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Witch Hunt

TITLE: Witch Hunt (Preternatural Affairs, #1)

AUTHOR: S.M. ReinePUBLISHER: Red Iris Books

YEAR: January 2014

LENGTH: 232 pages

GENRE: Urban Fantasy

HEAT LEVEL: No Sex, Lots of Profanity, Intended For Adults

RATING: 4 out of 5

REVIEW: I’d given up reading books about contemporary witches some time ago, mostly because the people writing them didn’t know squat about either witchcraft or ritual magic. Reading them was an exercise in frustration. Watching a few episodes of Charmed doesn’t qualify one for writing about witches, but publishers seem to be fine with putting out any amount of crap because, after all, there aren’t such things as witches. Actually, I happen to know quite a few of them, and they aren’t too happy with what passes for occult literature these days, either.

Witch Hunt is an exception to the overwhelming rule. It’s entertaining – i.e., hysterically funny – and smart (mouthed). It also pays more than lip service to the basic principles of ritual magic and the elements of magical tools. Of course it’s fantasy. Magic works in this fictional universe in a much more concrete way than it does in the mundane world. Also, there are demons. Several classes of demons, in fact, with their own cultures and languages. And, like all well-written comedy, this book is much more intellectual than it would appear on the surface.

Another pet peeve is bad grammar. I couldn’t find any in this book. Well, not any that isn’t intentionally used to depict an individual character’s voice. There were more than a few f-bombs, but as the story is written in first person and from a decidedly male perspective, the profanity fits. (I do realize that not all males curse, but most alpha male characters in modern fiction do, and this one is no exception.)

In short, this is a fun, action-packed, rollicking good time with very little in the way of romance or sex – an extreme departure from my typical choice of reading material, but I’ve always admitted to being an eclectic reader. Wholeheartedly recommended for anyone looking for fun escapism.