Friday, March 6, 2015

Review: Witch Upon a Star by Jennifer Harlow

Title: Witch Upon a Star
Author: Jennifer Harlow
Series: A Midnight Magic Mystery #3
Publication: March 1, 2015
Genre: Adult ~ Urban Fantasy
Purchase: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository | Kobo
Rating: 5/5


He's come for me. My savior, my heart, and ultimately, my devil.

As a child, Anna Olmstead is rescued from her life of poverty and drugs by a vampire named Asher. Over the years, she grows to love Asher, first as a father and later as a lover. But soon trouble interrupts her once-perfect life. While Anna wants to settle down, Asher wants a more voyeuristic, party-driven lifestyle.

When Anna leaves him, Asher does everything he can to bring her back to him--including murder. Even as she finally escapes and starts a new life with a special agent of the F.R.E.A.K.S., Asher makes a new move to kidnap Anna and her children. This time, she may not be able to escape him.

I'm not sure how to review Witch Upon a Star. So much happened and I've been thinking about the story ever since I finished the book.  Lately I don't give five stars to a book easily, at least not unless I'm truly blown away by it so obviously I loved this book. I've read every book by Jennifer Harlow so far and though it took me a while to finally get started on the book, it is absolutely a top favorite of mine by her. 

This book felt really different to me compared to the other two book in the series. I can't really put my finger on it but it was just unique. The story starts with 29 year-old Anna Olmstead who's happy with her life, husband and two little boys until a man tries to kidnap her and her children. There are some flashes, where you just know something happened to Anna in her past, that she escaped someone. The next chapters go back in the past from the moment Anna is 9 years old up, when she meets Asher, a vampire that's over 800 (if I remember correctly) until she's 19. We read about her when she was 9, 11, 13, 15 and eventually 19. Always on her birthday. Usually I'm not a fan of books that take you back to where a character is a child but I actually loved it with this story. I wanted to know Anna's past and the way Jennifer Harlow wrote it was just so captivating. From the moment I started reading, I was pretty much enthralled by the story and characters. I barely stopped reading until I finished. 

I have to say that I don't think this book is for everyone, though of course I hope everyone will give it a shot. It's pretty dark at times and there were some moments where even I was disturbed. But even so I was intrigued by Anna, the way she grew from the 9 year-old girl who was so enthralled by Asher to her 19 year-old self who finally saw what Asher was really like. I'm not sure what so say about Asher. Some scenes with him and Anna sincerely brought tears to my eyes. And I did like him when he was good to Anna. But to be honest, they were obsessed with each other from the moment they met. Asher wanted a good life for her, gave her everything she wanted, gave her the best teachers and tried to do the right thing for her when she was young, and eventually they ended up being lovers. This story is actually pretty tragic but I thought there was a sort of beauty to it too, at moments, especially the ending. 

Now, there are a lot of references to Jennifer Harlow's F.R.E.A.K.S. series. I'm a huge fan of tha series, especially of Oliver, a vampire who's been kind of forced to work with the F.R.E.A.K.S. And this book actually revealed how Oliver happened to join the F.R.E.A.K.S. There were some hints about that in that series, but I'm so glad to actually know the full story of that. And I must say that I loved the start of the book where a certain main character from a certain favorite series of mine appeared. *wink wink* 

As for the other characters, aside from Anna, Asher and Oliver, I also really liked Nathan who ends up being Anna's husband eventually. He might not be in it much, not until the end, but I adored him and he's exactly what Anna needed that Asher was not. Her two little boys were also too damn cute. 

Like I said before I thought the ending was actually pretty beautiful. Sure, it was sad and tragic, but there was a certain elegance to the way Anna ans Asher ended up saying goodbye to each other. Even now, thinking about it, makes me a little emotional. The story was that good and affected me quite a bit. 

What more can I say about this story other than that I adored it? The story, the characters, the way it was written so perfectly, in my opinion - it all was incredible! 

About the Author:

Jennifer Harlow earned a B.A. in Psychology from the University of Virginia. She has been a bookseller, radio DJ, lab assistant, and government investigator. She lives in Atlanta and is hard at work on her next book.

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