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T*Witches: Destiny’s Twins by H.B. Gilmour & Randy Reisfeld

The Twitches are back in the final book of the series. Can they become witches and follow in their family’s legacy? Or will Thantos prevent them from their initiation by throwing evil at them from all directions?

Title: Destiny’s Twins
Author: H. B. Gilmour & Randy Reisfeld
Series: T*Witches Book 10
Publish Date: February 1, 2004, Scholastic
Genre: YA paranormal fantasy
Source: Purchased

Publisher’s Description: In this gripping installment, Cam and Alex are on the brink of Initiation—until someone evil sets out to stop them from succeeding. Can the twins still become true witches?

It’s the moment they’ve been waiting for. Cam and Alex are about to be initiated. In just a month, the girls will be welcomed as full-fledged witches in a blowout bash on Coventry.

But first, they’ve got to prove themselves witch-worthy. The twins must complete a series of tough magick tests. And they’ve got an extra-credit exam: someone sketchy is out to stop them both from succeeding. It’s up to the twins to decide how to get rid of this creep. But they’d better choose wisely. Because nothing less than their destiny is at stake.

Possible spoilers beyond this point.


Kat Mandu says…

The Twitches are back in the final book of the series. Can they become witches and follow their family’s legacy? Or will Thantos prevent them from their initiation by throwing evil at them from all directions?

All bets are off for the twins as they spend their entire birthday month studying, training, and preparing for their Coventry Island initiation. This test will prove just how strong, brave, and kind they are against all witchy situations. But they’re also dealt wild cards in the fact that their malicious Uncle Thantos is plotting against them. He’s recruited Sersee and some of his other lackeys to tear Alex and Cam apart when they need each other most.

I don’t really have much to say about this book. I mean, happy ending, and lots of precious self-discovery and proud moments. However, it lacks in the build up. I just thought that there would be more to their initiation or more to the book itself perhaps? There was very little backlash from other villainous characters, like Sersee and the other Furies. Plus, you never really hear about the drama with Shane and what’s happened to him after he tried to kill Thantos.

Either way, I enjoyed this reread of the series.

Our reviews in this series…

Other recommendations…

You might try the Daughters of the Moon series by Lynne Ewing, the Sweep series by Cate Tiernan, and Witches’ Key To Terror by Silver RavenWolf.

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T*Witches: Split Decision by H.B. Gilmour and Randy Reisfeld

Shocking secrets come to light at last as readers discover Thantos’s true nature, leaving the twins to deal with family drama, sinister death traps, and the loss of their magick without each other.

Title: Split Decision
Author: H.B. Gilmour & Randi Reisfeld
Series: T*Witches, Book 09
Publish Date: September 1, 2003 by Scholastic
Genre: YA paranormal fantasy
Source: Purchased

Publisher’s Description: Despite their much-needed vacation from themselves, Cam and Alex find their magick very weak while separated, resulting in evil settling in with no intention of leaving.

Possible spoilers beyond this point.

 


Kat Mandu says…

Alex and Cam haven’t really been apart since Alex first showed up on her sister’s doorstep in book one. Now for the first time, the Twitches are doing their own thing. Alex is figuring out her relationship with Cade and Cam, recently split-up with Jason, and is lonely enough to fall for another one of Shane’s romantic tricks.

So Cam ends up on Coventry Island to deal with not only Shane, but also Sersee and her friends, Miranda and a very angry Ileana. Thantos tries to lure her in with promises of power and a family, with one exception: Alex isn’t part of the picture.

Alex herself has fallen into Michealina’s spell – one that promises she’ll see Sara again – and finds herself wondering if things would be better if she went back to Montana. Which is exactly how Thantos wants her to feel.

This book has a big “finding myself” kind of theme as the twins discover what life could mean for themselves without the interference of the other sister. The last eight books have tested their powers, and now it’s time to test their mettle and inner strength.

So overall, I really liked it and am ready for the finale.

Our reviews in this series…

Other recommendations…

You might try the Daughters of the Moon series by Lynne Ewing, the Sweep series by Cate Tiernan, and Witches’ Key To Terror by Silver RavenWolf.

The Dragon’s Playlist by Laura Bickle

In The Dragon’s Playlist, Di begrudgingly returns home when her father is severely injured in a mining accident. But when she discovers an ancient dragon lurking around the mines, she has to question where she stands in an upcoming battle for the mines that could change her life forever.

I received an ARC or review copy of this book from the author/publisher. All opinions are my own.

Title: The Dragon’s Playlist
Author: Laura Bickle
Publish Date: June 1, 2017
Genre: YA urban fantasy
Source: Provided by the author

Publisher’s Description“This is war,” the dragon said. And she believed him.

Di fled rural West Virginia to study music and pursue a bright future as a violinist. But when a mining accident nearly kills her father, she is summoned back home to support her family. Old ghosts and an old flame emerge from the past. When Di gets a job as a bookkeeper at the same mine where her father worked, she is drawn into a conflict pitting neighbor against neighbor as the mine plans an expansion to an untouched mountain.

If the mining company’s operation goes forward, there will be more at stake than livelihoods or the pollution of the land: Di has discovered a dragon lives deep within Sawtooth Mountain, and he is not happy with this encroachment upon his lair. When catastrophe strikes, Di must choose between her family’s best interests and protecting the dragon – the last surviving bit of magic in Di’s shrinking world.

In every fight, sides are chosen. And there can be no yearning for what has been left behind.

Possible spoilers beyond this point.


Kat Mandu says…

Di returns home when her father is nearly killed in a strange incident in the mines. She’s not happy about it. She was off living her dream as a violinist, and coming back home means she’s gotta give up that dream and be stuck in her small hometown, where she feels like she’s suffocating. On the one hand, her relationship with her mother seems to be even more strained, but then she’s got her ex-boyfriend Jason, who proves to be more supportive than she realizes.

When she gets a job at the mining facility where her dad worked, she meets and befriends a dragon by the name of Afakos. The dragon loves her violin music. There’s a connection between the beast and her father’s accident… something Afakos isn’t hesitant to admit.

But there’s also a bigger threat when environmental rioters come in and protest against the planned blast mine, which would progress the industry, but also kill off all the wildlife in the area – an area which Afakos has made his home.

So now Di is torn between walking away and stopping the blast mine process to spare Afakos. It makes for a great read all in all.

I’m fond of Di’s character for the most part. I really honed in on the parts with her and a side character, Julie, who shows her a taste of magic. I’ve been in her shoes for that role – the curiosity of learning something you never really knew existed. It reminded me of Sweep at times, which is a series I also enjoy. The Wiccan elements really hit home for me, though I’m not sure how I feel about not knowing Julie’s fate.

One thing I couldn’t relate to was Di’s bitterness at coming home. I also grew up in a very small town but I never had that “oh god, I must get out” feeling. And personally, if I got a call telling me my dad was in the hospital and in very bad condition, I would have no qualms about returning. So I found it very frustrating that Di was acting like a child having temper tantrums at some points.

I like the romance between Di and Jason, and the small but crucial attraction she has to the leader of the protesters. Though the romance doesn’t take over the story, Jason plays a key role in helping Di realize her place in her small world. Plus, he seems like a genuinely sweet guy.

The writing is wonderful. It flows well and you can tell the descriptions just fit in all the right ways. This obviously isn’t Laura Bickle’s first novel, so I’m enjoying reading some of her new work and new ideas. I wouldn’t take this as a natural fantasy, more of a contemporary about family and growing up with fantastical elements (dragon, of course) added to it. Although it didn’t hook me enough to read all through the night, it was still a book I would read again eagerly.

Overall, I give it a four.

Other recommendations…

Sweep by Cate Tiernan; Starlight by Chelsea Campbell; Sublime by Christina Lauren.

I received an ARC or review copy of this book from the author/publisher. All opinions are my own.

Stork by Wendy Delsol

A cute start to a new series.

I received an ARC or review copy of this book from the author/publisher. All opinions are my own.

