Saturday, November 3, 2012

Review: Hex and the Single Witch by Roxanne Rhodes

Title: Hex and the Single Witch
Author: Roxanne Rhoads
Series: Vehicle City Vampires
Pages: 224
Publisher: Bewitching Books
Date Published: September 28th 2012
Format: eBook
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Source: Bewitching Book Tours

Anwyn Rose is descended from a long line of powerful witches yet she can barely cast spells young witchlings have mastered. She has one functioning witch gift, the power of knowing, which she puts to good use as a Detective on Flint’s Preternatural Investigation Team. It’s a new era in Vehicle City, supernaturals are running the town. The P.I.T has their hands full with paranormal crimes. Top priority is a serial killer, who appears to be a vampire, draining young women in the city. Anwyn is on the case with her sexy partner Detective Mike Malone. Complicating things is her relationship Galen, a vampire who looks more guilty than innocent, although Anwyn trusts her instincts even if her power is on the fritz. Mysterious spells, compromising situations, and a possible demon on the loose make it hard to focus on the case, but Anwyn has to make things right before the human police execute the wrong vampire. Hex and the Single Witch contains magick, a little bit of mystery, a lot of supernatural mayhem, and a sexy love triangle that will leave you wanting more.

My Review:
I wanted to like this book SO much. I always get a secret thrill when a book takes place in my state, somewhere I've visited, or especially in an area I'm really familiar with. Well...Flint, Michigan...yes, the most violent city in the about 1 hour away from where I go to school. Even so, it was really cool to get to see a Flint taken over by paranormal beasties and have the hardships (and murders) that occur there being explained away by vampire attacks, or an evil presence. The only problem was that there was not a lot of description of the setting and if I had not walked down Saginaw Street, or been to the shady side of town, or visited my own relatives in Flushing, I doubt I would have been able to create a detailed picture in my head.

The dialogue was amateur at best, almost undecipherable at worst. There were times when I had to ask myself who was talking several times, and then when I still couldn't figure it out I had to trace my way back quite a few lines until I could find who initiated the conversation. I HATE THAT! Also, sometimes the phrasing would be confusing so I would find myself reading a sentence several times to make sure I understood what was being said. This pausing to re-read really jarred me out of story-mode and each time it happened I found it harder and harder to get that movie playing in my head.

I will say that I found a few of the mechanics of Rhoad's vampires to be really unique and intriguing. Up until now I have never found a really good, logical reason for vampires to have powers. Usually it's just magic or metaphysics that are used to explain away turning into bats or having other supernatural abilities. In Rhoad's world, the vampires with powers were people who already had a few drops of supernatural blood in their DNA. That's seems pretty scientific to me...and believable. I mean, in real life there are genes that can only get activated by something occurring (a bad trauma, chemo, radiation exposure, etc) and when the genes are activated a person can express those genes in an entirely new way. So logically, a trauma(being bitten by a vampire, turned, etc) could have the same affect on supernatural genes in someones genetic makeup. Thus, a human who had a werewolf as a great-great-great-great-grandpappy could potentially be a vampire that turns into wolves, or can speak to wolves, etc. Either way, I thought Rhoad's explanation was smart and made me think.

Honestly, the sex scenes in this book felt a lot like straight-up porn. Maybe it was because the descriptions were so coarse and vulgar, without a single hint of the emotion...the depth that I've read in other books that have sex as a main component makes even extremely explicit material seem...well, not porn-like to say the least. I've read a lot of books that have erotic scenes. I've read books that have almost exclusively sex as the plot, and I've never felt as dirty and gross as when I was reading the sex scenes in this book. Not to mention most of the sex scenes seemed to come out of nowhere and failed to fit into the plot at all. I mean the characters would be discussing a murder...talking over the body even...and our lovable heroine would be thinking about her shiny pink dildo at home. In VIVID detail. Then there were the scenes themselves. Some of them were okay...especially with the humans..but the vampire love scenes? BLEH... They weren't hot, they weren't a turn on. Each and every one was either internal mental battle because the main character liked to be bitten and was wondering if that made her a whore (what?) ...or was an angsty and over dramatic "I love you but I'm going to kill you because I'm a monster!" *sob* ... I mean, find a new topic already. We've already had enough self loathing vampires in our lives. No one thinks vampires are monsters anymore. Stop having a fricking cow about how much you like to suck's what you freaking do.

Another thing I found horribly wrong with the book was the world building. You can either have your Urban Fantasy world where humans know about Paranormal beasties, or they don't. Maybe create a world where only a select few individual humans know about the supernatural (I.E. the Prime Minister in the Harry Potter series). The one thing you can't have is a world where the creatures came out of the primordial closet...and then have humans forget about them. That's just wayyyy too unrealistic. It was just too much for anyone to accomplish with any kind of finesse. Rhodes gave it a valiant attempt...It would have been fine had she just not included EVERYTHING that could possibly happen if creatures of the night existed. So they tried coming out of the closet. Humans panicked. Mass hysteria ensued. Thousands, both paranormal and human, were killed. Witches cast a "forget" spell on the whole human race. Now preternaturals and humans live and work together side-by side...some people having forgotten that vampires and witches exist, others still remembering. Okay...What? How totally confusing is that? AND illogical. First of all, how many witches would it take to cast a forget spell on 8 billion + people. A whole fricking lot is what I'm thinking. Way more than could possibly exist. You all know me. I love suspending reality for a bit when I jump inside a paranormal book for a good read. However, if things don't make sense and couldn't logically exist (in some twisted paranormal way) I get pissed off.  By having paranormal creatures kind of out of the closet, it made it really difficult to understand the parameters of the world that had been created. Apparently the law enforcement knows about paranormals...because they have a whole paranormal unit. But if every law enforcement sector knows about paranormals HOW can the other people not know about them? It was a little ridiculous and I had a lot of difficulty trying to understand the logic.
So...though there was a few redeeming qualities about Hex and the Single Witch...I'm going to have to go with 2 Keys for it. It almost doesn't even deserve the second key...but I will leave it because it doesn't warrant the "I'd rather scrape my own eyes out than read this again" that my 1 Star rating denotes. I thought that it had some potential. Roxanne has some really interesting thoughts regarding the history and genetics of paranormal creatures that I thought was really cool. Still, I just could not get over the holes in the dialogue, plot, and the awful and degrading sex scenes. Save this one for the very bottom of your TBR list. It's better than nothing if you don't have anything else to read, but to be honest, I'd rather read the nutrition facts on a cereal box. 


  1. I saw the cover of this book and was debating about whether or not to get it. I have been fooled by pretty covers before, so I looked up some reviews and I can tell from your's especially that I will not like this one. Self-loathing vampires no thanks! Thanks for the honest review!! :)

  2. A friend of mine liked this book very much and she said I should read it. Now I'm not so sure.

  3. Just stopping by to say thank you for signing up for the 2013 Standalone Reading Challenge - best of luck to you!

    Sorry you weren't such a big fan of this one.


  4. Oh man. :( I was really hoping this would be a good one. I love the title and the cover. And the synopsis. :(

  5. Boo, I saw the cover, read the synopsis and was all ready to order this puppy, and then Andrea I read your review..eek gads. I love the take on vampires, but the jarring writing and awkwardly gross sex scenes have me passing on this one. Great review and I am sorry this one didn't work for you.

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