Wednesday, July 11, 2012

A Reader's Opinion: Witches by Phil Stern--A Review Tour

The Book

When it comes to magic, women have always been in control.
Until Now.

For centuries, only gifted young women have been able to wield magic, using their special gifts to protect those in need.

But now a powerful wizard has appeared, attacking empowered women across multiple worlds.

A young Terran-based sorceress, the strongest of her generation, must find and stop the magical madman before he can bend the Coven to his depraved will. Along the way, she must also confront doubts about the role her fellow witches may have played in her own family’s demise.

A Reader's Opinion

I generally don't read short stories or novellas simply because I find it difficult for authors to really develop their characters or establish a gripping plot. The author managed to pull together a nicely developed novella. I enjoyed Witches mainly because I've always enjoyed the subject of witches--the powers, the magic, and the mysticism. I easily read this book in a couple of hours, which is a credit to the author--I wanted to know what was going to happen. Unfortunately, I was left wondering if this was the first book and if there would be a sequel. 

The plot is a unique one and where I can't say I'd agree with it on any moral level, I found the concept interesting. The female lead is strong, which is always appreciated and the wizard was a nice touch. Once in a while the story seemed to jump around a bit too much for me, but that could just be a style I'm not used to reading.  The author did a pretty good job of developing the characters, but I was left wanting just a little bit more. 

Overall, I would recommend Witches to any reader who enjoys fantasy stories and novellas.

The Author
Phil Stern is the author of both Contemporary and Science Fiction.
His debut novel, The Bull Years, was published in 2011. A hard-hitting commentary on both the frustrations and ultimate validation of modern-day life, The Bull Years follows the lives of four people throughout the late 80′s, 90′s, and into the 21st century, directly addressing the gradual alienation and disconnection often experienced during young adulthood.
“I wanted to write about characters everyone could relate to,” Stern says. “We’ve all had our ups and downs. I think people sometimes feel everyone else has experienced more success than they have, or are more firmly grounded in our world than they could ever be. My hope is that everyone will recognize a little part of themselves in Steve, Sophia, Dave, and Brooke.”
Born in 1970 in Ossining, New York, Stern grew up with a love of all types of science fiction, including the works of Robert Heinlein, Anne McCaffrey, John Wyndham, Piers Anthony, and more.
“Speculative fiction is so different today than it was back then,” Stern says. “I wanted to write stuff a bit more recognizable to fans of my generation. Science fiction should be about ideas and alternate worlds, strong characters and good stories.
Going into talk radio after attending SUNY Albany, Stern hosted regular shows in the New York City area, Albany, Utica, NY, and Greenville, NC. He later went into the advertising and sales industries.
Stern now lives in Florida, and is working on his next novel.

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