The Source - JD Horn

22 August 2014

Genre: Urban Fantasy, Paranormal
My Rating:
Book Two of the Witching Savannah series
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.

The second book in J.D. Horn's Witching Savannah series, The Sourcecasts a thrilling spell.
This is going to be a bit of a ranty review I’m just warning you now. There may be swearing. I may edit it out. We shall see. Also, spoilers ahead! I don’t reveal the book ending, but I reveal a bunch of stuff that happened in the last book and this one. I’m not sure how spoilery it is, but the warning feels necessary.

Now a while back I was all excited about reading this book, the second book in the Witching Savannah series. Fast forward to now. I’ve finished the book and all it did was fill me with anger.
The story was dead interesting, even if by the second chapter I was like ‘WTF, Mercy, pull your shit together and do not trust bitches that return from the dead’ but that is neither here nor there is it? The premise is solid for these books, but I feel like the book lost me in the middle. I stopped feeling as connected with Mercy and I stopped liking her as a character. I began questioning her actions at every step because they made no sense to me. Even the reasoning given within the book made no sense to me. My main issue is the romance. I will be ranting about it below. I’m sorry.
This book is set a couple of months after the ending of the first, and considering I reread the first one as a refresher before beginning this, I have to say it was jarring. Mercy and events have moved forward and you get little explanation of how and why until later on. As I said, the romance is what gets me though. Mercy ended the last book being uncertain of where things could go with Peter. She knew she loved him, but I felt like it would be like the love you have for a person you have known most of your life, for your best friend, but not necessarily a passionate love. Yet you start this book with the pair being engaged, and you have little idea of how it happened. Throughout the beginning of this book it felt like everyone wanted Peter and Mercy married more than Mercy ever did, with it being pushed upon her and continually hinted at from all sides. From what I read I saw nothing of Mercy being certain she wanted the wedding, only that she viewed it as the right thing, despite the fact she could not bring herself to wear the ring, which is a massive hint if you ask me.

Their relationship made little sense to me in the first book, it all appeared so one sided, with Peter loving Mercy and she just loved him as friend. Even when she was under Jilo’s spell you didn’t see anything that resembled love or passion.  Peter seemed to be Mercy’s ideal, but we all know how that shit goes, just because you imagine the perfect guy for yourself does not mean that he actually is perfect for you.

Then you have this contrived love triangle, because where would we be without a good love triangle? I love Emmett, he is one of my favourite characters. I was psyched to have him in and I enjoyed the mild flirtation he had with Mercy in the first book. I would have loved to see that continue on the same footing in this book. Some light flirtation and Mercy to possibly see that Peter is not the only option. Instead we have Emmett being way too forceful and all up in Mercy’s face about his feeling. Feelings that come across as quite abrupt and sudden. I understand that as a newly created human he has newly created emotions which he has never experienced, but you’d think that having previously possessed nine separate minds or the conscious of them he might have a basic grasp on human interaction. This does not come across all that often though.
I don’t think you are helped in supporting Peter and Mercy as a couple by the fact they are never together. Emmett and Mercy are frequently together and you get to see her struggling with her feeling for him. You do not see much of Mercy and Peter together. Or when you do Peter is either being jealous of Emmett or he is acting impulsively trying to prove he is a man who can support his woman He does this to the extent where he foolishly and frequently refuses Mercy’s help because it makes him appear less of a man or some bull. The pair of them frequently do things without even discussing it with the other. How is that a good foundation for a relationship? I just could not see the passion nor could I see them as a believable couple. You don’t even get that old married couple vibe off of them. They are just these two separate people who happen to be having a kid together.

Enough about the romantic entanglements of Mercy though. This book was more than her love life, it was filled with such a unique story about a girl struggling with the new found powers she has. Struggling with finding her place when she feels like she has so little control of herself and what she can do. She is struggling with family that is so twisted up with various secrets I am amazed they can ever trust one another. In that way it is not surprising Mercy acts the way she does in regards to the revelation of her mother and by others around her. The family troubles and the secrets, they were the favourite aspect of this book for me. It was worth the read simply for that.
I know my entire rant about the romance in this book makes me come across as a crazy person only reading for one thing, but if I’m being honest I think I would have been happier reading this book without the romance. I enjoyed the story of this book. I like the characters, apart from Peter, I just can’t connect with the guy I’m afraid, and this is an original book. But then Horn went and messed it up by continually forcing the romance and the love triangle to the fore. I liked the first book because Mercy was so strong and independent, she made the decision to be independent from Peter so she could figure things out. She chose not to runaway with Jackson or act on her feeling for him because she could not do that to her sister. This girl had this amazing moral compass, sure she struggled like any person, but she did the smart thing. Then it all went wrong in this book.

I love this world, and will undoubtedly read the next one, even though I was so aggravated by this one. The story in itself is amazing, it is such a refreshing book. It has elements which remind of the Sookie Stackhouse books, in that there is a unique take on things like witches and other supernatural creatures. I liked the interaction between characters, especially Mercy and Jilo, and I loved that she was always driven by trying to do what’s right and get to the truth, even if she was stupid about going about it. I would recommend this book to read, and this series in general. Just be aware, it can be frustrating. Has anyone else read this? Did you experience the same thing or am I just being a bit of a crazy person about it?
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