Title: Ghost’s Dilemma (Witch’s Apprentice #2)
Author: Morwen Navarre
Publisher: NineStar Press
Release Date: July 30, 2018
Genre(s): Paranormal, Romance
Page Count: 210 Pages
Reviewed by: ColinJ
Heat Level: 3 flames out of 5
Rating: 3 stars out of 5
Ghost is content to spend all his free time with Gerry. But scandal and hate surrounding Ghost’s appointment as the first male witch, along with a deadly epidemic, force Ghost to make choices that will separate him from his love.
Spurred on by a message from his mentor, Ghost embarks on a journey through mystical underground tunnels and lost civilizations to the frozen lands of his origin, seeking a way to neutralize the threat back home. While he struggles to find a balance between his duties as a witch and his calling as a seer, all Ghost really wants is to return to the haven he has found in Gerry’s arms.
This is a stronger story than the first book. The characterisation is still strong with clear identification of characters. The first book emphasised the establishment of those characters through tension and misunderstanding. Here the focus is more in terms of their reaction to circumstances. This makes for a more effective establishment of personality traits. The baddies in this book are not really developed as individuals; rather they provide machinations in the background, which have repercussions that drive the plot. The plot is quite simple with limited tension that is somewhat predictable. What are effective are the world building and the characters that inhabit this post-apocalyptic world. The technology and the magic system are well articulated and fit the situation. They are described well, but they remain somewhat incomplete in their explanation.
The author provides detailed information about the setting, along with references to cultural structures and history. What is known of the history is fragmentary and to a certain extent localised within individual social groups, each of which has their own mysticism to explain what is not known. This is interesting but does heighten what is not known and the reader is left with gaps in understanding. Perhaps this was the author’s intent to facilitate empathy.
The relationship between the two central characters remains strong with effectively expressed sexual activity. This is largely appropriate to the context and is not overdone. There are misunderstandings and slight tension around the relationship if anything these are the weakest parts of the plot and are easily recognised as well as their resolution.
There is a steady pace to the story. Despite the occasional scenes of tension, the pace is set by the description and more time is spent on context than on action. As such the reader moves with the story rather than being driven by it.
The end of the story is quite predictable with outstanding threads resolved without the need for cliffhangers. As with the first book, the story could end at this point, as the reader is not left with a demand for more information. However, there is so much unknown about this world that another book would clearly be a possibility.