New Release Group Review: The Source by JD Horn

3 The SourceThe Source by JD Horn
Book #2 in Witching Savannah
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Publication Date: June 3rd 2014
ARC Provided by Netgalley and 47 North

Synopsis from Goodreads: Graceful trees and historic buildings fill Savannah, Georgia, but beneath the city’s Southern splendor, its supernatural roots run deep. The members of local witch families grace the society pages…when they’re not secretly protecting their magical work from dark forces.

Savannah resident Mercy Taylor may now be in control of the South’s most powerful family of witches, but she’s struggling to master her newfound magic. Pregnant with her first child and still reeling from a heartbreaking betrayal, she just wants to be able to use her supernatural abilities without accidentally destroying dishes or blasting the doors off buildings.

But when Mercy’s long-presumed-dead mother suddenly returns, begging Mercy to keep her presence under wraps, the witch wonders how many secrets her family is hiding…and who she can really trust. And when the danger around her intensifies to deadly levels, Mercy knows she must discover the truth behind her family’s magic—before it destroys her.

AH and Christal’s Review – 4 Skulls – B+

Christal: We’re back with Mercy and the Savannah Taylors for the second installment in the Witching Savannah series.  What did you think about the world building this time around, AH?

AH: Savannah is the perfect backdrop for this series. It’s an older town, steeped in the traditions of the south, complete with hoodoo, witchcraft, etc. The author then added lore from Jewish mysticism (the golem) and from Gaelic mythology (the sidhe). You’d think that this melange of traditions wouldn’t work together, but they do and the result is a fascinating story that kept me turning the pages.

Christal: I agree, I really liked the mix of different magic types though I am still a little unclear about how the sidhe are going to fit into everything.  It was kind of neat to see Peter’s family have more connection to the mystical world than we first thought.  I’m guessing we haven’t seen all of it yet though or perhaps some distant… cousins… might make an appearance.  Mercy and Peter’s relationship also grew and changed in this book and I’m wondering how it will be affected by the things we learned about his family.

AH: We learn of the extent of Peter’s love for Mercy. It’s funny, Peter never really struck me as being the one for Mercy in the first book. He was there, he was available, but she wasn’t really sold on him. In this book, you really see how much he loves Mercy and how he’s been in love with her ever since she was a little girl. He is very protective of her and runs to her aid. I also like that Peter wants to provide for Mercy on his own.  I still didn’t get why the love charm was such a big deal – he loved her and just wanted to seal the deal.

Christal: I was never 100% sold on Peter either and, honestly, I’m still not.  Something always feels just a little off in their relationship to me.  It’s obvious that he loves her, though I’m still not sure Mercy loves him equally, but sometimes I wonder if he might take it to obsession levels.  That’s what worries me about the love charm… when Mercy sought one for herself, that was one thing.  But for Peter to go to Jilo and have a charm put on Mercy, that seems like taking away her ability to choose — taking away her free will.  That’s my only worry with Peter — that he is in love with his ideal of Mercy more so than the actual Mercy and the strong women she is turning into.  I’m probably just reading too much into it though and I’m sure Mercy can handle it.

AH: Speaking of Mercy, she is coming into her powers and being trained by Mother Jilo. From what we can see, Mercy is a powerful witch and with the added training, her power grows.  Also, we really begin to see the extent of Ginny’s despotic rule over the family and how she controlled their powers. Holding Mercy back and siphoning her powers was not the best decision. She also held back other family members.

Christal: Yep, Ginny made a series of really bad decisions!  Mercy is going to be really powerful and, instead of trying to develop her and guide her like a sane person would, Ginny just tried to stifle her and everyone around her.  Look how well that turned out re: Maisie!  It was interesting to find out more about Mercy and Maisie’s parents… interesting yet dark…

AH: Because there has to be something sinister and creepy in the family. After all, they are witches. This is a really good skeleton in the closet and Erik really was up to no good.

Christal: I know!  I was not expecting that about him; his duplicity really caught me off guard — not to mention the type of person Mercy’s mother turned out to be.

AH: Who is Mercy’s mother? Personally, I think Mother Jilo was more of a mother than Emily could have ever been.

Christal: I agree, Jilo truly cared about Mercy in a way Emily could never have understood.  It was amazing how many new characters we met in this story, yet I never felt like they took away from Mercy and her family’s story.  They just helped to add layers and dimension to everything that was going on.

AH: This book has a nice diversity of characters – colors, religions, and sexual orientation.

Christal: Agreed, the cast is very colorful — especially when you take into account some of the… less than human… characters like Emmett.

AH: In many ways, his name suits him so well. Emmett means Truth and he helps Mercy learn about herself. He is a bit aloof and head over heels in love with her, but still, there is no better protector than a golem. Oh, and nice touch with Emmett’s creator Rivkah.

Christal: Oh yeah, loved Rivkah!  I can’t wait to see how her actions at the end of the book and Mercy’s ultimatum to the witch council affect the story in The Void.

Thank you to Netgalley and 47North for providing an ARC copy of this book!

Our Rating: ☠  ☠  ☠  ☠  ☠ 

Series Reading Order:
1. The Line
2. The Source
3. The Void (Expected publication: October 28th 2014)

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