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Visions of Magic - Regan Hastings Genre: Paranormal Romance

The promise of a modern world where witches are very real and hunted by the government had me foaming at the mouth for this 2011 debut. The Salem witch hunts look tame next to the world Hastings has built—clearly a world worthy of Urban Fantasy. Once any woman is suspected of being a witch she’s either monitored or simply caught and imprisoned. No one checks to see if the prisoner is a witch, the woman is just out of luck if someone starts chanting, “Witch-witch, you’re a witch.” Witches have no rights to a trial and once they disappear off the streets anything can happen to them in the prisons, execution being one of the nicer mercies.

The idea of the Awakened witches is pretty cool. Long ago the last coven of witches tried to use Black Silver to open the dimensions; they let out the demons and Lucifer himself. Barely escaping from the chaos they unleashed the witches broke up the Black Silver artifact and cast a spell of Atonement. For 800 centuries they would be reincarnated without powers, at the end of that time they would get their memories and magic back. The true atonement would begin: to finally destroy the Black Silver.

Unfortunately with this awesome UF worthy plot comes the PNR plot that holds it back. Witches have mates called Eternals, creatures created by a god. They have all the stereotypical lust factors; sizzling good looks, money, serious magical and physical strength, sex appeal (if you didn’t get it already), and hot cars. Hastings holds off on the sex until around 150 pages. Doesn’t that mean the sexual tension is high, and the hero and heroine are feeling the LOVE factor? Wrong. Hastings uses the you-have-to-mate-with-me-whether-you-want-to-or-not plot to get them mated in the first love scene.

The characters don’t know each other, and the reader barely knows the characters. The connection between Shea’s past lives and present seemed so shallow I couldn’t buy it. Torin is an enigma who I can only describe as a loyal dog. Protect, serve, and hump seems to be all the character depth we get out of him. By the end of the book the emotion just never comes up to love, and no lust with the cookie cutter love scenes.

The idea behind the Black Silver really isn’t explained until the end of the book, and it would have been nice to know why Shea was having such evil designs running through her mind. Her constant denial of Torin and her lust for power got old fast. The Black Silver is basically Hastings version of the The Ring of Power, corrupts who ever bears it and has serious mojo. If this would have been explained more clearly I wouldn’t have loathed Shea for so long.

The POV switches between Shea and Torin, and it works out great. Hastings also let’s another Eternal take the lead, a couple of the villains, and the female President of the USA. It was really cool to get in the head of the government and see how the President wanted to lead her people to a brighter future excluding prejudices of witches. Seeing how everyday people became everyday villains was equally thrilling. My only complaint is that the side stories didn’t really get a good ending, they just stopped.

This book clearly has some potential, but the author takes the easy way out. If a book isn’t going to make me feel the love I’d at least like to feel the lust—I was cheated out of both. The world building was great I could feel the fear and smell the witches burning—that is one thing I know I will be coming back to the series for. You just don’t get this kind of unique world too often to pass it up when you find it.

Sexual Content: Graphic sex scenes, public nudity, dirty talk, and hints of rape.

Rating: 2/5- Average/disappointing, library check-out.

Review originally posted at Book Whispers.