I “met” Maria Schneider on the popular Kindleboards website and, as a fan of her previous books, was thrilled when she offered me an advance review copy of Under Witch Moon to read on my Kindle, so of course I said yes! I am happy to inform ya’ll that while Under Witch Moon contains a darker premise - and the humor is more subtle - than Catch an Honest Thief, Executive Lunch, and Executive Retention, Maria’s venture into the paranormal realm is as quickly engaging as ever, as well as vivid and fun!
This isn’t the “kick-butt heroine involved in demon/troll/goblin/vampire battles" themed urban fantasy – instead, I found an imaginative, off-the-beaten-path paranormal which includes some charming and not-so-charming witches, werewolves, a vampire, a few murders, a little romance, a bit of Santa Fe folklore/history, some enlivening action, and a few surprises. The pacing was perfect and kept me very interested in seeing how the story would unfold.
This book has a satisfying conclusion and is easily a stand alone. Still, having been introduced to the unique group of normals and non-normals Maria has created in Under Witch Moon, I am hoping to be visiting this cast of characters (and their relatives) once again in the not so distant future… Do you hear that, Maria?
I have truly enjoyed all three books in the cozy Executive/Sedona O’Hala mystery series, and hope there will be more books in this series. I am a big fan of the author’s writing style and her creativity, including Sedona’s humorous internal dialogue, her quirky family, and all the different side characters in each of the stories. In Executive Sick Days, I was surprised to discover that the plot revolved around a hospital setting instead of an IT company, and found it a nice change of pace with even nuttier side characters and their related antics. As always, Sedona is likeable, engaging, and believable, and it made me happy to have the romance portion of her story expanded upon in this installment. I did figure out the “why/what” aspect of the mystery and more or less, the “whodunit”, but was still surprised by something I missed, despite the included clues and hints. More importantly, I was laughing out loud (or otherwise smirking) from start to finish while reading this book, and I even forgive the author for making me read about a snake (eek!). This 3rd installment of the Executive/Sedona O'Hala mystery series does not disappoint!
I consider myself a devoted fan of Maria E. Schneider's books. I love her writing style, vivid imagination, and the distinctive personalities she brings to her characters. Under Witch Aura, the second in the Moon Shadow series, delivers all that and more. The magic in this book seems to be a multi-dimensional character in itself as it could be protective, healing, peaceful, and fun, or hungry, greedy, self-centered, and violent. Just like people, the magic is not always perfect and may be flawed and dangerous if one doesn't use talent wisely. Many of the varied paranormals from the first book are back, including Lynx. Adriel, the main character, is a bit more gutsy and edgy. Of course, there are new mad, bad, and dangerous evils and a bunch of creepy-crawlies. And, as much as I vehemently dislike seeing or reading about creepy-crawlies, I have to admit they made for some gripping (and itchy) moments in this story. I could tell a lot of research was done for this book and found the descriptions of the stones and their purposes very enjoyable and informative. I love the spin of witches and magic (in this series) which I interpret as having its base in natural elements, herbs, stones, bonding, motivation, and confidence. It makes me think with the right supplies, determination, and knowledge of the corresponding rules, I, too, could perform a few spells. In any case, I highly recommend this series to cozy paranormal/urban fantasy fans and dare readers not to be bewitched by Maria E. Schneider's story-weaving magic.