Published October 2015
Having read several of LJK Oliva’s other works, I came to SEASON OF THE WITCH fully expecting strong writing, excellent character development, and stellar world-building – I’m happy to report she delivered in all three aspects. Oliva’s writing is only getting better, her characters are rich and layered, and her world is so damn interesting. Fans will not be disappointed.
SEASON centers around Georgia Clare, the lone survivor of her coven’s massacre, and private investigator Darius deCompostela. Sensing she’s being hunted, Georgia reaches out to Darius for his help and despite all signs telling him to stay away, he finds himself quickly sucked into Georgia’s life and her troubles.
San Francisco in Oliva’s mind becomes a dark, magical city, detailed and rich; it’s obvious she has done serious research into every aspect of the very complex existence of her witches and The League and other magical beings. It’s mind-blowing, impressive and interesting and pulls you right into the action. I cannot fathom the hours that went into the backstory of her story – Oliva is the queen of researching the fine details.
The plot of SEASON intrigues and the pace is perfect – fast, but not rushed. A reader is grabbed from the first, bloody scene in the Epilogue, then soon afterwards Oliva’s characters, Georgia and Darius, take over and handle the rest. Their energy with each other, the way they complement one another is a highlight of the novel but so, too, are Oliva’s lesser characters. A favorite of mine is the ghostly Madison, a young girl haunting Darius. I love their final scene together and how it captures both characters’ unique, yet intertwined, journeys.
One thing about Oliva – girlfriend knows her way around a sex scene and SEASON‘s are hot. Georgia and Darius are fire and watching them come together (pun intended) is freaking sexy. Even the briefest of moments, the most primal sex, with Oliva’s deft touch winds up also being quite tender, a testament to Oliva’s skill and the superb character development of Georgia and Darius, both as individuals and as a couple.
Finally, there’s the issue of race, particulary interracial love. And Oliva handles it perfectly – she doesn’t hit readers over the head with the fact that Georgia is white and Darius is black, but she lets it be known, it’s out there, she’s not hiding from it. While reading her characters and her story, you get the feeling Oliva is very comfortable both in her own skin and that of her characters, as it shows in the writing and her handling of interracial love: instead of treating it as other, she treats it as the norm.
We live in a diverse world and Oliva’s book, SEASON OF THE WITCH, captures this reality so damn well. I only wish more writers would follow suit.