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on July 15, 2012
(*I would not recommend this book to anyone who lives firmly entrenched in the real, "Modern" world. The shortcomings will only cause disappointment...)

"A Modern Witch" is described in a way that ropes readers into believing that, between the covers, lies a story with substance to it; but if you are seeking substance, this story falls flat. Every character is shaped from the same sugary-sweet batches of drivel that promote visions of Prince Charming, unicorns, fluffy, pink clouds and rainbows in children's storybooks. If that's the kind of sap that you're looking for, then that's what you'll get! There are no confrontations in this book, no strong leading women, and no action. Most of the "highlights" of the story end up falling short and fizzling just as they start to peak; and there are pages of chat-room dialog that vary in importance, but don't really contribute enough to justify inclusion.

Lauren, the main character, is thrust into a world of witchcraft and magic with very little time to adjust before major responsibilities are thrown upon her. Every witch that she comes into contact with is super-sweet and understanding on the surface, but they all want or expect something from her. Lauren is a boring lead with a dull, monotonous life filled with work, Ben & Jerry's, and (of all things) an overstuffed couch. Every character leads an idealistic, but flaccid life, with an abundance of fantastical people to share it with. The only character that didn't stem from la-la land is Nat, Lauren's Yoga-loving best friend who, despite growing up with emotionally stunted, strict parents, is the perfect picture of serenity, peace, and love. She's also one of two characters in the book with a rudimentary physical description (No. Lauren is NOT one of them).
No matter how much is heaped on her shoulders, or how many people use her, Lauren never once gets her mad on. She never says "No!". She becomes every one's footstool and seamlessly takes it all in stride with no genuine complaints and no more than a two second twitch of irritation. Nat even ends up using her as an excuse to fly to California so she can further her budding relationship with Jamie, Lauren's "trainer".
There are few occasions when any of the supporting characters actually support Lauren by asking her how she is handling her new status; when they do, 9 times out of 10, the conversation twists back around to what the other person wants, needs, or expects Lauren to do. To make matters worse, Nat is the only one who bags a rich hottie, gets her groove on, AND tops it all off with a white picket fence and fairy tale ending. I really didn't feel that invested in Nat, and I felt sorry for poor Lauren who just has a never ending supply of Ben & Jerry's and the doting affections of a four year old boy who's future-magical-fate rests on her shoulders.

I didn't completely hate the book, though; and, I was glad that the author saw fit to close Lauren's story on a mildly promising note. However, it is doubtful that I will be reading the rest of the series. Especially since the author introduces an ever expanding group of characters instead of evolving the original cast.

I only gave "A Modern Witch" three stars because:
1.) Many of the female characters have positive, leadership roles in the workplace.
2.) Some of the cutesie stuff was imaginative, and--well...cute!
and...
3.) It was kind of nice to imagine a large group of family and friends that gelled like Jamie and Nell's did. :-)
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on August 8, 2012
Usually I like magic stories with more action and struggle. In this case it was simpler story of a witch family and two "normal" woman who finds herself caught up the world of witchcraft when one of them discovers she has witch powers.

Is there a plot to magically conquer the world, an evil villain, magic treasure to be found, life and death crisis? No, to any of these. So ordinarily I would find this boring. Instead this is a simple story of a family, who happen to be witches, the discovery of love, life's decisions about where to live, decisions on what career to follow, your best friends finding love,...in short almost a soap opera with hints of Steel Magnolia family events. I found myself empathizing with the characters, rooting for simple happiness events like new babies, new loves and loving brothers and sisters. This could have been a simple boy meets girl story, a child with special needs finding love and understanding and two best friends struggling with how to stay connected while changing their lives. Instead by adding magic the whole story developed some quirky fun and also dragged me into reading a book I would usually never pick up.

I often describe books as fun to read; but in this case I think enjoyable is a much better term. Like you enjoy going to children's recitals, weddings, family gatherings, class reunions... it warmed part of my heart while making me smile at points. No adrenalin rush, but a warm fuzzy feeling.

I enjoyed it immensely and look forward to reading the rest of the series.

I am stingy with my stars. I gave this book 5 stars in part because the author very reasonably priced the kindle edition, not being greedy like some other authors. Please join me in boycotting some authors until they get more realistic in their Kindle pricing. Only for very good works should they approach $8 and anything over $9 I consider unreasonable. Inflation may move this mark in the future but I don't think we should let greedy publishers and authors move the standard.
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on February 19, 2013
Debora Geary has found a way to capture fantasy's magic and woven it into modern day stories. Debora developed her characters and their stories in such a way that you get pulled into their lives, like magic (pun intended). By the end of A Modern Witch, you will long for the characters to actually exist and wish that you could be part of their community. Debora has woven a beautiful web of true friendship, loyalties, and love. Her characters' personalities are revealed through their laughter and tears as they turn life's obstacles into opportunities; drawing on each others' love, skills, and knowledge. (Real Team Work!) I can understand some of the reviews that say that they are bothered by some of the words being used, or being used too often such as Witchling and Witching. But, these words are as much a part of a Witch's world as the use of 'the Little People' or 'wee ones' in Irish tales. So let the words take you to a different world; a world of magic. I thoroughly enjoyed the book and have already purchased the second book in the series so I can read it tonight. Blessed Be!
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on January 1, 2013
I have enjoyed this series immensely, but as a Mom with kids on the Autism spectrum this book really got me. Thanks Debora, for finding a way to explain an Austistic brain in a warm and loving way! My son rarely makes complete eye-contact, and when he does I know it's really important. Hugs are few and far between, and always memorable when they happen. I also enjoyed the characterization of Nell in this part of the series. I have met many teachers in this journey that is now my life, and this depiction was spot on for quite a few of them. I think the only reason you didn't get that last star from me is because it was so obvious what needed to happen with Jamie and Beth from the very beginning. It was his eyes calling her and yet she didn't meet up with him until the third or fourth day of her visit?? That part didn't sit well with me. In an ASP world, you need to put things into a proper place as soon as you see them possibly having a negative impact. I feel that as an adult with that much knowledge about herself, Beth would have known that she needed an explanation/resolution as soon as she arrived.

