Disclaimer: This book was given to me as part of a book tour in exchange for an honest review.
I love a story that makes me pissed off at the main character.
Some readers are all about the likeability factor. You have to like the person in the story in order to continue the journey. While I think that is true, I also think that showing your main character to have horrible flaws is an intriguing way to keep your reader in the moment. That's just what Jessica Penot does in her novel, Circe.
Here's the synopsis:
When Dr. David Black takes an internship at a very old psychiatric hospital back home in Alabama, he vows two things—that he will be a better husband to his beautiful and loving wife Pria, and that he will stop cheating on her. Then his enigmatic supervisor Dr. Cassie Allen, a self-proclaimed witch with ties to the underworld, begins to draw him into her darkness. David finds it hard to resist her wicked sensuality, but even harder to resist her evil pull. As strange and violent deaths pile up left and right, David realizes that Cassie’s psychotic behavior is connected to the mysterious hospital itself. There a demonic force threatens to destroy everything that David holds dear—his wife, his family, even his very sanity.
I really expected the paranormal element in this story to be what drew me in. After all, I'm a paranormal freak! While the "strange factor" is pretty awesome in this book, it's actually the characters that intrigued me and made Circe a great read. I was really torn on my feelings about Dr. Black. On the one hand, I liked that he was willing to work hard and take on the tough floor of Circe's mental institution, but it really irritated me that he continued to cheat on his wife, Pria. He worships her in so many ways, but yet, is unable to be faithful to her. He wants to be a good doctor, but he is drawn to the odd happenings at Circe. The idea of being a father is upsetting to him, and yet, he wants to be one, too. Some moments he hates his newly forming family, and at other times, he can't imagine living without them.
Pria was also an interesting character. She knows what's going on with her husband, but sticks by him, pledging her love. Normally, I would be turned off by what I would consider doormat behavior, but I think this character has just enough likeability to make the reader root for her and not feel that she is being taken advantage of.
And then there's the bad guy. Or girl in this case, the bad girl. Cassie's a real piece of work with few scruples and a morbid…dedication…to her job. I thought Penot did a great job of creating a witch character that wasn't too over the top and yet still incredibly creepy.
The plot is fast paced and tight. No complaints there! I read this in about two days and didn't want to put it down. Jessica Penot has several other novels released and I will definitely check them out!
Of the many, many things I've reviewed or read this summer, Circe rates high on my top ten lists!
As luck would have it, All Things Writing is doing a giveaway for this book. To enter, all you have to do it Like the blog post. You don't want to miss out on your chance to get a free copy of this one!
Don't want to take your chances in the giveaway? No problem! Here is the author's buy link and other info:
Amazon code Kindle:
Amazon Code Print Book:
Jessica Penot Online: