The Corner Store Witch by H.D. Lynn
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
*** 3 Cranky Stars ***
First off, let me just say that I am probably not the target audience for this book. I am not a gamer nor do I follow anime.But I am an avid reader of fantasy; children, young adult or new adult category, I read them all. Especially when there’s loads of action promised in the blurb.
The Corner Store Witch is an interesting read. The title, cover and blurb drew me in. The main character, Leone, is the owner of a video game store. She has a twin sister and also has 3 lively, noisy BFFs who work for her and who would literally follow her to another dimension. The story began when a “man” bearing a magical staff fell into her store from what appeared to be a parallel world. Soon after, two more creatures followed demanding to find the man and the staff. In desperation, Leone used the staff and managed to save herself yet somehow the magic held in the staff transferred to her body represented by the runes inked on her arms (see cover photo). She now has to travel to this parallel world to try and get rid of the unwanted runes and get her life back.
Positives: the characters are multi-cultural. There’s also no insta-love in the story, not even sure if there will be a romantic element in this series based on book 1. The author definitely knows her games and probably has a medical background as well.
Not so positives: The book needs another round of editing just to get a few typos cleared up and also to tighten the story in places. I like that Leone has a twin and loads of friends, but it made the story rather busy and noisy. I couldn’t concentrate enough on a particular character to connect with and felt none of them developed in the story. There were situations introduced in that were not clear or answered i.e. the swimming pool scene. Then I’m just confused why all five girls had to cross to the other world. Was it for comic relief? If it was, I didn’t get it. Or maybe the others would play a vital role in future books? I don’t know. But I felt having all of them there bickering and disagreeing with one another as girlfriends do made the story drag.
I would have liked to see Leone’s character develop as well as her sister’s (her crossing with Leone made sense) and would have preferred to have Abinar’s character explained a bit more if he was supposed to be playing a major role in the story.
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