Although classed as a paranormal romance/thriller, ‘Witch’ has something to offer most genres, including horror, adventure, mystery and fantasy. Tim O’Rourke definitely meets his intended audience’s needs as this novel is fun and flirtatious but frightening and fearsome. Not to mention saucy, sensual and sexy. Hence the recommendation of mature readers.
The reader is instantly drawn into the story with Sydney and Michael trying to share a passionate moment. But, should she be doing this? Is she making a mistake? Even at the age of twenty, Sydney is still behaving like a tearaway, however she still comes to learn that she must take responsibility.
Sydney is a very likeable character and, as the book is written from her point of view throughout, the reader can make a strong connection to her. She wants to do the right thing, make her father proud, but isn’t she entitled to a little fun?
It is from this moment that events take place that will change Sydney’s life forever. Sydney begins having nightmares. These nightmares are vivid, frightening and eerie to the reader, as well as to Sydney. There are cringe-worthy moments, for example “…that flap of skin slapping against his emaciated face…” In parts, it made my skin crawl.
The effect that this novel has is brilliant. I went from laughing out loud one minute to being overcome with fear the next. This is one of the consequences from writing great characters as they are so full of life.
Vincent is my favourite character as he is awkward and funny. He appears to be sweet but cheeky and a little strange at times. One of my favourite scenes is when Vincent is dancing. Tim O’Rourke sets the scene up really well with the atmosphere and the music. The reader can feel Vincent really getting into the song and when Sydney had seen him she says, “You looked like you were having a fit!” Although sarcastic of Sydney, I found it very amusing.
The reader is taken on a mystery/adventure as Sydney tries to get to the bottom of these nightmares and why she was called a ‘witch’. Has she been cursed? Is the curse the reason for her nightmares?
In the back of her mind, Sydney is constantly conscious of her father. He is a strong and demanding character, but a little lost and empty too deep down. He is always wanting the best from his daughter but usually feeling disappointed with her. This is a great under current of the main story.
As in Tim O’Rourke’s ‘Keira Hudson’ series I enjoy the mention of modern technology, such as the iPod and, in this novel, the mini iPad. Knowing that the characters are using the technology that many of us have now and naming music artists and songs that the characters are listening to make this journey even more believable. Although some may see this point as being trivial, I believe that sometimes it is these small mentions that do provide a connection, an understanding with the reader which makes it seem that little bit more real.
As always, it has been my intention to write an honest and constructive review. Where is the criticism? Personally, I genuinely cannot fault the story, the characters, the setting nor the style of writing. The story is quick-paced, written direct to the point and each scene’s mood and atmosphere is built up beautifully to help create the events that take place. However, therefore, the reader is left wanting more. Whilst the novel wrapped up really well, missing nothing out, I would have liked it to have been longer. I just wanted to carry on reading! And on that note, I am hoping for more of Sydney Hart!!!
I would like to thank Tim O’Rourke for this copy of ‘Witch’, received in return for an honest and sincere review.
Reviewed by Caroline Barker
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Caroline at A Reader’s Review Blog