Title: Hunting For Witches
Author: Lana Pecherczyk
Stars: 4 out of 5
I will preface this review by saying that I am not an avid reader of the urban fantasy genre of literature. Honestly, I don’t even know what an urban fantasy is. However, I do know compelling and skillful storytelling, and Hunting for Witches has that in spades.
The book revolves around Roo, who, for the bulk of the book has no clue what she really is. She assumes she is probably a witch based on the abilities she has (but hides.) However, through a series of bizarre events and exchanges with mysterious figures, she finds out that what she is is not quite that simple. She finds herself gaining powers and abilities that fascinate as well as frighten her. Powers that also make her a target for others to destroy or to acquire in order to gain advantage for themselves.
The author's verb choices make the prose smooth and she shows a steady hand in creating scenes to draw the reader into the world of the book, and she is also quite adept at choreographing action scenes so they are clear, tense, and exciting. Her characters are well drawn, and I am intrigued to see how after certain developments that occur in the last few chapters, the author will deal with the newly minted conditions of the characters' existence.
That is about as much as I am willing to write without giving away too much of the story, but I will provide some content warnings for those considering picking up this well-written and well-constructed book. There is a moderate amount of blood and gore and coarse language as well as numerous scenes of violence, although none of it is done senselessly or for simple shock value. There is also some merit in letting those who are devoutly religious know that this book may possibly offend by redrawing known figures from Judeo-Christian canon in a light that may not be appreciated. However, chances are if you’re interested in reading urban fantasies about witches, your religious sensibilities won’t be harmed.
There is no explicit sexual content, although there is one character who is habitually naked. A fact that is generally used for comedic effect, but the reason why is explained and isn’t out of line with the rest of the narrative.
If I had one complaint concerning Hunting for Witches: The Ludus: Book One, it would be that the mythology is very densely packed. With the knowledge that this is volume one of a series of books, it felt a little too much to swallow in the opening shot. I admire the way Ms. Pecherczyk has created this colorful and unique universe. However, I felt that some of the pieces of the mythology could have been left to other books in the series, as there were times my head was spinning with all the different ideas and character types introduced along the way. There were times I had to backtrack to understand how each new piece of the puzzle fit together into the larger picture. That may be more to do with my cognitive abilities than the fault of the author, but I felt it was worth noting in any case.
Author Lana Pecherczyk borrows liberally from ancient and historic traditions, religions, and texts to weave a multicolored, multi-layered tapestry on which to paint her first book in the Ludus series. A series which, based on the setup and groundwork laid in this book, will be an exciting and original modern fable that fans of the genre, and others such as myself, will enjoy.
Witches have been obliterated - or so the world hopes. At 24, Roo struggles to keep her DNA-changing abilities secret. She doesn't feel like a witch, but if she isn't, how can she manipulate the physical world? Why does she feel the energy of all living things?
On tenuous ground, Roo keeps her skills hidden with the help of her sexy songstress BFF and her barmaid job at The Cauldron. Hiding in plain sight seems to be working until a mysterious witch hunter comes to town. Roo's powers are growing and, when a witch possesses the body of her sister, she defends her using any means possible.
Roo is exposed and attacked from all sides. She must learn to trust others while she discovers her identity and masters her powers to save the lives of her loved ones. She needs to convince herself and her town that she's more than a witch.
Inspired by mythology, science and fantasy, this fascinating debut novel is set in a brilliantly envisioned world where life is a secret game played by gods and witches until death
Kindle Edition, 405 pages
Published April 30th 2015 by Creative Cartel Publishing
About this author