Water Witches by Chris Bohjalian
Scottie Winston’s wife, sister-in-law, and daughter are all dowsers or “water witches,” meaning they can divine the location of water sources. He finds himself at odds with his family when he lobbies for a ski resort that wants to move into the drought stricken town and use the river to make snow for the resort.
This was an okay book. I was expecting a little more magical realism, but what I got was more of a conservative versus liberals, environmentalist versus non-environmentalist stuff. Not that there’s anything wrong with that, but I thought I would learn more about dowsing. Now there are some real juicy tidbits in this story like Patience’s belief that a man can’t be a dowser because only women are connected to fluid and to the earth. But mostly it was just a book about differing political/environmental stances.
Blood and Snow by RaShelle Workman
The vampire queen choses a new host body every thousand years. She’s chosen Snow White, a girl who’s spent most of her life being teased about her fairytale name, to be that girl. Snow White is bitten by The Hunter and becomes a being that’s neither human nor vampire.
Ugh, from the seven close male, rich friends living nearby to just EVERYTHING, I was annoyed by this. I know many people enjoyed this, but I’m not sure this story is for me. I think I’ve just moved beyond the phase where I would’ve really appreciated something like this. It managed to do every single thing I hate about some YA novels, but the premise was interesting, which is about its only saving grace right now with me. I’m putting the rest of these books (novellas really) on the bottom of my TBR pile where I will wait for the day I feel compelled to continue this story. Hopefully, later parts will make me forgive this part because it has potential, but this was not it for me.
The Last Werewolf by Glen Duncan
Jake is the world’s last werewolf, and he just turned 201-years-old. Don’t let the years fool you, though. Jake has aged well over the years. Sex and a good diet will do that for a werewolf. However, after finding that he’s the last werewolf after hunters killed the only other remaining wolf, Jake begins to think about how lonely life is and maybe the time of the wolf is over. He decides that he’ll choose his own death. However, there are people who are intent on keeping Jake alive for differing reasons.
I thought the book was well written. But it was a real struggle to get through for me. I had pretty much had to force myself to finish this because I hate quitting books, especially when they’re not technically terrible. The language and style was exceptional, but I found myself spending so much of the book saying, “Can we get to the point, Jake?” which is so rare for because I tend to love rambling and wordiness in books. Jake is like that guy who gets caught up in his own romantic ruminations and obviously likes the sound of his own voice, and you just groan, roll your eyes, and start tapping your watch. I was just tired of him, literally worn out from reading all his thoughts, by the 8th chapter, and after that, the story would get good, but then pull back. I don’t know what this book was trying to do to me. With that being said, I don’t know if I’ll be reading the second book or not right now.
Tigerheart by Peter David
This is a retelling of Peter Pan, called The Boy in this story. Actually, this is the story of Paul Dear, a young boy who desperately wants to go to Anyplace (Neverland) to find something to help his mother who is miserable after the death of his one week old sister. However, his story is strongly tied to The Boy and Anyplace since he needs both to achieve his goals, and in some part of himself, Paul believes that he may actually be The Boy or some manifestation of him.
This was an audiobook listen narrated by Simon Vance. Yeah, you know I love the guy. Even though I’d listened to one book he narrated before this. This book made me realize how consistent and talented he was with his reading, and it helps that he was reading an imaginative retelling, which I love. I enjoyed this book more than I thought I would. I was a little apprehensive at first that I might find it too juvenile for my tastes, but that wasn’t the case at all. Peter David managed to make this book feel like a child who is on the cusp of adulthood. It was both naïve and worldy, innocent and experienced. It was truly an amazing, whimsical story with tones of darkness.
Mom Note: I wouldn’t necessarily recommend this for younger children even if the tone, wording, and pacing “feels right” for younger children. This book is about children and told in that genial tone reserved for children’s books. It’s not necessarily a story that’s “bad” for younger audiences, but they wouldn’t understand the nuances in the story that require some level of maturity to already have been achieved. Examples of this include when the narrator mentions that Paul, being a child, would not understand a woman’s figure or why they might not have wanted to be as “round in the hips” as Fiddlefix (Tinkerbell) or when the narrator notes that The Boy shares with grown men the inability to decide if he wants the significant non-mother female figure in his life, Gwennie (Wendy), to be his mother or his lifemate or when the narrator refers to maturity as “the destruction.” So, for any parent/guardian/adult figure thinking this might be great for a younger audience, it’s not. It’s a book about children, but it’s not necessarily a book for children. I’d say early teens, maybe even kids as young as 11-12, would better handle a book like this one.