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The Line

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Savannah is considered a Southern treasure, a city of beauty with a rich, colorful past. Some might even call it magical… To the uninitiated, Savannah shows only her bright face and genteel manner. Those who know her well, though, can see beyond her colonial trappings and small-city charm to a world where witchcraft is respected, Hoodoo is feared, and spirits linger. Me Savannah is considered a Southern treasure, a city of beauty with a rich, colorful past. Some might even call it magical… To the uninitiated, Savannah shows only her bright face and genteel manner. Those who know her well, though, can see beyond her colonial trappings and small-city charm to a world where witchcraft is respected, Hoodoo is feared, and spirits linger. Mercy Taylor is all too familiar with the supernatural side of Savannah, being a member of the most powerful family of witches in the South.Despite being powerless herself, of course.Having grown up without magic of her own, in the shadow of her talented and charismatic twin sister, Mercy has always thought herself content. But when a series of mishaps—culminating in the death of the Taylor matriarch—leaves a vacuum in the mystical underpinnings of Savannah, she finds herself thrust into a mystery that could shake her family apart…and unleash a darkness the line of Taylor witches has been keeping at bay for generations.


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Savannah is considered a Southern treasure, a city of beauty with a rich, colorful past. Some might even call it magical… To the uninitiated, Savannah shows only her bright face and genteel manner. Those who know her well, though, can see beyond her colonial trappings and small-city charm to a world where witchcraft is respected, Hoodoo is feared, and spirits linger. Me Savannah is considered a Southern treasure, a city of beauty with a rich, colorful past. Some might even call it magical… To the uninitiated, Savannah shows only her bright face and genteel manner. Those who know her well, though, can see beyond her colonial trappings and small-city charm to a world where witchcraft is respected, Hoodoo is feared, and spirits linger. Mercy Taylor is all too familiar with the supernatural side of Savannah, being a member of the most powerful family of witches in the South.Despite being powerless herself, of course.Having grown up without magic of her own, in the shadow of her talented and charismatic twin sister, Mercy has always thought herself content. But when a series of mishaps—culminating in the death of the Taylor matriarch—leaves a vacuum in the mystical underpinnings of Savannah, she finds herself thrust into a mystery that could shake her family apart…and unleash a darkness the line of Taylor witches has been keeping at bay for generations.

30 review for The Line

  1. 5 out of 5

    Ana

    I just finished this book and honestly I'm not sure how I feel about it. On one hand, it was entertaining enough to keep me interested to the very end. But on the other hand, I had too many issues with this book that I felt--with a better editing job--would have made such a difference. In this review, there will be SPOILERS so be forewarned. The Bad: First things first, a minor but important issue I had with this book is that I'm not sure the writer knew what he wanted this book to be. Is it youn I just finished this book and honestly I'm not sure how I feel about it. On one hand, it was entertaining enough to keep me interested to the very end. But on the other hand, I had too many issues with this book that I felt--with a better editing job--would have made such a difference. In this review, there will be SPOILERS so be forewarned. The Bad: First things first, a minor but important issue I had with this book is that I'm not sure the writer knew what he wanted this book to be. Is it young adult? Is it adult? Mercy was 20 years old for the majority of the book but a lot of her dialogue and actions read younger. She was impulsive and reckless (which I suppose most people assume teenagers to be) but I get the feeling the author wanted her to be perceived as "strong" and more mature but that never registered to me. Her thoughts were incessant and her constant questions was annoying. This stood out mostly because there was so much adult things going on and this book did not feel like YA fiction at all considering that Mercy was 20. 2.) Was the "romance" between Mercy/Peter/Jackson supposed to be a love triangle type thing because I did not get it at all. Jackson was an insignificant character we knew nothing about yet Mercy seems to have all these feelings towards him that aren't explained or justified. This didn't really bother me that much until that random jarring scene where he basically attacks Peter violently and is so obvious about his supposed feelings for Mercy while his Fiance is oh-wait, 2 FEET AWAY FROM HIM. Huh? The entire scene came out of nowhere. I had to reread because WTF. Also, Peter was an asshole. Yes, Mercy went for the same love spell but BIG DIFFERENCE, she was casting it on herself and she still changed her mind last minute. Peter, our romantic hero cast a love spell on a girl who didn't love him than proceeds to have sex with her and (gasp!) impregnates her. But of course, none of that matters because Mercy still loves him "and she can't imagine marrying anyone else". After all, it was one little mistake. One little mistake that blessed her with a child at the prime age of 20. Nevermind that she had her entire life probably mapped out. Frankly, I wish the entire romance angle was written out tbh. Between all the family drama, the heroine did not that shit complicating her life. 3.) Too many plot twists with very little explanation for each one. What did Jackson have to gain from pretending to have feelings for Mercy too? Was it just to fuck with her? because that was irrelevant as hell. If Jackson was a grown up version of Wren, how did they exist at the same time? Why didn't Maisie just let Mercy have Jackson for the mean time while reinforcing a love spell to make Peter hers? 3.) I hated the ending. I hated the pregnancy. Unless the author plans to do something with it the next book, it really ruined the ending for me. I also didn't care for the fact that after her own sister planned to kill her, Mercy was like 'oh shit. that's too bad. I still gotta find her and reconcile though' Really? Were you deaf when she told you her plans for you? That kind of anger is not gonna go away because you forgave her. If she's gone, it's probably for your own good. The Good: 1.) Decent World building. 2.) Oliver, Ellen and Mother Jilo were all fascinating characters. Iris was okay too but what kind of woman stays married to a husband who deliberately mistreats a girl she considers a daughter? 3.) It was well written enough. There weren't too many noticeable grammatical errors and the dialog flowed for the most part. The suspense was also good and I appreciated some of the plot twists though they could have been explained better. 4.) It was also sort of original considering how many books about magic and witchcraft are out there. To conclude, I don't enjoy leaving a bad review. I wanted to like this book better but it felt very long and I finished feeling partially exhausted by the ending events. I haven't decided if I'm invested enough to read the upcoming second book. UPDATE I decided not to continue with the series.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Robin (Bridge Four)

    Sale Alert January Book Deal for $1.99 on Amazon I got this for free through the Amazon Prime program and I was really only going to read the first chapter or two to get a sense of the book, but then I was totally captivated. Now this could be because I have had an unnatural fascination with Savanna since Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil but in the first few chapters I was totally enthralled with the story. Mercy is a squib (unshameless use of Harry Potter vernacular), she is the only perso Sale Alert January Book Deal for $1.99 on Amazon I got this for free through the Amazon Prime program and I was really only going to read the first chapter or two to get a sense of the book, but then I was totally captivated. Now this could be because I have had an unnatural fascination with Savanna since Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil but in the first few chapters I was totally enthralled with the story. Mercy is a squib (unshameless use of Harry Potter vernacular), she is the only person in her family without any magical powers. But while my family tree was electric with power, I had none of it. As fate would have it, I was the first total dud in a line of witches that could be traced back at least six hundred years. Her twin on the other hand has all of the gifts and is the golden child of the family. Mercy has a problem, she thinks she is in love with her sister’s boyfriend Jackson and she doesn’t want to be. She wants to love Peter her best friend since childhood who she knows desperately loves her. She wants to love him so desperately that she seeks out Jilo the Voodoo queen to work the love spell on her so she will forget Jackson and fall for Peter. Jilo is amused by this and says that she will help Mercy, but when Mercy’s Aunt the matriarch of the family and anchor of the magical line is killed she wonders what kind of trouble she has gotten her family into. I hate love triangles with a passion normally. But this isn’t really about the love triangle at all there is not swooning because of the color of his eyes, deep breathes and heart palpitations. It never took over the story but it is in the background. This is mostly about Mercy wanting to find who killed the Aunt that hated her and the transition of power of the magical line. In the process she learns that her family has lied to her about almost everything and that even the people she thought she could trust the most shouldn’t be trusted. This is the first novel from J.D. Horn and I liked the rich magical world and the story a lot, it is far from perfect. The ending is a little rushed and he really took this a different direction than many books in this genre. I applaud him for that and while I loved it there will be people who absolutely hate his direction, I for one was happy that it isn’t a typical story. A few parts weren't explained as much as I would have liked but I definitely got a feel for where the expanding story might head and more will most likely be explained in later books. The world of Savanna full of ghosts and history was a favorite part of mine and the characters are interesting and I especially loved the Voodoo Queen Jilo. She might go around acting like some backwoods Hoodoo priestess who can’t use a personal pronoun or conjugate a verb, but it’s all an act. It’s good for business. It’s what people expect. Truth is, the woman’s a graduate of Spelman College. She holds a degree in chemistry. There was so much I enjoyed about the characters and landscape of the story that I will forgive the rushed ending and maybe a few plot devices used at the end. I will say that there were a lot of twists and really I didn’t guess who the murder was. It wasn’t even on my radar until it was revealed and then it made prefect sense. I did guess a few of the reveals but even they didn’t play out as expected. All and all a nice surprise, not everyone will love it but if you want a change of pace it is exactly what you want to give a try.

