Monday, April 20, 2009

Mystery Monday

I have been enjoying the Ophelia and Abby series by Shirley Damsgaard immensely. I'm so glad I borrowed it from Allison. My thoughts on the first two books can be found here.

Book #3: The Trouble with Witches
In this one, Ophelia and Abby (and later on Darcy) travel to rural Minnesota to investigate the disappearance of a young girl close to Rick's family. Damsgaard brought back good looking Rick from Book 1 for this installment. As Ophelia looks into the disappearance weird activity takes place. She blacks out, it seems there are ghost lights across the lake from their cabin. Abby figures out that Ophelia has been hexed. They meet an odd Native American shaman and are not sure if he is on the side of good or dark magick. Out of all of this, Ophelia gets to know a young girl Tink who appears to be a medium. Her guardians are not treating her properly and in the end Ophelia decides it might be best if she becomes Tink's foster mother.

Book #4: Witch Hunt
In Book 4, Ophelia struggles with her newfound motherhood, especially when the child is already 13 years old and dealing with all the intricacies of the junior high social scene. It also seems that bikers have invaded their quiet little Iowa town. When Darcy's cousin is accused of killing one of the motorcycle gang, Ophelia can't help but get involved.

I think I liked Books 3 and 4 better than the first two. I really enjoy the established characters. I think it was very creative for Damsgaard to find a new location for Book 3 to liven things up a bit. And then she introduced the character of Tink to bring more life into Book 4. It seems she's very aware that a book series can get stale or formulaic and she's doing a great job of keeping on top of that issue.

It's funny because I like the series so much, I jumped right into book 5. But then I realized, I needed to take a little break. I get annoyed when reading series of books too close together because I don't like some of the repetition that you find (even if its very minimal). I like to give a series a little breathing room so when I visit it again, I'm excited to see what the characters are up to. I also find I need to do this with formulaic authors such as Jodi Picoult. That's why I can only read one or two of an author's books a year. I have to spread things out. Otherwise, I get bored with the author's writing style.

Allison's reviews of books 3-5 can be found here.

No comments: