A Time for Witches is the sequel to Ghosts of Gotham and a book that I highly anticipated in 2020. Although it got me by surprise when I learned it was about to be published in October, but hey, I was totally down for it.
Craig Schaefer kindly provided me an ARC of A Time for Witches in exchange for an honest review.
|Series: The Ghosts of Gotham Saga #2||Genre: Urban Fantasy|
|Date of Publishing: October 14th 2020||Publisher: Demimonde Books|
In Ghosts of Gotham, Craig Schaefer unveiled a modern world haunted by Greek mythology and magic. That was only the beginning.
Once upon a time, Lionel Page didn’t believe in magic.
That was before his odyssey to New York City, and the quest for a lost manuscript that ended in mysteries, murder, and the buried secrets of his own past. He used to be a professional skeptic. Now he’s a witch in the service of Hekate, chasing myths across the heartland of a haunted America.
The reappearance of a hero from Greek legend is just one sign of the coming storm. There are Amazons on the highway, and death-spirits lurking in cheap roadside motels. And Madison, Lionel’s lover, is on a mission of her own. A mission, fueled by vengeance, to slay a man who can’t be killed: her ex-husband. If Lionel doesn’t catch up with her in time, neither of them will survive.
In Ghosts of Gotham, Lionel Page opened his eyes to the real world. Now he has to fight to protect it.
“When things are at their worst, when you’re all alone and lost and feeling afraid, and you don’t know which way to turn? Sometimes the best way to push through the darkness and keep fighting is to be strong for someone else.”
I’ve been thinking a lot about what song to pick. One of my choices was Private Parts, Lzzy Hale and James Michael‘s duet which I take would make a good song for Lionel and Maddie. But eventually settled on Who We Are by Nothing More which I also think fits them as well as the book.
I’m probably going to sound like a broken record at this point, but I just adore the hell out of Craig Schaefer‘s books. I used to love UF books once upon a time, but these days if I pick up anything in that subgenre, then it’s more than likely a Schaefer book. You just can’t beat the man.
Ghosts of Gotham was one of my favorite reads last year and though it was intended as a stand-alone, I was very much overjoyed when I learned that there is going to be a sequel. A skeptical journalist whose main goal is to debunk frauds and con men, proving magic doesn’t exist; witches; greek mythic creatures in modern-day America. What’s not to love?!
A Time for Witches picks things up a few days after the events in Ghosts of Gotham. Maddie and Lionel are both on the hunt, though their paths take some different turns along the way. But eventually, their goal is the same: to save the world and kick some supernatural ass while they are at it. Their chase brings them through America, while many mythological creatures make an appearance to make their life oh so much harder. And much, much more bloody.
A Time for Witches is told in alternating POVs: Lionel and Maddie. They both have their own journey to make – both literally and emotionally/spiritually as they come to terms with their own lives. One thing I love about Schaefer‘s books is how well he handles relationships of any kind, how he makes his characters grow while keeping the plot in his hands as well. Yes, this book has action, several galleons of blood flowing, crazy car chases, various kinds of supernatural killers, and a megalomaniac villain. But at the core, A Time for Witches is about second chances and coming to terms with your true self. And about what makes a hero.
“Friendship is love, powerful love. I think that’s often forgotten in this age. People are taught that love and sex are entwined, that you can’t love your friends because that means you must expect something more or different from them.”
As was the case with Ghosts of Gotham, it’s very hard to put A Time for Witches down. I usually don’t like it when a lot of traveling happens in a book, but when it comes to Schaefer‘s book, I don’t mind that, because there is not a single boring moment. And because I just adore the hell out of Lionel. As Schaefer tends to write his books in the same universe and characters can appear in each others’ series, can I just ask for a meeting between Lionel and Daniel Faust? Pretty please? I’d love to see those two together.
One of my favorite parts in A Time for Witches was the scenes in the hotel. Maddie pulled some absolutely cool tricks with the mirrors. That whole setting reminded me of The Shining, even though I’m not a fan of either the book or the movie. But it got that haunted/horror hotel vibe. It was fun.
There is a risk of choosing Greek mythology to infuse with Urban Fantasy as there are many well-known and overused stories out there. It’s easy to falling into the “oh hell, this character/story/myth again” pit and bringing absolutely nothing new to the table. What Schaefer does very, very well is picking less known characters as well as giving a fresh twist to age-old myths. I can’t go into details here, but let me just say, well played.
Probably my only teeny tiny criticism would be that I would have liked if we didn’t learn about the identity of the villain so early on – if you pay attention you can already see it coming by the time Lionel puts it together. A bit more mystery would have spiced it up even more, but honestly, I just enjoyed the ride way too much to be really bothered.
A Time for Witches is a most excellent follow up to Ghosts of Gotham. If Urban Fantasy and Greek mythology ever had a love child it probably would be this series. Schafer takes the reader on a thrilling ride along with characters you can root for all the way to whatever end. Buckle up people, because this will be a bumpy road. But so. Damn. Good.