  3. 5 out of 5

    ✘✘ Sarah ✘✘ (former Nefarious Breeder of Murderous Crustaceans)

    Disclaimer: I'm going through a I Hate Everything but Ilona Andrews and Pippa DaCosta and Craig Schaefer Phase (IAEbIAaPDaCSP™). Just sayin'. ☠ DNF at 45% ➽ Shortest Crappy Non Review (CNR™) in the history of Short and Crappy Non Reviews (SaCNR™): Want to know how I feel about this one? Look at how I shelved it. Go on now, don't be afraid, my Little Barnacles, my shelves only attack crappy books, not Tiny yet Lovely Arthropods (TyLA™) like you *waits patiently for her Favourite yet Clueless Crusta Disclaimer: I'm going through a I Hate Everything but Ilona Andrews and Pippa DaCosta and Craig Schaefer Phase (IAEbIAaPDaCSP™). Just sayin'. ☠ DNF at 45% ➽ Shortest Crappy Non Review (CNR™) in the history of Short and Crappy Non Reviews (SaCNR™): Want to know how I feel about this one? Look at how I shelved it. Go on now, don't be afraid, my Little Barnacles, my shelves only attack crappy books, not Tiny yet Lovely Arthropods (TyLA™) like you *waits patiently for her Favourite yet Clueless Crustaceans (FyCC™) to go through her Fascinating Shelves List (FSL™)* Are you done? (view spoiler)[ See? Told you it would be harmless for you. For this delightful little book, however? Not so much. What can I say? It sucks to be a book on my bookshelves. (hide spoiler)] So. Need I say more? Didn't think so. The End. Come on, Edward, let's bail. Time for us to go back to Grown-Up UF Land (GUUL™), where no immature nitwit under 35 25 is allowed.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Shelby *trains flying monkeys*

    Set in Savannah GA this book begins with a family of witches. The main anchor Aunt Ginny has been murdered. Got to find a replacement for her ole hateful ass. So the families converge on Savannah. Savannah is the perfect setting for this book. A strong family of witches in one of my favorite cities? Heck yes. At about 40% of the book I got frustrated. I thought it was going to go the love triangle way and I hate that crap. People if your book is good YOU DO NOT NEED THAT! Luckily, that ended Set in Savannah GA this book begins with a family of witches. The main anchor Aunt Ginny has been murdered. Got to find a replacement for her ole hateful ass. So the families converge on Savannah. Savannah is the perfect setting for this book. A strong family of witches in one of my favorite cities? Heck yes. At about 40% of the book I got frustrated. I thought it was going to go the love triangle way and I hate that crap. People if your book is good YOU DO NOT NEED THAT! Luckily, that ended and the book turned out actually pretty good. I love books about witches and there just isn't enough of them. Yes I know there is paranormal romance ones but most of those suck. In this one you get some hoodoo, boo hags, a golem and a whole gang of witches which equals awesomeness. I do want to read on to the next in this series before making final judgment on it. I recieved an arc copy of this book from Netgalley and 47 North in exchange for an honest review.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Alicia

    This is my second five star review and addition to the 'absolute favorites' shelf in a row. What is going on, people?! I saw The Line on Kindle First and was instantly intrigued. The Savannah setting, the family of witches as a staring cast, and the concept of there being a 'line' that has to be held down around the world to keep the demons away pretty much add up to my idea of a perfect book, and damn if The Line didn't live up to my expectations. I have to admit that I was a bit skeptical of rea This is my second five star review and addition to the 'absolute favorites' shelf in a row. What is going on, people?! I saw The Line on Kindle First and was instantly intrigued. The Savannah setting, the family of witches as a staring cast, and the concept of there being a 'line' that has to be held down around the world to keep the demons away pretty much add up to my idea of a perfect book, and damn if The Line didn't live up to my expectations. I have to admit that I was a bit skeptical of reading a story told by a female lead, written by a male author. There are so many nuances of the female psyche that, unless you're a woman, can be difficult to describe (and let's face it, even being a woman doesn't make it easy). But again, damn if J.D. Horn didn't pull it off. As for the other characters, just like the city of Savannah I found their Southern charm easy to love. Oliver was, of course, a favorite. I also came to care for Iris and Ellen. But it was Jilo that I REALLY loved. Something about an old Southern black hoodoo doctor(ess) is just fascinating. I loved her speech patterns and the the way she begrudgingly came to respect and like Mercy. So that leaves me with just Mercy and Maise... Mr. Horn did a great job of getting into the female brain and he described all the jealousy and sisterly love that I know so well, and even a bit I couldn't understand because I'm not a twin. I wish we had gotten a bit more time with Maise, however, because the Maise in the beginning of the story and the Maise at the end were rather abrupt changes. (That's about all I can say without heading to spoiler-town). Mercy was awesome though. It's possible she was a bit too sweet, good, and genuine for a lot of readers, but I was okay with that. I'm tired of reading about characters who are written with flaws or who take frustrating actions just to be seen as 'real.' Sometimes I want to read about characters who are honorable and can forgive people for things I could never forgive them for. Now as for the story and the plot and all that jazz.... While I was reading The Line, it seemed impossible to put down. I could not wait to get home from work and get back into it. Buuuuut I'd be lying if I said it wasn't a little bit predictable - I could kinda see where things were headed from the beginning. Don't get me wrong, there were surprises and things that I couldn't predict. But as for the overarching storyline, I kinda saw the grand finale coming. But just like with Mercy's goodness, I didn't mind. There's no small comfort in being able to yell "I KNEW IT" when you reach the almost-end of a story, especially when you were starting to think for a second or two that you didn't actually 'know it.' I'll leave all the other reviewers to the re-caps of the plot and storyline and close with this: Mr. Horn better hurry up with the next installment, and there better be more Uncle Oliver. Until then - give The Line a chance. If you're into witches and the old South, you should dig it.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Bibliomancy

