witch coverRating: 3.5 stars
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Length: Novella


In the year since Kana was targeted by a hunter under a spell, he has continued his relationship with Ember, alpha of the local werewolf pack. Kana now works for the hunters, which gives him a chance to further develop his magic. When a new witch moves into a house across from the hunters and wolves, Kana thinks that is the height of their troubles. Fortunately, Kana is powerful enough to handle the witch, despite her own magical strength. Unfortunately, there is more danger on the horizon than just a witch. Now, it will take Kana, Ember, and the strength of all the local supernaturals on the side of good to stop the threat before it is too late.

Witch is the third book in Mell Eight’s Witch’s Circle series and it follows a continuing story. Things are recapped pretty well here from past events, but I do think this one works better when read as part of a series. I think Eight’s strength here continues to be the magical world building and the books have some unique takes on the way magic works. We get a good window into Kana’s mind as he performs his various spells and I find the process interesting and nicely developed. Kana is also building a nice community after having to go so long on his own. It started with the wolves, then the hunters, and now the witches. So I appreciate seeing that growth for him as he becomes part of a larger supernatural group who work together and have each other’s backs.

The conflict here is pretty light, though part of that may be due to the shorter length of the story. Basically, we get a bad guy who comes into town, they spend some time trying to track him down, then there is a face off at the end. I didn’t find this plot as compelling as the adventures of the first two books, perhaps because we don’t really see the bad guy do much that feels all that threatening for most of the story. The fight gives a chance to see all the supes team up, but overall the conflict did feel a little light on intensity.

The connection between Ember and Kana has been growing over the books and now they are settled into a serious relationship. I found the romantic side the weakest link in the earlier books, as the guys just seemed to jump from indifferent acquaintances, to casual friends, to suddenly in love with nothing of the relationship development actually shown on page. Here things worked a little better for me, as Kana and Ember come into the book with things already serious and settled. It is clear the guys rely on one another and have a commitment, but the story is still quite light in the romance department and we see very little emotional connection between them. The two of them are also involved in a sexual relationship with Kana’s familiars, Mika and Sora, which surprised me. Kana has always had a sexual connection with them, but I didn’t realize it had expanded to include Ember and I don’t remember it being discussed in any of the books. I am not clear what these men all are to each other. I know that Mika, Sora, and Kana have always had a sexual and emotional connection, thought not a romantic one. But does the emotional component now includes Ember as well? Is this just sex between them? None of it is talked about here, we just see them all have sex together. So I would have loved to see more here on the romantic front between Ember and Kana, as well as more clarity on the dynamic among the four of them.

I think the bottom line for me is that I needed more to carry this story, either on the romantic side or on the supernatural conflict side. Both felt a little light and undeveloped. I think this series has some interesting world building and I like the characters, which has kept me coming back. But things are not quite developed enough to fully make this one work for me.

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