A Raven’s Touch is author Linda Bloodworth’s debut novel into the world of paranormal/fantasy… a world filled with gods and demons, fairies and elves, dragons and wolves, witches and humans.
A world where if good is to triumph over evil…. ‘good’ is going to have to get a little ‘bad’.
I am a relatively new reader to the world of paranormal. It is not a genre I usually indulge in, preferring bullets, bad guys and broads to otherworld creatures and magic. In fact, A Raven’s Touch is only the third book I have read in this undeniably fascinating genre. This is a testament to the author, who has crafted a story both brave and compelling, fast-paced and well thought-out. An ambitious story quite remarkable in the world of debut novels today where few rise to the calibre of A Raven’s Touch in originality, creativity, strong plot and engaging characters.
High school teen Justice St. Michaels has a problem. And it isn’t the school bullies she endures on a daily basis. No, Justice’s problem is not going to be solved by the principal of her high school meting out suspensions to the bullies. Fortunately, Justice has a circle of friends, her best friend Moira among them, looking out for her. Friends who are, unbeknownst to her, witches, elves and Halflings.
Which is good because things are about to go… what’s that English expression?… pear-shaped in Fallingbrook and cops, counselors, and clergy are not going to be of much help. It is going to take some ‘supernatural’… some ‘otherworldly’… powers to slay the demons and keep Hell where it belongs, deep in the bowels of Earth.
There’s something about Justice herself that lies at the root of her ‘problem’, something her parents, for their own reasons, have not told Justice about yet.
Justice, it seems, has ‘abilities’. For some time Justice has felt that there was something different about her… something not right. And now she’s having dreams… nightmares might be a better word… and she is ‘changing’.
And as if life weren’t complicated enough for a teenage girl, enter stage right a stranger… a man both charming and dangerous. But then, isn’t that always the way with their ‘kind’?
Oh, and did I mention a jealous demon? Or is it demoness? You know what they say… “Hell hath no fury as a scorned woman.”
And with that, I should stop. I really, really hate spoilers.
I thoroughly enjoyed A Raven’s Touch. It has a solid plot that does not get mired in unnecessary subplots. There is a good level of suspense… I liked the ‘slow reveal’ of some of the characters and of Justice’s ‘secret’ as well. The pacing of the story was quite nice, with well written and engaging characters; the character of Darien Raventhorn was especially well done. I thought the moodiness of Justice was just right, a touch of teen angst to make the character believable but not so much that you really just want to reach out and slap the girl. And what I think really helps bring the story together… the thread of theology throughout the book. The element of theology helps to round out the story and it showcases the main character’s inner strength.
All of this points to a writer who knows her craft as well as her audience. I am quite looking forward to the next book in the series. That says a lot, coming from a girl who reads, writes, and bleeds noir.
Good job, Linda… Brava! Now get busy on Book Two. You kind of left us on a ledge here, girl!
Veronica Marie Lewis-Shaw
23 January, 2016