    After finishing a book, I often wonder why the author felt called to write it. What was it about these particular characters that clamored to have their story told? To me, The Line had a curious emptiness at its heart. It felt as if Horn had made a list of the elements most likely to appeal to readers of paranormal romance–plucky heroine, supernatural world, love triangles, Deep South quirkiness, melodramatic plot twists–and checked them off one by one. I read a few blog posts and interviews wit After finishing a book, I often wonder why the author felt called to write it. What was it about these particular characters that clamored to have their story told? To me, The Line had a curious emptiness at its heart. It felt as if Horn had made a list of the elements most likely to appeal to readers of paranormal romance–plucky heroine, supernatural world, love triangles, Deep South quirkiness, melodramatic plot twists–and checked them off one by one. I read a few blog posts and interviews with the author, trying to glean why he’d written Mercy’s story, and saw that he has a fondness for Dark Shadows. His book embraces the melodrama of the campy supernatural soap, but misses the mark in so many other ways. The only character that seemed to truly interest Horn was Oliver, Mercy’s gay, rakish uncle. Everyone else was flat, especially the wide-eyed Mercy, whom I found insufferably mealymouthed. Then again, the Sookie Stackhouse books, to which the Witching Savannah series claims to be the heir, gets similar criticism and still manages to be a bestselling behemoth. The plot puts Mercy through the ringer, but all the events happen to her without requiring her to do anything. By the end, she’d been betrayed, double-crossed, deceived, and placed in peril so many times that it was almost funny. The revelations in the last quarter of the book–no doubt meant to be shocking–piled up one after the other like cars on the Interstate. And like a traffic accident, I found it difficult to look away. To Horn’s credit, I did keep reading to find out what happened next. Despite a few genuinely charming Southern colloquialisms, most of the dialogue is stilted and heavy. Below is a quote from the police officer investigating Great Aunt Ginny’s death: He bent back in and looked me squarely in the eye. “Really,” he repeated. “But I am sure you are aware that in most cases someone is murdered by someone they know. And more often not, buy someone in their own family.” He paused. The proofreading was also a bit slapdash; I counted for or five instances where it looked as if the author had started to type a phrase, changed his mind, and moved on without deleting what he’d already written. For example, “You’re the one who looks likes more like your mama, you know” (1815/3785 on the Kindle). The sloppy writing and ludicrously one-dimensional characters (many of whom were villains of the mustache twirling persuasion) lent the book an amateurish feel, and the world’s shortest seduction scene was a disappointment as a fan of paranormal romance. If you’ve already read everything by Ilona Andrews, Seanan McGuire, Patricia Briggs, Charlaine Harris, and Kim Harrison and find yourself desperate for a quick paranormal romance/urban fantasy fix, you could do worse than spending an afternoon with The Line–but, like all low-calorie substitutes, it’ll leave you feeling unsatisfied. (Cross-posted to my blog, http://bibliomancy.wordpress.com)

  7. 5 out of 5

    ✨ Gramy ✨

    . I was looking forward to an interesting read when I cracked open this book. There are four books in the series and it is available for free through Kindle Unlimited at this time. The storyline is a bit murky so far, but this is just the introductory installment. So things will hopefully be revealed more clearly at some time or another. The focus has been on the main character, who is supposed to be a non-magical being in a family of powerful witches. This is kind of intriguing until - BANG! The . I was looking forward to an interesting read when I cracked open this book. There are four books in the series and it is available for free through Kindle Unlimited at this time. The storyline is a bit murky so far, but this is just the introductory installment. So things will hopefully be revealed more clearly at some time or another. The focus has been on the main character, who is supposed to be a non-magical being in a family of powerful witches. This is kind of intriguing until - BANG! The profanity bombs enter the story in chapter four, which means I step out. it was not interesting enough to compromise my preferences. That is a personal opinion. If it doesn't bother you, then read on!

  8. 4 out of 5

    Alaina

    The Line was kind of weird but a pretty quick audio book. Listened to it within a couple of hours on 2x speed mostly because.. it was just weird. The family was crazy and the whole story was just weird to me. Mercy and Maisie are twins. One has magic and the other doesn't - or so we think. Mercy is basically the lone wolf or the black sheep of the family. Everyone but like one person actually hates her. Despises her for living and slowly but surely we find out why. Honestly, everyone's reasoning The Line was kind of weird but a pretty quick audio book. Listened to it within a couple of hours on 2x speed mostly because.. it was just weird. The family was crazy and the whole story was just weird to me. Mercy and Maisie are twins. One has magic and the other doesn't - or so we think. Mercy is basically the lone wolf or the black sheep of the family. Everyone but like one person actually hates her. Despises her for living and slowly but surely we find out why. Honestly, everyone's reasoning for hating her was kind of stupid. Also, her sister was bat shit crazy and I loathed her. Besides the weird mystery and murders happening, the magic aspect was pretty interesting. I still think it's weird that mostly everyone in this weird ass witch family didn't want Mercy to have powers.. again, it just baffles my mind and that's why I just don't care if I'm spoiling the book right now. There was a romance thing happening and I'm so glad it didn't take the love triangle route. I would've hated this book so quickly if they did. I sort of liked Peter, like a whole lot more than Jackson and Maisie.. but he did some sketchy things that sort of waved me off of him. Again, this book was weird. Everyone was a god damn hot mess. The pacing was all over the place which definitely explains why I had it on a high speed level. I just wanted to get through this book. Overall, the ending was okay but it definitely took some random and weird ass turns. I still don't really understand this book right now and I just finished it.. I will definitely have to think about it. This review might change.. it might not. Sorry not sorry for this shitty review.. but my mind is numb after this book.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Melodie

    Savannah is one of my favorite cities. Rich in history, redolent with the aromas of the South,and a just plain fun place to spend some time. And you don't have to look too deeply or far to know that Savannah is not just a pretty face. The city is steeped in the energies of those who have gone before. Because of my love affair with Savannah, I am pretty protective of her. So if you are going to use her in a book, it had better be good. I believe this author did a pretty good job. Granted , there Savannah is one of my favorite cities. Rich in history, redolent with the aromas of the South,and a just plain fun place to spend some time. And you don't have to look too deeply or far to know that Savannah is not just a pretty face. The city is steeped in the energies of those who have gone before. Because of my love affair with Savannah, I am pretty protective of her. So if you are going to use her in a book, it had better be good. I believe this author did a pretty good job. Granted , there are inconsistencies, some lack of depth in respect to some of his characters. But overall, I liked the family of witches that make up the center of the book, and will follow to see where they take me on their adventures. At it's heart I believe this is more of a YA rather than adult read, I'm good with that. For this series the reader must just suspend judgement and enjoy the ride.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Emma

    This really caught and kept my attention. I liked the focus just on witches and thought the magical explanation for the mystery at the heart of the story was a good one. It will be interesting to see where the second book goes.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Ariel