StorkTitle: Stork
Author: Wendy Delsol
Series: Stork #1
Publish Date: October 16, 2016 by Candlewick Press
Genre: YA Paranormal Romance
Source: Provided by Publisher

Publisher’s DescriptionSixteen-year-old Katla has just moved from Los Angeles to the sticks of Minnesota. As if it weren’t enough that her trendy fashion sense draws stares, she learns to her horror that she’s a member of an ancient order of women who decide to whom certain babies will be born. Add to that Wade, the arrogant football star whom Katla regrettably fooled around with, and Jack, a gorgeous farm boy who initially seems to hate her. Soon Katla is having freaky dreams about a crying infant and learns that, as children, she and Jack shared a near-fatal, possibly mystical experience. Can Katla survive this major life makeover and find a dress for the homecoming dance?

Drawing from Norse mythology and inspired by The Snow Queen by Hans Christian Andersen, debut author Wendy Delsol conceives an irreverent, highly entertaining novel about embracing change and the (baby) bumps along the way.


Luna Lovebooks says…Luna_Lovebooks_100

I can definitely say that I have never read anything quite like this. An L.A. city girl is thrust into small-town life with many more surprises thrown in along the way.

The history described in this book is so creative and the mythos is new to me. I enjoyed getting lost in the unfamiliar world of the Stork Society and its unique customs. The symbolism in the dreams that Katla was having, and in the novel in general, were well thought out. I do wish a bit more time was spent on the society itself, but I also understand that we needed to get introduced to the players of the future novels.

Katla can be a bit brat-ish at times but she is only 16 so I will give her a pass. She has high fashion on the brain and, at times, thinks her sense of style is the only way to go. But she takes to her new duties like a champ. The romance between her and Jack can be a bit eye-roll inducing but it is cute none the less.

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There are some plot points that I guessed pretty early but there were many more that leave you with questions that I hope will be answered in future installments. I added this novel to my personal keep shelf and will be on the lookout for the next novel. I give Stork 4 feathers.

Our reviews in this series…

Other recommendations…

My Life with the Lincolns by Gayle BrandeisEnchanted Ivy by Sarah Beth Durst, Dark of the Moon by Tracy Barrett

I received an ARC or review copy of this book from the author/publisher. All opinions are my own.

T*Witches: The Witch Hunters by H.B. Gilmour and Randi Reisfeld

Cam and Alex are back in their hometown with new drama and new powers – just as a new enemy comes to visit.

Title: The Witch Hunters
Author: H.B. Gilmour and Randi Reisfeld
Series: T*Witches, Book 08
Publish Date: June 1, 2003, Scholastic
Genre: YA paranormal fantasy
Source: Purchased

Publisher’s Description: In the aftermath of an unsettled trip to Coventry Island, Cam and Alex cannot rest until they find out why one of the Six Pack is showing off some strange powers, and why a stranger to Marble Bay wants to deprive its people of magic.

Possible spoilers beyond this point.


Kat Mandu says…

If you were to read the original paperback summary of what this story is about, you’d probably be confused. My copy says that Cam’s BFF’s are acting way weird. But the fact is they’re really not. With the exception of one particular friend the twins discover is a “sensitive”—aka someone who is not born a real witch, but has certain abilities like ESP or heightened senses)—Cam’s friends don’t really play a particular role in the plot at all.

It does start with an assassination attempt on the warlock-turned-actor, Brice Stanley, which the girls manage to stop. Obsessed with finding this reaper-like stalker, the girls get in tune with their newly developed abilities to find out just who this mad guy is. Turns out he’s connected with Sersee, the enemy witch from the previous book. He hates all things witchy and has spent the last few years hunting down and calling out several witches in his attempt to expose them and magic in general.

Ileana and Miranda have their own adventure as well, confronting Sersee, who stole Karsh’s sacred journal, and Thantos, who gets a taste of his own medicine once Sersee exacts her revenge for cursing her into stone. But they end up retrieving the book and regaining some confidence. Plus, Miranda sees a new side to Thantos she’s been denying, so hopefully, she figures out that even if he isn’t a murderer, he’s still a dick.

This one had a nice flow to it, which is why I rated it higher. The bad guys are still goofy and there are some inevitably cheesy moments, but all in all, it’s a great addition to the series.

Our reviews in this series…

Other recommendations…

You might try the Daughters of the Moon series by Lynne Ewing, the Sweep series by Cate Tiernan, and Witches’ Key To Terror by Silver RavenWolf.