Hmmm.... meh.

The Trouble With Witches - Shirley Damsgaard

I have yet to manage reading any of this series in order but most of the books are self contained enough that it doesn't create problems. Some references are lost if you haven't read the previous books, but nothing critical hinges on them. That being said, there really isn't anything critical in this book at all.

 

Somehow, Damsgaard manages to take a fairly spooky premise and water it down enough that it's just tepid. I understand that there's a great evil in the abandoned decaying cabin in the woods. I understand that there's a cultish group of people living on that same property. I understand there's a Sioux medicine man who may or may not be helping. But I don't really feel any of it. The characters are rounded but flat, there isn't any punch to their responses and actions. The pace of the book is jumpy, running fast and hard in some places, slogging along in others. That messes with the tension of the story so there really isn't any to speak of.

 

The clues to who the villain was were all over the place and extremely inconsistent. When it was revealed I thought, "Ok, it makes sense in context, but there was no way I would have reached that conclusion". There's so many people who could be the villain, who make sense to be the baddie, that the actually person is anticlimactic because there's no real buildup for it. It's like Damsgaard decided to pull someone off the wallpaper as the twist at the end of the book. Not working so much for me. 

 

It wasn't a bad story. It wasn't a good story. It was just meh.