I completed the first book in the Fairwick Chronicles — The Demon Lover — in February and couldn’t wait long to jump into the second — The Water Witch.
These books are fluff reads with a slight dark side, and I love reading them! I enjoy the story and love the writing and am charmed by the setting. I get so swept up in the stories that I run through the books quickly.
After casting out a dark spirit, Callie McFay, a professor of Gothic literature, has at last restored a semblance of calm to her rambling Victorian house. But in the nearby thicket of the Honeysuckle Forest, and in the currents of the rushing Undine River, more trouble is stirring…
The enchanted town of Fairwick’s dazzling mix of mythical creatures has come under siege from the Grove: a sinister group of witches determined to banish the fey back to their ancestral land. With factions turning on one another, all are cruelly forced to take sides. Callie’s grandmother, a prominent Grove member, demands her granddaughter’s compliance, but half-witch/half-fey Callie can hardly betray her friends and colleagues at the college.
To stave off disaster, Callie enlists Duncan Laird, an alluring seductive academic who cultivates her vast magical potential, but to what end? Deeply conflicted, Callie struggles to save her beloved Fairwick, dangerously pushing her extraordinary powers to the limit—risking all, even the needs of her own passionate heart.
Much as I enjoyed reading The Water Witch, I didn’t like it as much as I did The Demon Lover. I was excited to read The Water Witch because I wanted the story to continue and wanted to revisit the charming town of Fairwick filled with fairy tale and supernatural creatures parading as humans. I even wanted to read more about Callie’s mysterious house and catch up on how Callie’s getting on learning about magic.
Though I got all that and more, I was largely underwhelmed by the story. It was just okay. There were some things I liked — mainly the description of the library at Callie’s home (it’s huge with floor-to-ceiling built-in bookcases and brass nameplates on each shelf to indicate the shelf’s subject (so cool!!)) and the textbooks on magic that Callie uses to study and how they function:
“When the blank section filled, the pages automatically flipped back to the beginning of the section. Cool, I thought. Who needs a Kindle?”
But for the most part, I was annoyed by Callie’s cluelessness in face of the obvious, especially since she is suppose to have some knowledge of the supernatural since she wrote a book on demon lovers, and how quickly the her romantic relationships developed. It didn’t make sense to me that the men would quickly become so possessive of her or that she wouldn’t question such possessiveness in a dude she just met and, in some cases, hadn’t agreed to being a relationship with. The same thing occurred in The Demon Lover, but I was too hooked on other elements of the story to pay much attention to that fault.
The aspects of The Demon Lover that I liked weren’t as strong in this, so I noticed the romance more and was annoyed by it. The story’s faults were more glaring to me in this book. I wanted more magic, more descriptions of the town, and more interactions with characters I like, such as Dory. But the magic was faulty and highly convenient when the story needed it to be, and it made no sense that the characters trust untrained Callie to do advanced magic simply because she’s more powerful. I didn’t see much of the town and though the characters were interesting, the ones focused on weren’t as delightful as before.
All that makes it seem as if I had a horrible time reading the story, but I didn’t. I liked the mystery, though it was obvious, and liked the conflict between the Grove and Fairwick and the impending close of the doors to Faerie. That last bit added a nice tension to the story.
Those are the things that kept be reading, but otherwise things were either too obvious, too convenient, or questionable. And because of that, the end didn’t have the impact on me that it was intended to.
Overall: ★★☆☆☆ 1/2
It was entertaining, but I had some issues with it and didn’t like it as much as the first book.
Buy | Borrow | Bypass
That’s if you’re really interested in the series. I am, so I plan to continue and read the next book, The Angel Stone.
If you’re not that interested in the series, then you should Bypass this one.