Thanks again - I am looking forward to the next one!A Different Witch (A Modern Witch Series: Book 5)
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on January 12, 2012
I've just read all 4 of the current novels in the last 2 days. I think each book has improved. There's a touch of romance, a very good magical system blending ancient traditions and new ones as far as witchery goes.Excellent dialogue, and a true blend of insider/outsider perspectives. I am a sucker for heartwarming and intelligent together. I like humor, and I like insight, and I like magic, and I like love in all its manifestations. I am reminded of Diane Duane's Young Wizard books as well as the "adult" lead-offs, Book of the Night with Moon and To Visit the Queen--except no Ultimate Evil, simply the pains and joys of human development, the pains and joys of growing. Blending responsibility and happiness, duty and self-fulfillment, laughter and tears. Is there really anything more important to discover in our journey? At any rate, I found the stories not simply an escape, but a window to self (and others). I think that's great storytelling.
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on October 1, 2012
I am eating these books up on my iphone actually. My ereader is a Nook so I am downloading this series on my laptop and iphone. How refreshing to find an author who combines whimsy, technology, fantasy and the aspects of love throughout their work. As I continue on life's journey the theme that love is our common element is hitting me over the head. Many believe that God is Love and that life is that simple. You certainly don't find that in most novels.
The novels are not about any faith so don't misread this review.
This community is rich in characters, filled with love, service and a grand paying it forward attitude that makes everyone wish they could be a Witch in Witch Central. I love watching the confict resolution and appreciate the generousity of spirit embued in these books. I started with this one so this is where I posted my review.
I have quickly burned my way thru what is out there and I am eagerly awaiting more. Thank you Debora.
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on April 21, 2013
I picked up this series as a break from my normal set of sf and military sf stories, based on the excellent reviews. I have to say I was pleasantly surprised by how much I found that I enjoyed the stories on this and all the following books in the series. As a dedicated action fan, I was unexpectedly delighted to read stories where nothing much happens, but still found myself dying to read the next step in the story. There is humor, some reasonable witchcraft, and an interesting set of characters which I believe you cannot help but like. This is also a series that can be recommended for young adult readers as well. If you are looking for a break from all the military sf "kill 'em all" approach, then you will have a blast reading these stories.
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on March 2, 2014
There is nothing wrong with wanting to escape from the real world every so often, I guess. The truth is, Witch Central gets a little tedious. Everyone is so unfailingly nice, so unfailingly generous and thoughtful to everyone---well, you get the idea. If you have read other reviews here, the faults of the series are pretty well detailed. But here's something I find so odd: here is a group of people, so connected and attuned to each other and also to the earth's elemental forces, yet they never have any interactions or concerns for the other creatures sharing the planet?..other than to eat them? Not an environmentalist or animal lover among them, not even a yoga teacher practicing ahimsa (non-harming)?
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on March 2, 2014
There were so many corny, cliche witch references in the fist few paragraphs, I nearly stopped there. But no, I thought, maybe it would get better, maybe she just wanted to establish an appropriate level of wichiness for the readers. Then we go to to the realtor-who-is-but-isn't a witch. A few pages of that and I'm done. If I could give zero stars, i would.
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on September 12, 2012
When the Modern Witch series came up on the Kindle Daily deal few weeks ago I had not heard of it before. It was a busy time for me, so I didn't have a chance to really sit down and read the descriptions of the books or reviews, so I just took a chance and bought all four books for $2 each. Let's face it, who can pass up cheap books that sound like they might be something you'd enjoy. Well it was apparent right away that I would love this series. I found myself falling in love with Lauren and Jamie right away especially. The book is a well written story of a realtor who finds out she is a witch on accident. She rolls with the punches and is introduced to the self proclaimed "witch central" and finds her life is not going to be the same from there.

The only thing that really bothered me in this book is the "coding" that the characters do in their online gaming world. I have played a ton of computer games including some MMORPGs but never have I heard of anyone having to code in an online game. I almost felt like the author either doesn't know much about social gaming, or has played a very specialized game that I or my uber geek fiance have not heard of.

After I got past that piece (which took 2 books to get past), I could just let myself enjoy the series. I definitely recommend this book for those who like contemporary fiction of a supernatural essence.
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