Book Review: Yasmine Galenorn’s Witchling

Posted December 14, 2011 by Kathy Davie in Book Reviews

I received this book for free from the library in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Book Review: Yasmine Galenorn’s Witchling



Yasmine Galenorn

urban fantasy that was published by Berkley on October 3, 2006 and has 276 pages.

Explore it on Goodreads or Amazon.

Other books by this author which I have reviewed include Hexed, Changeling, Never After, Darkling, Demon Mistress, Dragon Wytch, Bone Magic, Night Huntress, Harvest Hunting, Blood Wyne, Courting Darkness, Shaded Vision, Shadow Rising, Haunted Moon, Night Myst, Night Veil, Night Seeker, Autumn Whispers, Night Vision, Night’s End, Priestess Dreaming, Panther Prowling, "Flight From Hell", Flight From Death, Souljacker

First in the Otherworld / Sisters of the Moon urban fantasy series revolving around three half-fae, half-human sisters assigned Earthside to handle OIA issues.

My Take

Oh, make me nuts! It’s a good story with lots of funny bits BUT the writing is also incredibly obvious. It seems as though Galenorn started developing her outline and only went so far; it lacks segues and depth. No, creating intricate descriptions of characters is not depth. It’s so bad I kept wanting to put the book down. I’ll try the next in the series only in case of first-book jitters, but it had better be an improvement!

Delilah and Camille have gone to speak to Rina only to get themselves locked in a backroom and when they have a few minutes to talk to her dead spirit, Camille is wallowing trying to think of what to ask. Well, duh, why were the two of them there in the first place? And it’s not like they didn’t have time while they waited for the Corpse Talker to show up…

The dead weren’t always talkative, which was understandable. We had to make every question count. I thought hard. WE had one, perhaps two more chances. What else could I ask that might be of value? And then, I knew. More questions about Rina’s death would be a waste of time, but maybe, just maybe I could gain some insight on what we’d come to learn.

Well, duh, ya think??? And the story is just littered with similar inanities.

Oh, please, a “clue” just happens to wash up on the girls’ front porch and leaves behind his jacket with a handy dandy notebook with arrows and pictures to where they need to go next??? Even the love scenes — pre, during, and post — are a yawn. Depth. Please, give me some depth. Create some subtle transitions instead of this choppy crap!

Camille and Chase are there at the murder scene. Together. And they agree to rendezvous at the local coffeeshop. Um, “rendezvous” means to meet at the same time and place. Since they’re walking over there together, there is no need to “rendezvous”. I’m really glad that Camille decided to wait until even her toes were visible again before she drove off. God forbid that some pedestrian or another driver should notice that someone was driving a car when their toes weren’t visible.

I’m a bit confused by “What might he be wearing below that sweater? I couldn’t very well ask him to stand up so I could see his pants.” I know I’m being pissy because it’s perfectly reasonable but it’s such a lousy connection. The first part of the paragraph has Camille thinking about what his body looks like under the sweater why on god’s green earth would I then want to see his trousers? His trousers?? If she wants to get a look at his butt, say that.

I know that Galenorn purposely created these characters and I’m assuming she read a book on creating personalities for each individual with interesting interactions between them. But. The silly reactions from Delilah and the types of stress that trigger them is just lame.

I know that Galenorn keeps reminding us that the girls are rather incompetent and they do keep proving it. They never think to check on what powers the scouts have and how they might counter them. They know Camille’s powers are wonky but do they take the summoning out into the backyard where there’d be less damage? Nawww…what’s the fun in that? Then there’s the demon finger Camille owes to Grandmother Coyote; I’m surprised she finally remembers to collect one. Oh yeah, they know that the demon scouts are after them and they should probably avoid the Wayfarer. So instead they head for home. Sure, ’cause the demons wouldn’t think of trashing their home. In the final battle [for this story, anyway], Camille is thinking of the warning their father gave them that they could’t hurt this demon using fire. So, naturally, they paid no attention to this warning and simply went out to do battle. With fire. And ya wonder why I wouldn’t mind their being taking out of play…genetic selection…preservation of the species…do not let such stupid people, er, fae, reproduce!

Why is Camille so freaked about Morio being a demon? She’s been whining on at Chase about the third-level demons being not so bad and here she is freaking out about Morio. Either acknowledge her own hypocrisy or go back and tidy up the whining. Okay, so the world, both worlds(!), are in big trouble. And Camille just has to take time out to discuss Delilah’s love life and in another scene where time’s a’tickin’ to check on a Menolly who has already proven she’s fine. No wonder the OIA thinks they are incompetent. I kinda hoped when they took the floraed prisoner and let her live that the bad fae will kill them off…I know, I’m so bad. But, I get so irritated with such gross cliché.

I do like Camille worrying about cat seniority at the house! And possible litter box disputes between Delilah and a real housecat…too funny.

