At first, I was a little worried he'd be the brooding type, but thankfully he wasn't. He was smoldering though and when Kling hinted that he looked like  a certain uber sexy CW TV show character, well, I was ready to surrender my current life and high-tail it to Melas County. Many of the qualities that I liked so much in Lily were reflected in Logan and I loved the two together! The relationship development happened a little quick but for once I didn't really mind. The chemistry between the two of them was just terrific. Then there is Orchid, Lily's best friend. I really liked her at first, but then I started growing a bit wary of her throughout. There is also Daisy, Lily's little sister, whom I'd really like to see more of. Iris, Lily's mom, was another great minor character and I always love when I see a parent taking an important role in their teen's life in YA books. Jacob, well, I just hated him. Some other characters that contributed were Chance, Jude, Jonah, and, last but certainly not least, Camellia.

When I started Witch's Brew, I wasn't sure how I was going to like it. Yes, it grabbed my attention, but it read kind of young for a "#sexahmagicbook". But the further I got into it, and then The Gleaning, oh did the sexah come out to play. *waggles eyebrows* It wasn't long before I was completely wrapped up in the enchanting plot and setting of this series. It was definitely a fresh take on witches for me. The separation of Daughters of Light and Sons of Darkness, the history between them, and the whole concept of the Gleaning were all great defining elements and pulled together to create an epic battle of the sexes. While there were some predictable twists, there were equally as many, if not more, that totally weren't. The short, fast-paced nature of these books had me finishing them in no time and left wanting to gobble up more. Action, magic, betrayal, romance, and an atmospheric setting...*sings "these are a few of my favorite things"*. In Melas County you have everything from the beautiful ocean, to a cool coffee shop, and...wait for eerie castle academy with dungeons and creepy ass guard monsters dogs. I love me some well rounded world building, and Kling gave me just that. The closest thing I have to an issue is that I really wish there had been more of the interactive choices throughout the books, a problem I had with another interactive book I read from Coliloquy. 

Kling's writing was both beautiful and simplistic, kindling my growing fondness for her as an author. So far, both books have been written in alternating perspectives between Lily and Logan. Since they are both of two completely different worlds, so to speak, and each have so much to tell, I really liked this aspect.

The endings of both books were very cliffhanger-y. With Witch's Brew, I didn't mind at all because I knew I had The Gleaning waiting for me. However, I am waiting for the third book's release, so when The Gleaning ended on a cliffhanger, the claws came out. I must admit though, cliffhanger endings have never really bothered me so long as I know I can expect there to be answers.

In Essence

Characters: Full of personality and distinctive.
Writing: Simple and straightforward, in a good way, with some great pizzazz and style!
Plot: Enchanting, original, and quick!
Ending: Cliffhanger-y but I don't mind.
1st in Series: Lays good foundation for the books ahead while also being exciting.
2nd in Series: Things get more intense and development continues. No sequel syndrome!
Enjoyment/Likability: So fun to read!
Recommendable: Yes! Read them!

Overall:  Sassy and absolutely captivating, this is a sexy and fun series from a very talented author.

Covers: Faces are kind of odd looking but overall, very pretty!

Buy Witch's Brew

Buy The Gleaning
Kindle / Nook


About Me

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Georgia, United States
Hello all! My name is Briana, I'm 20, and I live in the beautiful state of Georgia. I love reading and photography.

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