Hexen’s Cross by J. Kowallis (Hexen’s Cross #1)

Hexen's CrossHexen’s Cross by J. Kowallis

396 Pages

Published by Gatekeeper Press (1st May 2018)

Book #1 in the Hexen’s Cross Series

Purchase from | Amazon AU * | Amazon US * | Amazon UK |Booktopia* | Book Depository * | Fishpond AU *) | Dymocks |




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My rating: ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐

I received a copy of this book from the publisher, Gatekeeper Press and the author via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

Taran Grim is a witch. A Hexen to be exact, she’s also a professor of occult studies at University, who better to teach you than a witch, right? Strange dreams have been plaguing her, nightmares really, a recurring one, where she watches her father die, again, and again, and again. When these dreams line up with a vision and a strange man who shows up in her office for a meeting asking about the staff of Woden, she can no longer ignore the signs. She must travel to Bryden, England, and there’s only one person alive who can help her, Collens Donovan, a member of the shape-shifting Geri clan. The problem being, that the Donovan family have secrets of their own and Taran’s magic isn’t as advanced as it ought to be by this stage. If she can’t somehow work out how to get up to speed real quick, and manage to strike a truce with Collens, then there will be no way that she can prevent Deireanhexe from happening, which will be pretty bad for her, considering it means the end of the Hexen race.

I’ll admit, that cover caught my eye pretty quick when I came across it available for request on Netgalley. It has such a beautiful hand drawn quality to it that just cannot be rivaled, and it fit with the story so well!! I’m also a sucker for Urban Fantasy, so it was a no-brainer for me to request this.

Taran Grim is a university professor that teaches occult studies at a University, and she’s a witch, from a loooooong line of witches that go back all the way to Woden, or, Odin as some people know him. She keeps having these nightmares, reliving the murder of her father over and over again, not thinking much of it. And when she spaces out for four hours while having some form of vision, she realises that something isn’t quite right. After some pushing from her Grandmother, she eventually goes to see her in person and learn what the hell is going on. It is now that she learns about Deireanhexe, a prophecy that has foretold the end of the Hexen race. Her Grandmother tasks her with the knowledge that she is meant to stop it, all the while, reminding her that she is so far behind where she should be with her magical skills. I must say I really enjoyed the character of the Grandmother, or Moroi, as Taran refers to her.

Taran was a likable character who has bad luck with men, and feel for her. I found her to be incredibly relatable and just overall enjoyed her. One thing that did annoy me about her though, was her ability to jump to conclusions and come across as a total bitch to Collens, who, while no angel himself, she needs in order to complete the whole saving the Hexen race thing. Collens was a great character who had a lot of depth, and plays the playboy arsehole to perfection. I really enjoyed getting to crack through his layers along with Taran and learn what made this guy tick. I enjoyed the character of Sara as well, Collens’ sister, though we only got to see her for a small portion of the story, I’m hoping that she makes a bigger appearance in the second installment. These two characters and the way they interact made me want to pull my hair out at times, but I do enjoy a haters to lovers approach, I will say now, this has a very very slow burn romance seed that is beginning to bloom, but I’m looking forward to finding out more about it.

I loved the way the Kowallis blended mythology with her urban fantasy world. It just flowed incredibly well and made so much sense. Nothing felt forced at all. At the beginning of the book there is a glossary which to be honest I didn’t really want to have to scroll back to the beginning and jolt myself out of the story line, so I know that I was pronouncing 98% of the words incorrectly in my head, which did bug me a little, maybe having in text pronunciation would have worked a bit better here?

The story itself was well thought out and executed, it flowed well and kept me engaged. It didn’t give me those good book butterflies, but it was still an enjoying read, I knew that one particular character would show up at an imperative point in the story, however, I was not expecting those that were with them and I really wasn’t expecting that twist, so well done on that account.

All in all, this was an enjoyable urban fantasy read with a storyline that will travel over the span of the series I believe as nothing was really solved in this installment. The ending left me hanging and I’m looking forward to diving into the next one to see what happens.

View all my reviews


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