    "Choosing, and then living with the consequences, that is what deciding really is." Audible snags me again with their 50% off sales and I've had this hankering to be listened to since last year. It took me a minute or two to warm up to the audiobook, not having the opportunity to speed-read my way through the first few chapters till I reached the actual action, but once we met Mother Jilo, I was sold. The Line is a pretty good book, not great, but solid enough to re-read and re-listen to. The syno "Choosing, and then living with the consequences, that is what deciding really is." Audible snags me again with their 50% off sales and I've had this hankering to be listened to since last year. It took me a minute or two to warm up to the audiobook, not having the opportunity to speed-read my way through the first few chapters till I reached the actual action, but once we met Mother Jilo, I was sold. The Line is a pretty good book, not great, but solid enough to re-read and re-listen to. The synopsis might come off a little cheesy, but the premise is solid with plenty of elements that I personally love and enjoy: magic and the supernatural, voodoo, family secrets and betrayal, witches and witch councils, murder (!!) and all set in the gorgeous South! Anytime Mercy mentioned the heat and the humidity, sweat trickling in unmentionable places, I was nodding my head right along with her. Mmhmm, honey, I know what you mean. (Missouri was my old stompin' grounds and I spent too many summers sweating to ever forget the sensation of sweat dripping from the top of my end to the bottom of my toes). I felt the characters were really well rounded out and avoided some of the more tropey-tropes (Oliver being a gay man in the South but he's a mans man and not the overly feminine gay character that is seen most of the time.) I was worried that the accents used by the narrator would come across as over the top or just mocking but no, I've heard peoples accents very much like that and it was a delight to listen to the "chewing" and "dropping" of syllables and words. I loved it! The story itself was full of twists and turns and just when I thought we had ourselves back on the straight and narrow to where the story should have been going (or so I thought) BAM. A curveball out of left field and I was shocked at least 3 different times by the plot twist that I honestly did not see coming! I did feel that sometimes we went wandering down one side plot a little long to bring the focus back to the story but all in all, it was captivating and kept me highly entertained. And the narrator, Shannon McManus did GREAT. Her voices were amazing and highly distinct from each other and were easy to tell who was speaking at what point in time. Her pacing was superb and she really knew when to add emphasis or to speed through something to heighten the story. I also felt her accents were spot on and sounded like many Southerners I had met in my time living in Missouri. Course for me, they sounded like they came from the Ozarks but it was distinctive and good. I also appreciated that she gave every accent its on twist and flavor with certain people (Mother Jilo) sounding like they've been chewing cud for years and others with only a slight twang (Mercy and Oliver). It really added to the effect of the story and I highly appreciated the attention to detail given to each voice! All in all, I would say that Witching Savannah has a lot of potential as a series and with it now complete, I plan on racing my way through each and every book to see how this all ends. The ending for The Line caught me by surprise and leaves a lot of questions unanswered that I look forward to seeing resolved in the other books! “You have to close some doors, honey, no matter how nice a yard they open out onto.”

  12. 4 out of 5

    Marc Jentzsch

    The book starts far stronger than it finishes, as it descends into expositional monologues, secret princess (witch) wish-fulfillment and generally failing to deliver much witching at all. The first few chapters drew me in. They were well-done, well-paced and interesting. By the time things really start rolling though, it becomes clear that what little plot there is exists solely to show us how special the main character is. There is very little world-building, the main character is too passive, an The book starts far stronger than it finishes, as it descends into expositional monologues, secret princess (witch) wish-fulfillment and generally failing to deliver much witching at all. The first few chapters drew me in. They were well-done, well-paced and interesting. By the time things really start rolling though, it becomes clear that what little plot there is exists solely to show us how special the main character is. There is very little world-building, the main character is too passive, and none of the romantic interests were even remotely compelling. That said, there's potential here. Despite the overabundance of supervillain style monologue-ing (thanks for that, Mr. Bird, haha), the over passivity of the main character, and the tepid - and almost at this point, obligatory - romantic knot, the romancey elements didn't overpower the story. For me, that made it one of the most readable paranormal romances/fantasies I've encountered recently. For the next book, I hope Mercy finally starts acting like the self-assured girl we met in the opening chapter of this one. THAT character I'm interested in, not the one that so obligingly falls into a relationship with no chemistry and life-altering baggage; not the one that hides in her room and pines for her sister and a boy constantly; not the one that has absolutely NO hand in her own salvation. It just really would have helped if we'd seen more strength of will in the face of those around her with so much power, more pluck and determination, more self-propulsion. I would also love to see some actual world-building, some adventure to go with the romance and family-soap shenanigans. But I'm probably barking up the wrong tree.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Jacob Proffitt

    Okay, I got fed up. There are some things broadcast from the very start, and maybe it's just me that I picked up on this, but some story structures are just obvious. And if you're halfway through the book and the obvious hasn't yet been confirmed, denied, or twisted you have a problem. I'll spoiler tag the rest of this for the sake of people who may be skimming reviews but really, I can't see how you don't see this coming from miles away. And yes, I read a bunch of reviews here seeking out spoile Okay, I got fed up. There are some things broadcast from the very start, and maybe it's just me that I picked up on this, but some story structures are just obvious. And if you're halfway through the book and the obvious hasn't yet been confirmed, denied, or twisted you have a problem. I'll spoiler tag the rest of this for the sake of people who may be skimming reviews but really, I can't see how you don't see this coming from miles away. And yes, I read a bunch of reviews here seeking out spoilers to see if it does pan out the way I suspect and it so totally does. (view spoiler)[ So a twin, born without power in a family where everyone has scads of power, and her twin happens to have oodles of power—maybe even twice the power of anyone else. Now, who doesn't start looking for who stole Mercy's power and gave it to Maisy?!?! I mean come on! Ginny was so obviously a stone-cold bitch that something so evil could easily be laid at her door (probably to be continued by Maisy who obviously has a strong sense of entitlement). Maisy's plotting is so bloody transparent that when she blows her top and goes outright evil it's not so much a surprise as it is a "finally, now we'll start the story of finding out what to do about it." Only, not if you're stupid and maybe evil like the rest of the Taylors who take that opportunity to invite another lifetime of being led by a power-mad dictator determined to rule them by whim and caprice. And that's before you even get to the romance where it's obvious that at least one love spell is already in place (probably on Jackson, though there's something wrong with him altogether and I'm not sure if it's bad characterization or a poorly-delaying reveal. There's also probably one on Mercy—and I mean before she tries to put one on herself). I mean Horn goes out of his way to explain the weaknesses of love spells and what you might look for and darned if you can't see those fissures staring you in the face. So. How stupid is Mercy not to see that immediately?!? So yeah, lots of evil and Mercy is too stupid or naïve to notice or care or something. I lost all patience after Maisy blows her top and Mercy's lame response is "I must find her to apologize so that she'll love me again." Gah! (hide spoiler)]

  14. 5 out of 5

    J. Fenn

    In high school I almost always carried around a well-thumbed copy of “The Modern Witch’s Spellbook”, but for me, sadly, none of the spells ever panned out as promised. So I always enjoy a good book about witches and witchery in general, and was very happy to get my hands on an ARC of “The Line” by J.D. Horn. It’s a captivating and enjoyable read. We’re introduced to the graveyards and back alleys of Savannah, itself a main character, as well as a powerful family of witches who have produced the In high school I almost always carried around a well-thumbed copy of “The Modern Witch’s Spellbook”, but for me, sadly, none of the spells ever panned out as promised. So I always enjoy a good book about witches and witchery in general, and was very happy to get my hands on an ARC of “The Line” by J.D. Horn. It’s a captivating and enjoyable read. We’re introduced to the graveyards and back alleys of Savannah, itself a main character, as well as a powerful family of witches who have produced the first non-magic “dud” in their history, Mercy Taylor, while her fraternal twin, Maisie, seems to have won the magic genetic jackpot . This doesn’t seem to trouble Mercy particularly – she’s got a refreshingly practical head on her shoulders and a talent for conducting “Liars Tours” of Savannah for the tourists more interested in a Southern gothic tale than actual history. Her life, however, and the fate of the entire Taylor clan, is upended when on the eve of her 21st birthday, the most powerful witch among them, Mercy’s Great-aunt, is mysteriously murdered. Horn evokes a very natural, human world for magic, where ghosts and other paranormal creatures live in tandem with our known reality, and the writing is stellar, from the engaging first person narration to the evocative descriptions of Savannah itself. Fans of “The Discovery of Witches”, “The Mortal Instruments”, or “Practical Magic” will find a new addition for their real or virtual shelves. But what impressed me most was that Horn doesn’t let his characters take easy ways out, and the problems they face, as well as the consequences of their actions, are as unpredictable as ‘real’ life. A great debut in what promises to be a fantastic series, I’m already counting down the days for the next novel.

