The Witches of Echo Park by Amber Benson
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
A very solid start to a new urban fantasy series.
Lyse gets thrown into a world she had no idea existed but for the most part she takes things pretty well and goes with the flow.
Until bad things start happening and old truths are revealed.
Full of twists, turns, flashbacks and multiple viewpoints the book can feel a it surreal and downright confusing sometimes. A few things felt "off" for me, but the overall reading experience was still good.
If a book is really bad it becomes a DNF, this wasn't close to that, just a few "what?" moments, a couple I even had to re-read just to make sure I understood it correctly.
All in it has solid worldbuilding and well defined characters- that will make you want to read book two.
The Last Dream Keeper by Amber Benson
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Hearts will be broken, lives will be lost, atrocities will be done.
That's a quick description of The Last Dream Keeper, just be aware that the heart broken may be yours especially if you become invested in characters like I do.
Book One of The Witches of Echo Park was dark, but book two knocks it out of the well lit park straight into dark urban fantasy filled with wretched nightmarish scenarios and death. Book one set us up with characters and back story then book two drops us into the world right where book one left off- and it just keeps getting darker.
The Flood isn't coming, it's here and it is killing witches old school style- murder, burning at the stake, and that's just the tip of what they are doing. Torture, experiments...the things are awful...but yet we still never get a clear picture of what The Flood hopes to accomplish.
What really is the point of the experiments and horrible things they do to the witches, revenge, pleasure? Obviously they are bat shit crazy but how did they infiltrate the Witches Council so fully and completely? How did they fool powerful witches and fill their ranks?
That leads me to something that really bothered me...when you are part of a secret group, a secret powerful group, you usually don't trust as easily, take things at face value, or go against your people but the characters here are so easy to fool, easy to trick, and easy to mind control it makes me want to slap every single one of them. I think they all play the fool and that just doesn't work well for me.
I zipped through this book fast because I was invested in these characters and I needed to know what was going to happen. But the end left me rather confused and unsatisfied. I have more questions than answers.
I hope we get to see book three and some solid answers.