Halfway Drowned – Terry Maggert

*I received a free ARC of this novel.  The decision to review and my opinions are my own.*

Blurb:  Something is wrong with Carlie.

32877158 A magical storm. An ancient shipwreck. A hidden evil.
All three are tied together as Carlie must defend Wulfric against his past, which emerges after a raging storm tears across Halfway Lake.
When government agents descend on Halfway to investigate the mysterious shipwreck, Carlie discovers that all is not as it seems.

A thousand years old, the Viking ship holds bones. And secrets.
Not everyone went down with the ship. There were survivors, but they might be less than human. They cross paths with Carlie in a showdown that will bring her own secrets to light, for saving Wulfric came with a cost. Now, it’s time for her to pay.

Dive in with Carlie as she fights to save the one person she can’t lose.
Herself.

Kind of appropriate in the run-up to Halloween, Halfway Drowned is book 4 in a witchy paranormal urban fantasy series.

The book has a cosy mystery feel to it, despite being nominally fantasy, and featuring an eclectic mix of witches, vampires, Vikings, ghosts and more.

I confess to finding myself somewhat muddled by the plot in places, as it sometimes seemed that the characters were referring to information and events that I didn’t have knowledge of or didn’t fully understand, but I put this down to me jumping midway into an established series with developed characters and backstory.

There were also a few editing errors, such as Tammy being introduced by description to the reader on more than one occasion, but on the whole these were minor and did not affect my enjoyment of the read.

The characters and dialogue were my favourite aspects of this book and really hooked me in.  They sparkled with inside jokes, sarcasm, warmth and enthusiasm, and the relationships and interactions between them felt natural and believable.  The narrative voice, Carlie’s, is infectious and endearing, and her descriptions are often unusual but really work as visuals and made me laugh more than once, for example:  ‘In a fluid motion, he stood, holding me to him like a book or a small stack of laundry.’

I was reminded of two of my favourite series’ whilst reading:  Jim Butcher’s Dresden Files for the fantasy setting and witty banter, and Elizabeth Peters’ Peabody series for the light and exuberant tone.

I would definitely recommend this series for anyone looking for a bit of quick, light snarky fantasy, but would also recommend you do as I now intend to and start with book one in the series, Halfway Dead, as I suspect that this is a series which builds and grows on you.

I took the doll from my bracelet and tossed it upward to strike Richie in the middle of his chest.  I know, I’d hoped for something more dramatic, but the last thing I saw was the freaky little smile of the doll as it sank inward like a blueberry in waffle batter.

I really should eat before I do things like fight an elemental.

– Terry Maggert, Halfway Drowned

Find more from Terry Maggert at his website here, or connect with him on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram.

At the time of writing this review, you could get a free copy of the first book in the Halfway Witchy series by signing up for Terry’s newsletter here.

 

 

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