  15. 5 out of 5

    JAIME

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. Huge spoilers. You have been warned.... I'm really not sure how I feel about this book. On one hand, I read it, through to the end and for the most part enjoyed it. On the other hand when I finished I was annoyed. A couple things stood out to me; Mercy was much younger than her age (20) when I was reading. By her behavior, and mannerisms, she was no older than 16 to me. But, then by the end of the book all of a sudden she was a grown up. Meanwhile, am I the only one who is sick of girls getting pr Huge spoilers. You have been warned.... I'm really not sure how I feel about this book. On one hand, I read it, through to the end and for the most part enjoyed it. On the other hand when I finished I was annoyed. A couple things stood out to me; Mercy was much younger than her age (20) when I was reading. By her behavior, and mannerisms, she was no older than 16 to me. But, then by the end of the book all of a sudden she was a grown up. Meanwhile, am I the only one who is sick of girls getting pregnant at the drop of a hat?! Seriously, I can't even. My other problem was this; have you ever had a conversation with someone, who obviously started the conversation early in their head and only verbalises the very end of their thoughts so you are all "wait, what? How did we get here?" Well, this is largely how I felt about much of the book. Jackson made no fucking sense to me, and again on the pregnancy thing, just out of the blue, and you really want to go looking for your asshole sister when you have a child to protect and you KNOW what she wants to do to you?? Nope. This sounds far more negative than I intended. As I said, I did enjoy it. The descriptions of Savannah were rich and there were several characters I hope we get to know more in the next book, which, I will definitely read.

  16. 4 out of 5

    AH

    Initial Thoughts: Loved this! I loved the setting (Savannah, Georgia). I loved Mercy and Jilo. I loved the story. Nicely done. The Review: Witchcraft, hoodoo, and even Jewish lore combine to create an enthralling narrative. The Line kept me on the edge of my seat with its unexpected twists and turns. Savannah's paranormal side is brought to light in The Line. The Line is the first book in J.D. Horn's Witching Savannah series. The book focuses on the Taylor family witches, notably fraternal twin s Initial Thoughts: Loved this! I loved the setting (Savannah, Georgia). I loved Mercy and Jilo. I loved the story. Nicely done. The Review: Witchcraft, hoodoo, and even Jewish lore combine to create an enthralling narrative. The Line kept me on the edge of my seat with its unexpected twists and turns. Savannah's paranormal side is brought to light in The Line. The Line is the first book in J.D. Horn's Witching Savannah series. The book focuses on the Taylor family witches, notably fraternal twin sisters Maisie and Mercy. Maisie is the golden child, the stunningly beautiful sister gifted with all the magical powers. Maisie was groomed to become her Aunt Ginny's replacement as anchor of the line and head of the family. In contrast, Mercy had little or no magic and was shunned by her aunt. Mercy sees herself as plain looking and passes her time working as a walking tour guide in Savannah. Mercy comes under the radar of her aunt when she visits Jilo the root doctor for a love potion. There's some family history between the Taylors and Mother Jilo and any deal with Jilo may not turn out as expected. Mercy is hopelessly attracted to her sister's boyfriend even though her own boyfriend is smitten by her. Upon arriving at her Aunt Ginny's home, Mercy discovers that Ginny has been murdered which sets off a series of events that change Mercy's life. I loved the atmosphere of this book. We're in Savannah, Georgia and it's hot, humid, and sweaty (in contrast to the freezing temperatures outside while I was reading this book). It's a perfect locale for witches and hoodoo. Then, as an added plus, there's some interesting ghosts and even a golem. J.D. Horn is a natural storyteller. I was absolutely glued to this book. The Line is a solid debut and a fantastic start to a new urban fantasy series. I can't wait to see what comes next! Christal and I discuss this book on Badass Book Reviews as part of the Jumble Your Genres challenge. Check it out!

  17. 5 out of 5

    Brittany (brittanymariereads) E.

    Welcome to Savannah, a city where magic is real and everyone has a secret. Mercy Taylor is from a very powerful line of witches but unlike her family there is no magic coursing through her veins. She is a disappointment to her family, and more often then not, herself. When her aunt is murdered everything in her life changes. She quickly finds that nothing is as it seems. I enjoyed every second of this book! It was fast paced and an easy read. There were twists and turns throughout the entire n Welcome to Savannah, a city where magic is real and everyone has a secret. Mercy Taylor is from a very powerful line of witches but unlike her family there is no magic coursing through her veins. She is a disappointment to her family, and more often then not, herself. When her aunt is murdered everything in her life changes. She quickly finds that nothing is as it seems. I enjoyed every second of this book! It was fast paced and an easy read. There were twists and turns throughout the entire novel. It was full of mystery. If you are looking for a romance this isn't the book for you. Peter and Jackson are both terrible. In fact, most of the characters have done something pretty shady. Some of the characters I really enjoyed, despite their questionable characters. The Line drew me in and kept me guessing I highly recommend it! You can also fin this review and more at https://brittanymariereads.wordpress....

  18. 4 out of 5

    Kayla

    Savannah is my favorite city in the whole world so I may be a little biased, but this book is awesome! From the very beginning I was hooked. Mercy, the narrator, is hosting a ‘liar’s tour’ which is hilarious, especially if you’ve been to the places that she is referencing. Then you learn that Savannah really does play host to powerful magic, spirits and some old world hoodoo. The story is about Mercy ’the disappointment' and her family of powerful witches. Mercy was born without powers, but her Savannah is my favorite city in the whole world so I may be a little biased, but this book is awesome! From the very beginning I was hooked. Mercy, the narrator, is hosting a ‘liar’s tour’ which is hilarious, especially if you’ve been to the places that she is referencing. Then you learn that Savannah really does play host to powerful magic, spirits and some old world hoodoo. The story is about Mercy ’the disappointment' and her family of powerful witches. Mercy was born without powers, but her twin sister, Maisie was born with more powers than normal. Everyone in this family has their own secret agenda, and just when you think you have it figured out. You don’t. Expect to be surprised until the very last pages! I cannot wait to read more!

  19. 5 out of 5

    Robyn

    I thought this was a decent starting point to a series with Southern-flair and intriguing magic. Savannah plays a huge role in the book and is well-described. I thought the characterisation was a bit off and didn't really connect but will likely try another one in the series!

  20. 5 out of 5

    Christal (Badass Book Reviews)

