Shadow Spell by Nora Roberts

Shadow Spell - Nora Roberts

Why does every other book I pick up have to be part of some ongoing (sometimes never ending) series? Why can’t a book stand alone?  Why do I ask stupid questions when I already know the answer?  I am crabby and all I want is a fantastic standalone romance novel and I can’t seem to find one this month. Is this too much to ask?! 


So, here’s my story of woe. I reserved this from the library via the internet without knowing it was book #2 in a series.  When I picked it up and realized my error (which is clearly stated on the front for any idiot to see), I was too lazy to go back to return it and figured I’d give it a go anyway. Nora Roberts is usually an author I can count on.  My mistake. I should’ve wasted the gas and the time and turned back. Instead I wasted 10+ hours of my time insisting to myself this book would get better. It didn’t. I think this idiot has finally learned her lesson.


The entire first hour of this unabridged audiobook is spent introducing three siblings in Ireland with magical powers who are battling some evil do-er who murdered their parents. I thought the book was going to be about one of them since Roberts spent so much time with the intro’s and all and just as I was feeling bad for them and getting comfy with the storyline she zips us to the future. Here we meet another group of three with magical powers who are related to the previous three.  What. The. Hey?


Somewhere around hour three (yes, hour three people, you can't call me a quitter!) I am finally clued in to the fact that this may be a romance and the hero is this nice, friendly Connor fellow and I’m good with that. He has magical powers, trains falcons and is content with his happy life. He loves his siblings/cousins and has a friendly outlook on life.  The heroine is Meara, his childhood friend who he enjoys teasing and touching whenever he can. She leads horse tours. She doesn’t have the magical powers but she does have an affinity for the horses. She’s nice enough. Together they’re fine but I didn’t feel much of anything but perhaps it’s because I’m dead inside.


So, there is a romance happening but it didn’t thrill me all that much and felt more like a secondary plot element. I'd be sad if I weren't so bored.And cold-hearted.


What is going on is kind of crazy, convoluted and not very original. There is a Big Bad who escaped from a Charmed episode or the past or some such who keeps popping up to steal “the three’s” (or "The Trees" as the narrator says) magical powers. Or something. The six main characters spend a lot of moaning and groaning about how to vanquish the evil do-er. They perform some Wiccan ceremonies which never seem to pan out in their favor. It all felt really campy to me and not in the fun kind of campy way.


I will admit that I may easily have missed some heartwarming and/or genuinely terrifying moments because the narrator read the book Fecking Terribly. He had a nice enough Irish accent but his American accent was atrocious and he seemed to fade in and out of it. He read the book instead of performing it and paused at inappropriate places. But the worst thing was that he made all of the characters sound almost exactly the same. I never quite knew who was speaking and the book felt as if it were 100 hours long and I feared it would never end and that this was my own private hell.


If you are following this series, do yourself a favor and skip this audio version. Find it at your library or buy the paperback or suffer like I did.