J.D. Horn’s The Line is the first volume in the Witching Savannah series, urban fantasy centred around Mercy Taylor, a young woman from a family of witches who, in a break from the trope, has no magic of her own. She has a twin sister, one particularly gifted with magic, but Mercy has nothing but her wits.
I’ve found Amazon’s 47 North imprint to be hit and miss; I’ve read some appalling novels that should never have made it to publication, but the odd gem, too. The Line is good, a well-written story that’s nicely paced, has interesting three-dimensional characters and a heroine who, being the black sheep of the family, is no stranger to adversity .
It’s a good series opener, and I’ll be interested to see how the series develops, but the writing is let down in a couple of key areas that, for me, lessened the enjoyability of the book. While Mercy does indeed face several trials during the book, including tests of her character, the author didn’t quite make the most of the tension, of the dilemma Mercy faced. And because the tension wasn’t ratcheted up, I never quite believed that Mercy would make the wrong decision. Frequent references to Savannah heat worked well to begin with, but I found that quickly wore off and became cliched. These two points aside, however, The Line was a good Urban Fantasy novel. Although I felt it was probably geared more towards the Young Adult market, the novel was just as enjoyable for adults, examining the same themes common to both age demographics.