    4.5 stars AH and I discussed this book for the March installment of our Jumble Your Genres Reading Challenge on Badass Book Reviews! I loved this book! It was a wonderful debut from J.D. Horn and I am actually a little surprised that it is his first book. Don't let the back cover copy fool you though, this really isn't anything like the Sookie Stackhouse books. The Line was a very unique tale is a genre that has been getting a little stale lately. The Line starts out with main character Mercy Taylo 4.5 stars AH and I discussed this book for the March installment of our Jumble Your Genres Reading Challenge on Badass Book Reviews! I loved this book! It was a wonderful debut from J.D. Horn and I am actually a little surprised that it is his first book. Don't let the back cover copy fool you though, this really isn't anything like the Sookie Stackhouse books. The Line was a very unique tale is a genre that has been getting a little stale lately. The Line starts out with main character Mercy Taylor leading a group of tourists around Savannah, GA on what she calls a Liar’s Tour. She takes them to historical sites, but tells them stories that she made up about the monuments. She does this as a counter point to all the typical ghost tours around the town. I really liked the Liar’s Tour twist. I wasn’t sure how it would play out but it was definitely an entertaining start. I’m kind of sad we didn’t see more of it. The Liar's Tour also provided a nice segue into meeting another main character, Mother Jilo, without it feeling like too much telling vs showing. Mother Jilo was a hoodoo practitioner in The Line. She didn’t like the Taylor family very much but she seemed to have a soft spot for Mercy herself. She freaked me out a bit at the beginning with all her talk of blood and bodies buried in the ground. Not being a natural witch, Jilo has to steal her power and some of the best ways to do that are through blood and death. She definitely is an unlikely ally for Mercy, but it was true that Jilo was more honest to her than her family. The initiating event in this story was the murder of Mercy's very powerful aunt, Ginny. After Ginny is murdered, the Taylor family comes together to try to figure out who killed her and also to decide who would be next in line as the leader. Mercy’s sister, Maisie, was the obvious choice because she was the most powerful and had been personally groomed by Aunt Ginny. Each witch in the family has their own specialization but Maisie and Ginny were the most powerful overall. Oliver had the power to make people do what he wanted, call it charm or persuasion. Ellen was a powerful healer and Iris had a talent for finding things. It was nice to see that everyone had their own little power niche instead of just being "all powerful." I really liked Ellen’s healing ability. I was wondering if she wasn’t a little bit of a banshee by the way she was floating and wailing towards the end when a certain nasty character died. I didn't really like Maisie very much, but I did feel a little sorry for her at first. It seemed like she didn’t get to live a life. She was just always training instead. In The Line, the Taylor family stands with the other witch families against the demons. They help hold “the line” which separates our dimensions. As the most powerful witch family in Savannah, a new family member must be chosen to take Ginny’s place and continue to hold the strength of “the line.” I loved the Savannah setting; it’s such a beautiful, old town and a perfect setting for ghosts and magic. Plus, there ain’t no summer like a deep south summer cuz a deep south summer don’t stop. I loved the mythos of this world and how the witches maintained the lines between our world and the world of the demons. Some time in the past, three of the twelve families pulled away so there were only nine witch families left to protect "the line." Ellen’s husband was from one of those families and he turned his back on them completely when he married Ellen. It truly seemed like a “better to reign in Hell than to serve in Heaven” situation for the families that left the pact which will be an interesting aspect to come up in future books. When the Taylors come together to choose the next family member to hold “the line,” representatives from the other witch families create a golem to send to Savannah. The golem is a combination of each representative’s consciousness and they use this avatar to supervise what’s going on. I found the golem to be very interesting. I thought it was especially interesting that the different psyches seemed to start to fuse more and more closely into one cohesive consciousness. It was a good way to introduce some periphery character without completely overwhelming the cast. There was a lot of intrigue and a bit of a love square woven throughout The Line. Ginny turned out to be a stone-cold bitch and I think the family would have been much better off without her meddling – Mercy at the foremost. I think the thing with Ellen's son was the worst, aside from what she did to Mercy. I just don’t understand how someone could do those things to their own family. I wasn't crazy about the romantic entanglements between Mercy, Maisie, Peter, and Jackson but they ended up playing out in a way I didn't expect. I am eager to see how things between Mercy and Peter progress in the next book with Mercy’s unexpected… surprise. Overall, The Line was a very unique take on witches and it was filled with delicious drama. I will most definitely be picking up the next book and have found a new UF author to watch in J.D. Horn. Thank you to Netgalley and 47North for providing an ARC copy of this book!

  21. 4 out of 5

    Lucy

    I'm bummed. I was really looking forward to this book. Hailed as the next Sookie Stackhouse, big UF hit. Yeah, not. I made it about 60% through before I just gave up. Lots of issues with the book, mainly just the hackneyed, cliched plot lines. Yeah, UF gets old if you read a lot of it, but this wasn't even well-written enough for me, a UF addict, to keep reading. Our heroine, Mercy, falls flat flat flat. I feel like she just appeared out of nowhere when the book was written. No history, no back s I'm bummed. I was really looking forward to this book. Hailed as the next Sookie Stackhouse, big UF hit. Yeah, not. I made it about 60% through before I just gave up. Lots of issues with the book, mainly just the hackneyed, cliched plot lines. Yeah, UF gets old if you read a lot of it, but this wasn't even well-written enough for me, a UF addict, to keep reading. Our heroine, Mercy, falls flat flat flat. I feel like she just appeared out of nowhere when the book was written. No history, no back story. She's 20 and feels like she needs to settle down and put a love spell on herself? At 20? Yeah right. She's only just questioning about her powers? She's in this crazy family where she has no power and all of a sudden she feels the desire to get magic? Yeah, right. She's got some kind of weird powerful attraction with Jackson, but been dating Peter. We know nothing about either of them, but I guess we know nothing about Mercy either, so no problems there. But two hot men in love with her? Yeah. She has this crazy weird family that didn't want to try and teach her anything about magic? Yeah right. She has a twin who has all the power, the hot boyfriend, and a sister complex? Yeah, right. Every bit of it felt contrived in a way to appeal to UF readers. Strong heroine who has been wronged by magic, but is still somehow going to be powerful. She has a love triangle with two hot guys who like her for some unknown reason. A weird family and a forced mystery. I didn't feel connected to any one character. Not to mention, the writing itself could have also suffered a few more edits. I found myself thinking too much about the fact that I was reading. I often found myself caught up on awkward phrases, or awkward turn of thoughts, where our character would be presumably headed in one direction (emotionally) only to make a quick u-turn all within one sentence. The idea behind it is fun, the actual product itself falls flat.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Shera (Book Whispers)

    It doesn't seem like too many new Urban Fantasy series are coming out lately. Authors are either expanding beloved series, ending them, or moving into Paranormal Romance and Young/New Adult. So that's why The Line caught my eye. It takes place in Savannah, one of my favorite Urban Fantasy cities next to New Orleans. Then it threw witches into the mix. And if I'm honest witches are my guilty pleasure for Urban Fantasy. True, I'm a hard core werewolves and vampires fan. Deep down witches will alwa It doesn't seem like too many new Urban Fantasy series are coming out lately. Authors are either expanding beloved series, ending them, or moving into Paranormal Romance and Young/New Adult. So that's why The Line caught my eye. It takes place in Savannah, one of my favorite Urban Fantasy cities next to New Orleans. Then it threw witches into the mix. And if I'm honest witches are my guilty pleasure for Urban Fantasy. True, I'm a hard core werewolves and vampires fan. Deep down witches will always hold a secret place in my heart. Sadly very few things that utilize witches make them believable and well . . . not childish. Or over the top Satan's spawn!! That's why within a few pages of The Line I was hooked. Ohhhh, so hooked. Mercy Taylor is promptly introduced while giving her Lair's Tour. While it's unclear if she really needs the money, one thing is clear this book is gonna have drama! The main character is from a prominent—filthy rich—family. The Lairs Tour is a job Mercy created where she goes around taking people on tours lying about the city and places. Making up or spinning stories off the top of her head. To be honest I think it's brilliant and I would hands down take that tour! With the rich writing, I felt like I was sweating it up in Savannah and indeed on that tour. After the tour was done I was all to ready to enjoy the rest of Mercy’s life and world. Boy is The Line all about the drama. Crazy soap opera family drama! One Life to Live and All My Children may be off the air, but The Line finally delivered the fix I've been hungering for! All the character's have some serious issues, and what I'd fondly refer to as zany personalities. From Mercy's crazy as hell head of the house, slushed up aunt, and gay uncle there's plenty of personalities to butt heads. Though the big fail for me was how evil Mercy's sister is, and at no point was there any love on the sister's part towards Mercy to make me feel for the relationship. In that one huge wicked-sister plot point was the books fatal flaw. Yet, the drama mixed in with all the mysteries, multiple plots, and drama—yes loads of drama—made it all better. Yes. There was plenty of predictable points, but Horn definitely made up for it and pulled a few over my eyes. Now I'm not going to ruin anything and won't dig to much into the plot. However, I will say there are plenty of players here and it kind of made me think of Game of Thrones witches edition. While there wasn't any dramatic deaths, everyone is a player and the succession for the “throne” is on. (OK, I was watching Game of Thrones while I read The Line, so take the comparison with a grain of salt. They both definitely have drama.) Mercy is a pretty nice character, at times she comes off as a martyr and I wished she'd get her bitch on and smack down on some people! But there in lies the breath of fresh are that The Line brings to the genre. Mercy is a genuine and nice person, one who wants to see the best in people. Even when her own romance is tanked and everyone she knows has betrayed her somehow. The drama, characters, plot, and the magic here is soooooooooooo refreshing. When the last page turned this unearthly glowing happened and I was transported to my happy book place that had been unreachable this year with my book funk. (At least from new titles/authors.) The Line made me feel refreshed and brave to go out and try new authors again! Bravo Horn! Bravo. Take my money. Sexual Content: Plenty of sexual humor, and some dark themes. The love scene was actually fairly mild. 5/5- Fabulous, a beautiful obsession! Originally reviewed at Book Whispers.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Traci

