Title: Witch City: Cardinal | Author: Tim Morgan | Pub. Date: 02/07/2016 | Pages: 152 | ISBN13: 9781523933747 | Language: English | Triggers: None | Rating: 3 out of 5 | Source: Received free paperback from the author for review consideration |
Witch City: Cardinal
At sixteen Peter Cardinal’s family was slaughtered by vampires, but his story is dismissed as the ramblings of a traumatized teen. Wracked by guilt and driven by fury, Peter sets his sights on a career in law enforcement.
His adoptive father, however, is the only one who will listen – and he has other plans for Peter.
After college Peter is recruited by The Program – a law enforcement agency tasked with tracking down and destroying monsters at all costs. At first out for vengeance, Peter understands something bigger and more sinister is in the works. He’s one of the few who can see it. And he may be the only one who can stop it.
This book follows Peter’s story from the death of his parents through his transformation to Program agent to his first case in a world going insane.
Witch City: Cardinal Review
I was pretty interested in the synopsis for Witch City. It sounded very interesting. It was, to a point. I’d be interested to read the next book in the series to see where it goes. Frankly, Witch City: Cardinal was a little on the boring side. Mr. Morgan certainly brings a lot of detail to Peter’s time in the Program. If you love details of military boot camp then this book will thrill you to no end. However, countless descriptions of physical work-outs does not a book make. For being in Peter’s head most of the time I never really got a sense of him. There were mostly repetitious thoughts about how he has to make it through the Program for his parents but there seemed to be very little emotion behind it. The scene with his parents is written well, with the emotions that I would expect. A brief chapter or two skims over what seems like a couple of years until he is suddenly in the Program. It’s also hinted that he is ‘special’ in some way but so far what is shown is he’s a good leader with a strong will. His teammates likewise have little to distinguish one from another, you can find similar characters in just about any portrayal of the military in various media.
For all of the description of their training it oddly skips over some of the more interesting tidbits that could liven up the endless physical training descriptions. For instance, they are given classes on what types of monsters the Program has classified and their behavior. I was starting to perk up but the reader is not invited into the classes with Peter and the rest. Perhaps Tim Morgan is keeping some mystery for later appearances. I hope so, but a titillating glimpse of them in this book would have been nice. It would also give us an idea of how dangerous some of the creatures are. It’s hard to get nervous for the character when we don’t know what the creature is, how powerful or dangerous it is and so on.
I’m also having a little trouble envisioning the world itself. It seems like the Program is secret. In the beginning it’s hinted that law enforcement knows about it (which makes sense) but regular people don’t. However, during training recruits are allowed to “blow the whistle” and leave the training with no repercussions. Not even a vow of secrecy or anything. In fact, when Peter has passed the training and is looking for an apartment even the real estate agent seems to know about the paranormal agency which he’s aligned with.
The final few chapters are Peter’s first case. Which is at first described very well and seems to be a big deal. Since the reader has no knowledge of the ‘creature’ it loses a lot of its tension and everything resolves rather easily.
All of this may seem like I did not like Witch City. While I can’t say Witch City enthralled me, I am curious to read the next in the series to at least give Tim Morgan the chance to capture my attention with hopefully more detailed descriptions of the world itself and the creatures of darkness that Peter will be doing battle with.
On more technical notes, there are is a typo here and there in the paperback copy of Witch City. Just a few though and does not diminish the reading experience. In my opinion the paperback cover is much better than the e-book version. It’s far more eye-catching and creepier looking. The e-book cover is a bit bland.
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GracieKat was the first co-host of Sci-Fi & Scary, Lilyn’s partner-in-crime, and sub-head of the Coolthulhu Crew. She reviews horror books, movies, and games for the site. She also does a weekly Focus on the Frightful feature, and is the site list-maker. She is also in control of the Sci-Fi & Scary podcast which will relaunch soon.
Gracie is also a member of the Ladies of Horror Fiction crew.
I’d give this a go. Sometimes the second book is better and gives you clarity.
I’m interested to see what the next one will offer as well. He might not feel so rushed building the world and get more in-depth on the story.
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