The Story

Jocko the giant is murdered by demons and the OIA just blows it off. Tells the girls to go investigate and clean up the mess. Well, that should be the first clue that something is going wrong in the Otherworld (OW) since the OIA thinks the girls are fairly useless. But, hey, the girls intend to do their bumbling best and they do. It takes a message via Trillian and Camille’s visit to Grandmother Coyote to bring coherence to the clues they gather to put together the who, the what, and finally the why. A great, big, nasty why. The biggest why is why the OIA keeps blowing them off. This is serious!!

Still, they can’t let the OIA’s lousy attitude prevent them from saving the Earth and OW and, thankfully, Grandmother Coyote comes through with some help for the girls. There’s a kitsune who owes Grandmother; the only problem is that the kitsune, Moroi, seems very interested in Camille which Trillian, Camille’s ex, is eager to challenge. It’s just one sexual substitution for an unwanted attraction though when Chase becomes interested in another fae; a substitution much preferred by Camille.

It seems that the demon scouts have the girls’ number though for the attacks begin against them and the girls have to move fast to find the Seal and prevent Shadow Wing from acquiring it. A treasure hunt that revisits old, old fae and encounters a dragon. An amused and horny dragon.

Good thing; they need all the help they can get in the story’s final battle.

The Characters

There were once three D’Artigo sisters, half-human, half-fae with a bit of a twist thrown in to make each of them different from the other. Camille is part magically-challenged witch who runs the Indigo Crescent bookstore, Menolly is a vampire working the night shift at the Wayfarer Bar & Grill, and Delilah is a werecat with her own private detective agency. It certainly does provide some interesting one-liners. Both the bookstore and the bar are run by the OIA. Their human mother, Maria D’Artigo, died from a throw while out hunting and their Sidhe father, Sephreh ob Tanu, has never remarried. Iris is a Finnish house sprite who has come to work at the bookstore. Maggie is a new acquisition. A baby gargoyle Camille rescues from being snack food.

Chase Johnson is an FBH, a full-blooded human who works for the Otherworld Intelligence Agency (OIA) along with the sisters. He created the Faerie-Human Crime Scene Investigations team — the fae version of CSI. He’s a real letch and constantly trying to get Camille to sleep with him. Until he finds a new target. He’s also learning a lot more than he ever wanted to about the darker side of the fae. Devins is his boss; his jerkwad boss.

Trillian is Camille’s ex- and a Svartan. They say that once you’ve gone Svartan, you’ll never go back and Camille is living proof of it. In spite of their history, it’s pretty significant that Camille’s dad sent him to help
the girls. Morio is a kitsune sent by Grandmother Coyote to help the girls. Looks like Galenorn is setting us up for either a lot of sexual tension between Trillian, Camille, and Morio or a future threesome. Smoky the dragon is an interesting addition…maybe it’ll be a foursome.

Jocko is a short giant working Earthside for OIA. Louise Jenkins is an FBH and a friend of Jocko’s. Rina is a fae banished for not asking the Queen’s permission to fool around with the King — a completely different take on that one! Grandmother Coyote is an Elemental spirit bound to Earth; she can’t be charmed, harmed, or killed — lucky girl. Tom Lane, a.k.a., Tam Lin, has a very sad past. Titania, the old faerie queen, is barely there. I’m guessing Georgio Profeta‘s, oops, I mean Saint George the Dragon Killer’s, presence is to let us know how kind Smoky can be that or it’s simply supposed to be a bit of comic relief or filler.

Shadow Wing is one of the upper demons, a powerful demon overlord; a really bad guy. Shadow Wing sent out a scout crew: Bad Ass Luke, Harpy, and Psycho Babble to find the Seal and stomp the opposition. Wisteria is a deluded fae. Queen Lethesanar is devoutly disliked while her sister, Tanaquar, has her own plans in mind. Asteria is the Elfin Queen, a safe ally in the upcoming war.

The Faerie Watchers Club is devoted to all things fae and continually beg for photos of Camille; Erin Mathews is the president of the local order and owns a lingerie shop Camille patronizes. The Guardian Watchdogs are a vigilante group who are anti-supernaturals. They believe in the “earth-born” and everyone else is a threat. Otherworld (OW) is the land of all the fae. Cleo Blanco is a drag queen whom Camille meets at Mathews’ lingerie shop; I’m assuming we’re being introduced to a series character since nothing much happens.

The Cover

The cover is certainly cute with the sexy little witch in her black satin halter dress with its v’d insert braced to sprint off the stone wall — I’m not sure how they managed to get a full moon to show through the wall. The background is a nice vertical glaze of purple to yellow.

The title’s frame is certainly perfect for the girls with its lovely bit of scrolling above and below it. The title itself is a nickname bestowed on Camille by a very scary supernatural being.