The Line by J.D. Horn

Move over, Sookie Stackhouse—the witches of Savannah are the new talk of the South. Bold, flirty, and with a touch of darkness, debut author J.D. Horn spins a mesmerizing tale of a family of witches . . . and the problem that can
arise from being so powerful. As Charlaine Harris’ series winds down—and as Deborah Harkness’ series heats up—Witching Savannah is new contemporary fantasy that will be sure to enchant new readers.
Mercy Taylor, the youngest member of Savannah’s preeminent witching family, was born without the gift of magic. She is accustomed to coming in a distant second to the minutes older, exquisite and gifted twin she adores. Hopelessly in love with her sister’s boyfriend, she goes to a Hoodoo root doctor for a love spell. A spell that will turn her heart to another man, the best friend who has loved her since childhood.

Aunt Ginny, the family’s matriarch, would not approve. But Mercy has more to worry about than a love triangle when Aunt Ginny is brutally murdered. Ginny was the Taylor family’s high commander in the defense of the bewitched line that separates humankind from the demons who once ruled our realm.

A demon invasion looms now that the line is compromised. Worse yet, some within the witching world stand to gain
from a demon takeover. Mercy, entangled in the dark magic of her love spell, fighting for her sister’s trust, and hopelessly without magic, must tap the strength born from being an outcast to protect the line she doesn’t feel a part of…

In this riveting contemporary fantasy, Horn delivers the full betrayal, blood, and familial discord of the best of Southern gothic.
Well, holy schnikes, this book kicked my butt!  It’s pretty much what I thought that other recent books about witches (I won’t mention names, but one was made into a very horrible movie) have tried to accomplish and failed.  I am a huge Anne Rice “Mayfair Witches” fan (I have a daughter named Rowan to prove it), and I think that this series satisfied that reader in me, who enjoys magical worlds and creatures that are hidden amongst our everyday, mundane world.
This is Mercy’s story.  She has grown up as the only non-magical member of a powerful family of witches. Her twin sister is the witching golden child of the family, and Mercy has lived in her shadow for her whole life.  One of Mercy’s problems is that she is desperately in love with her sister’s boyfriend, Jackson.  In order to try and repair the situation, she goes to Jilo, a sort of voodoo queen, to put a love spell on her to make her fall in love with her best friend Peter, who she knows has loved her for years.  Soon after, Mercy’s aunt and family matriarch is murdered, and Mercy wonders if she has caused trouble for her family with her impulsiveness.   The Line, the separation between the human world and demon world, is in peril now that her aunt is dead.  There is now a threat of a demon invasion, Mercy must find it within her to help protect the line that she doesn’t feel a part of.
To me, the strength of this novel is the world building.  Hands down, that is the best part of this book for me.  I felt so
wrapped up in the witching society, magical creatures, the line, and the dark side to the city of Savannah that lives in the shadows that I could not put this book down.  Plus, I really liked Mercy’s character. She’s very sweet and trusting, and usually characters without flaws are annoying to me, but in this case it worked.  I liked that Mercy kind of represents the best in a person, because she’s able to forgive things that I’m not sure I could forgive.
There were, however, a couple of things I didn’t like about this book.  Or maybe it’s not that I disliked it, but there was room for improvement in a couple of areas. I found the first part of the book to be very slow and I had a bit of trouble getting into it.  Once it gets going, it really gets going, but getting there is a bit of a struggle.  There were a lot of plot twists in this book and while that itself is not a problem, I felt the explanation behind a few of these was lacking. Particularly involving Jackson.  I just thought that this added nothing to the overall plot and I was a bit confused about his motivations.
Overall, I did enjoy this book.  I say if you enjoy fantasy novels of the young adult/new adult variety, then this is right up your alley.  I’m looking forward to seeing where the next book takes us. 4 stars.