Spells of Blood and Kin – Claire Humphrey
Hardcover, 320 pages, Expected publication: June 14th 2016 by Thomas Dunne Books
A lot of books classed under the paranormal genre tend to be about a romance between a human and an otherworldly beast. There is nothing wrong with that and displays at the local bookstore indicate there is a continual appetite. In Claire Humphrey’s ‘Spells of Blood and Kin’ she has tried to break the shackles of the genre and endeavoured to present something darker and deeper.
The story centres around Lissa of Russian heritage who is dealing with the death of her Grandmother who is a witch. Lissa having been schooled by her Grandmother reluctantly takes over the duties required of helping women who want to become pregnant or fall in love. It is all mundane magic until Maksim arrives at her door seeking a magic that comes a high cost.
Humphreys has created a world that is believable and are well constructed. The characters are detailed and with plenty of personal baggage attached to them. Lissa is like a rabbit caught in the headlights who is momentarily stunned by all the changes happening around her. She wants to do right but is not sure what that actually is. Maksim is a man with a tattered past who wants to erase his true violent nature and live a more human existence. Around both Lissa and Maksim swirl a group of characters who move seamlessly through the novel.
I found myself easily lost in the story, I was engaged but as I read I just felt like something was missing. It takes some time for all the characters to be introduced, then it takes some time to determine what the story is concluding to. There is no ticking time bomb ending and that is okay. What you have is an opportunity to spend time with the characters as they deal with issues such as loneliness, grief and addiction. When you come to end of journey with characters you part ways amicably knowing some issues are resolved and that new stories for the individuals are about to begin.