    I'm going to make a confession here and say that I was kind of a snob when I picked this out. And looking back on it, I have absolutely no idea why. The kindle first deals just didn't seem to appeal to me this month, I guess, and I picked the one that seemed like the least of the four evils. Maybe I was just feeling cynical that day, or maybe I am a little more disappointed in my past choices than I really thought. Sometimes males don't write females well, and vice versa, so maybe I was a little I'm going to make a confession here and say that I was kind of a snob when I picked this out. And looking back on it, I have absolutely no idea why. The kindle first deals just didn't seem to appeal to me this month, I guess, and I picked the one that seemed like the least of the four evils. Maybe I was just feeling cynical that day, or maybe I am a little more disappointed in my past choices than I really thought. Sometimes males don't write females well, and vice versa, so maybe I was a little harsh on that point, as well. I am happy to say that I was wrong on all points. This book centers around Mercy Taylor, a girl born into a family full of witches without one bit of magic of her own. She's just shy of her twentieth birthday and is giving tours of Savannah, her hometown, when she catches sight of a hoodoo pracitioner, Mother Jilo, and gets the idea that she should visit Jilo for a spell of her own--a love spell. Mother Jilo taunts her a bit, and though Mercy ultimately says that she changes her mind, Jilo says she'll work the spell anyway. And then the cruel family matriarch, Aunt Ginny, is murdered and it throws the family into a tailspin, because Aunt Ginny is the guardian of something called the line, which protects the human world from the demons who once ruled it. This book got really interesting really fast. I expected Mercy to be the whining kind of girl who was prone to throwing fits about being the only normal person in her family and therefore perceiving some of the abuses she puts up with. This wasn't the case. Everyone really, truly did treat her differently, from giving her disparaging nicknames to making her wait in an undecorated foyer for hours because she wasn't important enough to warrant an audience. I think that the thing I liked the most about reading this was that Mercy didn't know anything more than the reader, really, and so there was a lot of honest discovery going on, not just info-dumps of information because Mercy knows so much more than we do. She's just as in the dark. While at times I felt like she was maybe a little too naive and a little too good, I feel like the events closer to the end of the book, regarding her personal life, made it seem like she'd grown and matured through the events of the book. There were a couple of parts that I felt were reasonably predictable (view spoiler)[Mercy not really being born without magic, for example, and some events regarding the drawing of the lots after Aunt Ginny's death (hide spoiler)] but I still really enjoyed them. I really had to tell myself to slow down at parts. I was reading too fast and I thought I'd miss something. I'll definitely reread this and I'm looking forward to the sequel!

  24. 5 out of 5

    Stephanie Swint

    J.D. Horn introduces us to the addicting series 'Witching Savannah' with 'The Line.' This book is set in Savannah, Georgia and the magic that lives there. Mercy is the daughter of a powerful family of society witches, but Savannah is also home to hoodoo root doctors and a bevy of ghosts. Residents are used to the unexpected and unexplainable. Mercy has a fraternal twin, Maizy. When they were born their mother died bringing Mercy into the world. Mercy barely survived and was born powerless but her J.D. Horn introduces us to the addicting series 'Witching Savannah' with 'The Line.' This book is set in Savannah, Georgia and the magic that lives there. Mercy is the daughter of a powerful family of society witches, but Savannah is also home to hoodoo root doctors and a bevy of ghosts. Residents are used to the unexpected and unexplainable. Mercy has a fraternal twin, Maizy. When they were born their mother died bringing Mercy into the world. Mercy barely survived and was born powerless but her beautiful, loving twin was born with an extraordinary amount. While Mercy felt the sting of neglect she also had freedom. Mercy was openly called 'The Disappointment,' and Maizy was showered with attention but also expectation. It would have been easy for Mercy to be jealous but she found all the love she needed in her twin. Minor romance drama leads Mercy to reach out to a dangerous, disdained, Root Doctor named Mother Jilo. Mercy has fallen in love with Maizy's boyfriend, but she is not looking for Jilo to have him fall in love with her. She wants Jilo to cast a spell on Mercy to fall in love with her best friend who she knows would make her happy. Jilo explains the basics of magic and power, something her family never bothered to do. Jilo can cast this but only with sacrifice...not guilt. Mercy sees the mistake but Jilo won't turn back warning her family and her trust in them is misplaced. The intrigue begins. The next day her evil Aunt Ginny dies. More accurately, she is murdered. Mercy had been summoned to Ginny, the families seat of power and anchor to The Line. As Mercy enters the room she sees her Aunt has just had her severed. Like a normal human, she doesn't call the police she screams drawing her family to the scene. The search for the culprit begins and opens doors to many family secrets and questions. Mercy learns her Aunt was an Anchor to The Line, a magical barrier created by thirteen witch families and held in place by thirteen witches to protect the world from demons. Demons that would enslave us. Ginny's seat of power is empty and the vacuum must be filled. The families descend. Horn has given us good YA fiction. It's loosely YA, as Mercy is twenty, but it is coming of age. The romance is minimal and secondary to learning to deal with your family as adults, and finding purpose and a place in the world. It just takes place in a beautiful gothic construction of Savannah with witches. It passes the Bechdel test, and it's a good mystery. I listened to an audible version narrated by Shannon McMannus. She has a beautiful southern accent that made me feel like I was in Savannah. She also did well with character differentiation. If you enjoy audible books this is a good series to listen to. It is lighter fare but well worth your time. I've picked up the second in the series.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Ariana Fae

    I have always been drawn to stories about witches and when I saw The Line I had to read it. J.D Horn creates an interesting urban fantasy set in Savannah, Ga about family conspiracies, betrayals, rivalry and revenge. I immediately liked the protagonist, Mercy, when she is introduced, she is spunky and clever. However, as the story plugs along I began getting annoyed with her. Mercy is supposed to be twenty years old but I felt she came off as being sixteen with her actions, choices and thoughts. I have always been drawn to stories about witches and when I saw The Line I had to read it. J.D Horn creates an interesting urban fantasy set in Savannah, Ga about family conspiracies, betrayals, rivalry and revenge. I immediately liked the protagonist, Mercy, when she is introduced, she is spunky and clever. However, as the story plugs along I began getting annoyed with her. Mercy is supposed to be twenty years old but I felt she came off as being sixteen with her actions, choices and thoughts. I hate the trope of a character thinking “she is unremarkable” but yet men are inexplicably in love with her and she’s always the center of attention. Another trope is the twin sisters angle, Mercy’s sister is born with magic powers and all the good looks while she is the opposite. The most interesting character in the whole book was Mother Jilo and I enjoyed reading the scenes she was in. Horn’s world building is interesting from explaining about the magic system without info dumping to the descriptions of Savannah. There are some surprising twists in the book that felt unbelievable to me and really didn’t make sense, especially the ending chapters which also felt rushed. It was an easy, fast and entertaining read. If you like stories about witches with a soap opera twist, then you may want to read The Line.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Derek

