Daily Archives: March 12, 2014

Wait, Haven’t I Read this Before?

The Dark Witch

by Nora Roberts

When I’m out and about, I always end up looking at books.  If there is a book within 100 yard radius, I’m drawn to it.  They’re treats to myself when I’ve been particularly good…or particularly bad…or just particular. (Fine, I’m just looking for an excuse to buy a book.) Like a lot of readers, I’ve got the authors I turn in order satisfy a certain mood.  Nora Roberts has always been a go-to for a bit of escapism, or even just to get me reading something I know I can finish in a handful of hours. (Especially if I’ve had issues with my focus.)  So when I found myself with a nightstand full of half-read novels staring me in the face, I went browsing the supermarket book aisle and found The Dark Witch.

The Dark Witch by Nora Roberts is the first in the Cousins O’Dwyer Trilogy.  Set in Ireland, a brother and sister find their long-lost cousin.  The final piece in their triumvirate.  The O’Dywers have power, passed down through the generations.  Each member of the triumvirate inherits a talisman of protection, created in the 13th century by their ancestor, Sorcha The Dark Witch to protect her three children from the power-mad warlock set to destroy her.  Sorcha’s dying act was to pass the power the warlock coveted to her children.  Flash forward to modern-day, The Dark Witch’s power is reunited in the cousins, and the big bad has returned to take it from them.

The Dark Witch by Nora Roberts #1 Cousins O'Dwyer Trilogy

The Dark Witch #1 Cousins O’Dwyer Trilogy

Mystery, the supernatural, an exotic destination, and a little bit of romance draw readers in to this latest installment by the prolific author, Nora Roberts.  As always, the characters are engaging, the descriptions lush, and the plot full of action.  However, this time I didn’t feel like I was reading anything new.  The Dark Witch was a quick, enjoyable read, but I could have picked up several of Ms. Roberts previous trilogies and read almost the same story.  Three Sister’s Island Trilogy had a set of three sister witches battling an evil that had come from their past to threaten their future.  The Irish Trilogy, set in Ireland (obviously) had three relatives on a course set by fairies.  Even the characters themselves are mere echoes of those who have come before.  The pixieish blond who is sweet but a bit unsure of herself, the long dark-haired beauty who turns men’s heads and is a gifted musician, the open-hearted man with a core of steel…all of these “types” have made previous appearances.

It made me wish my memory was a bit less keen, because it is a good story.  The perfect escape to somewhere with just enough intrigue and danger without being overwhelming.  I got exactly what I was looking for, but I needn’t have shelled out the extra cash.  I could have turned to my own bookcases for something I already owned.  To be fair, it has to be nearly impossible to churn out as many quality novels as Ms. Roberts has without leaning too heavily on previous characters.  She has published somewhere around 200 novels, and that is no easy accomplishment.  Nora Roberts can also almost always be found at the top of a best seller’s list with her latest and greatest.  She is incredibly readable and easy to digest.

If you’re new to Nora Roberts, by all means gobble this gem up.  However, if, like me, you’ve indulged in her brand of escapism heavily, and are in need of some originality, this is not the place to go looking.  The library may lure me in for the remaining to volumes of the Cousins O’Dwyer Trilogy, but that’s a big maybe.  All in all, while it won’t stop me from picking up the next hardcover from this author, I was a bit disappointed.

‘Til next time,

Jessica

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Oklahoma, Where the Wind Comes Sweeping Down the Plains

Dexter a.k.a. Jerky Dogface

Dexter a.k.a. Jerky Dogface. He looks so innocent doesn’t he?

You know the part of the song in Oklahoma that talks about the wind sweeping down the plains?  Well, let me tell you, friend, it was definitely sweeping, swooping…I can’t think of another s-word for what the wind was doing.  Thanks to the 50mph + gusts, my sleep was seriously cut short as in practically non-existent.

Well, I blame the wind, but it wasn’t the groaning house, rattling trees, the neighbor’s poorly closed garage door, or the overall general howling that kept me awake.  No, friends, it was my dog.  Dexter, Lord of the Great Toy Wars, is afraid of the wind.  In his defense, it was a very noisy wind last night, but still…basically air. (Or not basically, but actually air.)

I know the wind came in last night just as predicted, because Dex (otherwise known as Jerky Dogface) woke me up at midnight trying to get in bed with me.  (This is not allowed.  I like my sleeping space dog hair free.)  I went back to sleep(ish).  Then Jerky Dogface licked my face and drooled on my sheets.  This was followed by trying to dig out of the window through the glass.  Finally, there was the crash.  I have yet to investigate exactly what was knocked over, because it was nearly 3:00 am and as long as it wasn’t the fish tank, it didn’t matter.  (It was not the fish tank.  Moriarty/Murderous Mike is safe.)  At this point, I coaxed Dex out of the hiding place in the corner under the table and into his kennel, covered it with a blanket, gave him a treat and pleaded with him to let me get a little sleep.  After all, my job is what keeps him in dog food and treats. (You’d think he’d be more appreciative.)

I’m struggling this morning.  Three non-consecutive hours of sleep isn’t enough for me any more.  I am no longer in college.  The massive amounts of caffeine I’m ingesting doesn’t seem to be helping either. Any suggestions?  Oh, tried yoga and jumping.  Something about getting the blood moving…or something moving, anyway.  Good golly, miss Molly, I hope I don’t completely jack up this conference call…maybe some more caffeine…..

‘Til next time,

Jessica

 

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