Title – Author: Weather Witch – Shannon Delany
Publisher: St. Martin’s Griffin
Release Date: June 25, 2013
Series/Standalone: Series – Weather Witch #1
Format – Source: e-ARC – Publisher via NetGalley
In an alternate Philadelphia in 1844, Weather Witches are reviled by society yet used and abused to provide light and power to the city’s elite. Jordan Astraea, a daughter of a high-ranking family, wants to celebrate her birthday with her beau Rowen, her best friend Catrina, and an elaborate and expensive party. But she gets the worst birthday surprise imaginable: the Astraea family is accused of harboring a Weather Witch.
This book sounds like it has a really great concept: witches who can control the weather? Like Storm in X-Men? That’s an idea I can really get excited about. Unfortunately, there’s nothing exciting about this book at all.
Let’s start with the world-building, of which there is very little. 336 pages and I still have no idea what a Weather Witch is or what one does. I mean, control the weather obviously, but there are so few details about the witches. How do they control the weather? How exactly is society using them? What are their limitations? Why are they considered dangerous? Why does society hate them so much? Nothing is explained about this world. Then there are societal rankings that aren’t explained and mythical creatures that aren’t described in any detail. There’s supposedly some war going on between humans and these mermaid creatures, but from the few scenes with these creatures, they don’t seem smart enough to wage a war. I know the usual complaint is show, not tell, but in this case there wasn’t really any showing or telling.
Which leads me to my next point: I was basically confused throughout the entire book. Something would be mentioned and not explained so I had no idea what the book was talking about. Like the mermaid creatures, called Merrow, were just mentioned by name and I had no idea what they were until an actual encounter. The poor world-building made it so hard to get into the story.
And there isn’t much story to begin with. There’s barely a plot. The narrative follows several different characters, but there’s no real driving action to build up any suspense or interest. The characters themselves are bland too, with as little definition as the magical beings in the story. I honestly couldn’t connect with a single character.
The book ends extremely abruptly. I’m assuming this is to make the reader want the next book, but I won’t be back for more.
Without world-building, interesting characters, or any action, Weather Witch has nothing to recommend it.
1 – terrible and irredeemable – Lord Voldemort