Book Title: Somebody Tell Aunt Tillie She's Dead (Toad Witch Series Book 1)
Genre: Occult Humor
Author: Christiana Miller
Date Published: 18 June 2014 (Audio Book)
A little magic can go a long way -- to really screwing up a girl's life!
Mara is having the worst month of her life. At least, that's what her cards tell her and they've never been wrong. She's evicted from her apartment, loses her job and is banned from Beverly Hills. So when the tarot cards predict her imminent demise, she uses a little magic to make her world right.
Suddenly, an aunt she's never met dies, leaving Mara as her sole heir. But when Mara moves into her inherited home, she discovers Aunt Tillie never moved out. She's still one pissed-off old lady, even post-mortem, and she blames Mara's magical meddling for her death.
When Mara accidentally releases a demon and awakens the spirit of the most powerful witch in history, Tillie's ready to kill her -- literally. It's the only way she can think of to save the girl from herself.
The witch and the demon, however, have other plans for Mara's body!
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
I received a complimentary audio book copy from the author in return for an honest review.
This is the first book in the Toad Witch Series. I enjoyed it.
I downloaded this audio book and started listening. This story was narrated by Marie Rose. She did a wonderful job in bringing the characters to life, but I felt that her narration was a bit rushed at times.
Mara is a character I struggled to like. In fact, I wanted to strangle her myself due to her "woe is me" attitude. Granted she has not had the best of luck, what with losing her job and then her apartment, but in a way she brought these things on herself. She is a powerful witch, though I found her to be a poor lead character.
This was a story that I struggled to get into at first. I found myself a bit ambivalent to most of the characters, which saddened me. However, I did love Gus. He felt more like a lead character to me, rather than a secondary one; I loved his flamboyant and boisterous attitude.The story lagged and didn't really get interesting until Mara met Aunt Tillie at the cottage. I found myself doing a lot of eye rolling at some of the situations Mara found herself in, and was fully on Aunt Tillie's side for getting rid of her. However, that being said, it was interesting to follow Mara through the latter part of the story. I am not fully versed on the practice of Wicca, so cannot comment on whether the spells used by both Mara and Gus would actually work. However, to err on the side of caution, I would say don't use them - you could accidentally release a demon, or a power hungry witch! There are some light moments in the story which made me giggle, but there are also some dark moments that made me shudder. There are also several twists in this tale that kept the latter half of the book interesting, but there were also a few threads that were left loose and never fully explored. Perhaps these will be dealt with further in the series. Unfortunately, with all due respect to the author, I don't think I will be continuing with this series, as I just couldn't connect with the characters. Though I love paranormal stories full of humor, this book just wasn't my cup of tea. I will leave it up to you, the reader, to decide for yourselves.
Christiana Miller has written an intriguing tale. Her writing style is not particularly fast paced compared to other authors I have read, but she does have a flair for describing scenes vibrantly. Her world building was wonderful, but her characters, especially the heroine, could have done with being less helpless and had more common sense. The flow of the story was a bit erratic in the beginning, but evened out near the end.
Due to several mentions of explicit sex and sexual acts, I do not recommend this book to younger readers. However, I recommend this book if you love paranormal romance or stories about Wicca and witches. - Lynn Worton
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