Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Prime Evil-Does Chance have a Chance?

So, hopefully you have read Jenn’s review of this book to get a flavor of the story line to Heather Long’s book Prime Evil. While I too enjoyed the book, I just noticed something really annoying. The cover of the book. You see the cool thing about Chance Monroe is that she is a hedge witch. The thing about a hedge witch is that “[a] hedge witch shared a natural connection to the Earth around her. She communicated with it, became one with it, shared with it and took from it.” Chance uses her abilities with the Earth to help neighbors get rid of imps, fairies and even dreaded grafters(which she describes as almost like a semi-conscious spiritual fungus which feeds on the energy of the life.) She also uses her talents to help the FBI solve the identity of a serial killer. However, if being a hedge witch, sister to the Earth thing, is the coolest thing about the heroine, why does the cover show only commercial buildings and concrete? In addition, the book says that Chance has untamable curls, not straight red hair and there is no reference to her wearing all black leather. Heck, her character lives in a farmhouse, not an Arlington condo. The book is so well written it deserves a more appropriate and less cheesy cover. It also deserves a better title. Now don’t get me wrong, the serial killer is evil and is scary, but Prime Evil? Not Quite.

Despite the title and cheesy cover, I was quite taken with the heroine, her reluctant embrace of her inherited role as a hedge witch and the interesting characters that Heather Long introduced us to along the way. The best friend/love interest Jack is an appealing character, but so is another FBI agent Billy and others characters are mysterious and interesting too in terms of their abilities and the suspense Long draws out regarding the role they play in the serial murders or their resolution. I was drawn into the story and the suspense, enjoying everything written until the end of the book. It just felt rushed. There were a few characters at the end who seemed cool, but hardly developed, like Chance’s best friend Sydney and Jamie Smith, a Tracker, who the FBI was planning to use to find the bad guy. Rather than end the book when she did, I would have preferred it if Long had taken a bit longer to develop these other characters more (especially if they are going to repeat or be in a book of their own) and if she had drawn out the ending a little more, made it a little more complicated.

In the end, I think Chance deserves a chance and I encourage you to read it to see if you agree. I give the book 3 and a half chocolate covered strawberries.
Cat Devon
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