    While The Line started slowly, and felt like it would be predictable, it wasn't, at least not toward the end. The characters that are fully fleshed out are fantastic, but they are few. The feeling that The Line should just be the first section of a much larger book (which is the case for many of these ubiquitous series which are intended from conception to be series- instead of "I think I have another story to tell with these characters, perhaps I'll write a equal") is there, but not as bad as s While The Line started slowly, and felt like it would be predictable, it wasn't, at least not toward the end. The characters that are fully fleshed out are fantastic, but they are few. The feeling that The Line should just be the first section of a much larger book (which is the case for many of these ubiquitous series which are intended from conception to be series- instead of "I think I have another story to tell with these characters, perhaps I'll write a equal") is there, but not as bad as say, Timebound (which was my December choice for my Amazon freebie), where the story feels like it just begins as the book ends.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Mo

    I actually prefer listening to this book. Savannah is an atmospheric type city in the way it is described by the narrator. The witchcraft aspect adds to the story. oh SHIT, Peter went 2 Jilo first?????? wow, what a plot twist! 2/27/16 The book ended as surprisingly as it started. You really have to listen to the nuances. I listened to this book and I'm glad I did. The narrator added more to the story than the written word. Happy reading!

  28. 5 out of 5

    Mauoijenn

    I totally forgot to review this book after I read it. This story takes place literally 45 minutes up the road from where I live, in Savannah, Georgia. Of course, that caught my eye. It's a really good book until it gets kind of complicated between a few of the characters and then a little predictability.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Kara-karina

    Joint review with Victoria Karina: Well, I'm eating my hat now. First of I didn't like this book, ladies and gents. It took awhile to get used to somewhat detached writing style. The emotional accents were not where I was expecting them. But... in the end the whole experience was awesome. J.D. created a story rich in flavour, intensely atmospheric and full of unexpected twists. What do you think, V.? What were you initial impressions on the book? Vika: Okay, so first impression – I might have fallen Joint review with Victoria Karina: Well, I'm eating my hat now. First of I didn't like this book, ladies and gents. It took awhile to get used to somewhat detached writing style. The emotional accents were not where I was expecting them. But... in the end the whole experience was awesome. J.D. created a story rich in flavour, intensely atmospheric and full of unexpected twists. What do you think, V.? What were you initial impressions on the book? Vika: Okay, so first impression – I might have fallen asleep reading the first couple chapters, but perhaps it wasn’t the book’s fault. Admittedly, I was a tad tired and it was quite late at night. So after I recovered the book picked up quite a bit and the story definitely got my attention. It was a fast read. Savannah served as a beautiful backdrop to the story, and the characters’ voices were unmistakably southern – I quite liked that actually. And perhaps because of its setting and a somewhat similar storyline of a witch coming into her own power and the conflict between good and bad it strongly reminded me of The Beautiful Creatures, which I haven’t read but I did see that movie... In any way, I wouldn’t say I loved it per se but there was definitely something there. I might have to contemplate it a bit longer. Karina: I know where you're coming from, V. There is plenty of potential, but at the same time the main heroine, Mercy, is going through major changes way too fast and plot twists are all over the place. There is also not enough emotional development and background story, however there is certain brilliance in secondary characters, for example, Oliver and Jilo. If it was an urban fantasy, the pace would have been perfect, but with the publishers comparing it with Deborah Harkness's trilogy... no, just no. This is pretty misleading. Mercy is a very nice character. Not having an ounce of magic of her own (with all the magic going to her twin) she leads a healthy life away from the Taylors’ intrigues, but when her aunt is murdered and the time comes to choose another anchor for The Line - a magical barrier between demonic worlds and Earth, the magic somehow keeps trying to choose her. Add to it an investigation into her aunt's death, a love spell gone wrong and unexpected jealousy and turbulent, violent feelings from Mercy's twin, and her normal life ends pretty quickly. Vika: I couldn’t agree more with you K. There was a lot going on. Potential was there but the execution was at fault here. It felt like the author had too many great ideas and tried to squeeze them all in this book; it lacked development, at least for my taste. I also couldn’t bring myself to care for Mercy much. I just got a sense that she passed through life and accepted everything life handed her with the same air of nonchalance. Mother Jilo on the other hand – fascinating – I want to read her story! And then there were the rest of the Taylors, talk about dysfunctional family… Still, I was entertained! Karina: I admit, I was also sceptical about Mercy’s relationship with her twin, Maisie. As twins they suppose to share a deep bond, so I can't see how Mercy stayed clueless about the changes happening to her sister. Jackson - Peter dynamics were too vague for my taste as well. *sigh* Still, this was crazily atmospheric! I am giving this book 4 stars because from urban fantasy point of view The Line was wildly entertaining and I hope next book by J.D. Horn will be even better. Vika: Agreed. I'm not rating this one as high, I liked it but it was far from "loved it" type of read for me, so 3 stars. Still, I'm curious to see what happens next. I just read description of The Source, second book in the series, which will be out this summer, and I’m quite intrigued!

  30. 5 out of 5

    Kayla Beck Kalnasy

    Review originally posted on Bibliophilia, Please. I must have paid some sort of sacrifice to the god of bestowing wonderful books because I've come across many lately, with J.D. Horn's debut, The Line , being the latest of the bunch. I was worried that I wouldn't like the book, despite it being a paranormal fantasy set in the South. However, the main character, Mercy Taylor, and Horn's excellent writing won me over within the first handful of pages. Because of Anne Rice, I've noticed that many Review originally posted on Bibliophilia, Please. I must have paid some sort of sacrifice to the god of bestowing wonderful books because I've come across many lately, with J.D. Horn's debut, The Line , being the latest of the bunch. I was worried that I wouldn't like the book, despite it being a paranormal fantasy set in the South. However, the main character, Mercy Taylor, and Horn's excellent writing won me over within the first handful of pages. Because of Anne Rice, I've noticed that many people expect Southern Gothic literature to be set in New Orleans. Savannah, Georgia is a spellbinding (see what I did there?) alternative to the Big Easy because it is also a city rich with history, ghosts, and promises of magic. I felt that Savannah was just as much a character in the story as Uncle Oliver or Jilo because we are shown so many landmarks and quirks of the city throughout the story. The Savannah in The Line is probably in our world, but there are just a few differences. Magic, hoodoo and witches are kept under wraps for the most part, but those who believe in it are generally accepting of it. The characters in The Line are flawed, secretive, and thoroughly intriguing. There are love triangles, lies, scandals, betrayal, and murder - you know, a typical Southern family. Seriously though, the Taylors are very dysfunctional, and their treatment of Mercy made me cheer for her even harder. Let me just say though, Mercy makes her money by lying (guiding the Liar's Tour of Savannah), and she is head over heels in love with her sister's boyfriend. Perfect she is not. After reading The Line , I was very surprised to learn that this was Horn's debut. His writing is clean and sharp, and it was difficult for me to put the book down. There were twists and turns in this book that blew my mind. I'm usually good at guessing how things would turn out, but that was not the case. There was one bit that I thought I saw coming, and then it was turned on its head. My mouth was genuinely hanging open. The only gripe that I have about The Line is that the ending was a little rushed. I think things started tying up too quickly, and I didn't get enough information to back up some of the twists. They still made sense, but I wanted to know more. I will cut the book some slack because there is a sequel coming out later this year. The Line is a wonderful book that any readers of Southern Gothic and the paranormal will enjoy immensely. It's one of the best books that I've read so far this year, and I can't wait to read more books from Horn. - 4.5/5 Stars - To satisfy FTC guidelines, I am disclosing that I received a copy of the novel from the publisher through TLC Book Tours in exchange for an unbiased review. It has in no way affected the outcome. All expressed opinions are awesome, honest, and courtesy of me.

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