3 out of 4 stars
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What do witchcraft, friendship, and a mysterious disappearance all have in common? These themes and more are covered in T. L. Woodliff’s Grimoires of the Galère. Right off the bat, we are introduced to our main cast: the members of the galère. The attribute that ties them together is their affinity for witchcraft. However, they aren’t your stereotypical, pointy-hat-wearing witches; instead, the galère focuses their time on positive energies and connecting as a group. A major shift occurs one night while they are gathered together. A woman is abducted outside the nearby Lincoln house. This event triggers the galère to discover their own elemental powers and use them to help solve the mystery of her disappearance.
I would have to say that my favorite aspect was the distinctiveness of each member’s personality and abilities. For instance, Crystal, the oldest member, is the most reasonable one and exudes a matronly energy over the group. However, she isn’t afraid to be honest. Amber, the youngest member, seems to be fun-loving and carefree at first. Overtime, we see that there is more to her character and that she possesses wisdom beyond her years. This brings me to another aspect that I really enjoyed; the members are close friends despite their differences in age. The members’ ages ranged from twenty-two to forty-five. Not many books or forms of media highlight friendship between people who are not in the same age group. I found this to be a refreshing addition. The novel also contained beautiful illustrations that looked similar to tarot cards. I always enjoy artwork, so their presence was a welcome inclusion.
In terms of improvements, I was a bit confused at the beginning of the book. It opened with the galère discussing the success of a past case they had. The way that the discussion was phrased implied that the reader should have previous knowledge concerning the case. However, this is the first book in the series, so there is no way that a reader would know anything about it. Another aspect that was initially overwhelming for me was the inclusion of magical terms. I’m not very familiar with energies and tarot card readings, so some of the topics were beyond me. On the other hand, I got the hang of it as the novel progressed. Additionally, the book may be meant to appeal more to people who are already familiar with or practice witchcraft, so this wouldn’t be an issue for them.
Unfortunately, Grimoires of the Galère contained a sizeable number of errors. While they weren’t severe enough to take away from the overall readability of the novel, there were enough to indicate that it still needs to undergo more editing. One example that I noted was the use of “shown” instead of “shone.”
Overall, I rate Grimoires of the Galère 3 out of 4 stars. T. L. Woodliff does a splendid job of keeping the book’s cast distinct and charming while still crafting an interesting plot. However, the number of grammatical errors prevents me from giving it a higher rating. Audiences who are intrigued by or practice witchcraft would be most interested in this book. By the same token, very conservative or religious readers may be offended by the book’s emphasis on rituals, such as tarot card readings.
Grimoires of the Galère
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