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Secondhand Spirits

Secondhand Spirits

Написано Juliet Blackwell

Озвучено Xe Sands


Secondhand Spirits

Написано Juliet Blackwell

Озвучено Xe Sands

оценки:
4/5 (62 оценки)
Длина:
8 hours
Издатель:
Издано:
Mar 5, 2012
ISBN:
9781452676357
Формат:
Аудиокнига

Описание


Lily Ivory hopes for
a normal life when she opens Aunt Cora's Closet. With her magical
knack for vintage fashion-she can sense vibrations of the past from
clothing and jewelry-her store becomes a big hit.






But when a client is murdered and children start disappearing from the
Bay Area, Lily may be the only one who can unravel the crime. She tries
to keep her identity a secret while investigating, but it's not
easy-especially under the spells of sexy "mythbuster" Max Carmichael and
powerful witch Aidan Rhodes. Will Lily's witchy ways be forced out of
the closet?

Издатель:
Издано:
Mar 5, 2012
ISBN:
9781452676357
Формат:
Аудиокнига

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4.1
62 оценки / 38 Обзоры
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  • (1/5)
    Lily Ivory is a witch who really doesn't want to embrace her "witchy" side. She wants to live among the people in San Francisco, far from her Texas upbringing (doesn't sound much like a Texan to me, whom tend to be proud they are from the Lone Star State, and probably wouldn't be caught dead by someone mistaking them for a Californian, but I digress...)Anyway, she's minding her own business when an attractive man enters the store and announces he has something for her. He tells her that he's a male witch named Aidan (hating the term warlock), and shows her a small creature that resembles something between a troll and a gargoyle, and he tells her that it's her new familiar. While she protests and tells him to take it back, that she doesn't want it, especially since Aidan also tells her that he knows her father - which to her is bad news of the first degree.When it appears she's stuck with the thing who transforms himself into a pot-bellied pig, she named it Oscar. Then her part-time employee Maya takes her to see a woman who has tons of vintage clothing she's willing to part with.Once meeting Mrs. Potts, Lily likes her, but discovers that the woman had a daughter who died young, and when Lily handles a dress it is filled with extreme grief. Later seeing Mrs. Potts' photo while she's wearing the dress, she realizes it must have been worn the day her daughter was taken from her.But before she leaves the property, she hears an unearthly wail and a child's scream; yet only she and Mrs. Potts heard the wail, yet the three women heard the scream. When she and Maya go to investigate, they find that the little girl who was visiting with Mrs. Potts when they arrived has been taken by a child snatcher. It is the murmured words of "La llorona" that makes her understand where the child has gone. But will Lily be able to retrieve her before she is lost forever?...This is the first book in a series, written several years ago, but I haven't had the chance to explore it until now...and it wasn't a huge loss. While I understand that in paranormal books you need to suspend belief, because they don't follow the rule 'if it doesn't happen in real life, it shouldn't happen in a book,' this one, I felt, was over the top.First, Lily is a witch but tries to hide it from everyone, and would instead rather feel sorry for herself...repeatedly. She seems to hate the fact that she's not 'normal' but can't help using her powers. And, of course, she's extremely powerful. So why doesn't she already have a familiar? Because, you know, witches aren't 'given' familiars, they choose their own, one they can count on as their allies and will do their bidding, but apparently she didn't know this and just accepted Oscar right away. This alone seems off the wall to me, and I couldn't take the rest of the story seriously.The story didn't seem to hold my interest; and it was extremely dark and melancholy. No humor or fun in the book, nothing to recommend it to anyone else. In fact, I have to admit that I pretty much skimmed a lot of it and then passed on to the truly unbelievable ending. I could have hurt myself I was rolling my eyes so much. Sorry, but I will pass on the rest of this series.
  • (3/5)
    As a Wiccan I'm always both tempted by and leery of books about witches. That being said, I really like what Blackwell did in this book, how she made her main character, witch Lily Ivory, into a fictional witch with magical powers but also honored the tradition of Wicca without stereotyping Wiccans as either fluffy bunnies or evil wannabes.

    I'm always intrigued by a plot having to do with La Llorona/A Woman in White. It's such a sad myth and Blackwell respected by sadness while not shying away from the harm that was done to innocent bystanders. She also very well wove the thread of family through this book, tying it to La Llorona, the sad old woman, the missing child, and Lily's own family issues.

    The secondary characters in this book were more than just cardboard cutouts, and I also appreciate that from an author. Each of them had their own personality and I'm looking forward to seeing them again in the other books in this series.

    And, last but not at all least, I love Lily's vintage clothing store. I could read the descriptions of her different outfits all day long. Luckily Blackwell knows books better than I and keeps those descriptions, however wonderful, to a minimum. All and all a thoroughly enjoyable book with a solid mystery.
  • (3/5)


    &#9733 &#9733 &#9733 1/2

    I had this on order from outside Libraries and it never came. Then I read a review here and from that I surmised that the book to be more violent and less paranormal than I might desire. But then two other events occurred, I came across the 2nd book in the series and I read it, then I was ordering Mysteries for the Library and I came upon this title, so I ordered it.....so of course when it arrived I read it.

    I liked it: Ivory has run away from Texas & her grandmother Graciela in the middle of her "training", as she is unable to control her "powers" and has become known as a dangerous freak/witch. She has now opened a vintage clothing store in San Francisco and is called upon to to outfit a wedding... She has also met an elderly woman who has a house of vintage clothing, including 2 bridal dresses.....

    While visiting the elder woman, the little girl who was just in the kitchen grabbing a cookie disappears and a cry through the neighborhood goes up in fear of La Llorana. Ivory then becomes involved in helping to save the little girl, safe keep the elderly woman, and banish La Llorona.

    I stayed up all night, till the Witching Hour to finish reading this..... I just had to know what happened! The story is pretty fluid and interesting. There are a few side stories about the police, store staff, neighbors, an powerful male witch, and an investigative reporter that fit in pretty well.

    What I didn't like was that for the life of me...and I did go back & peruse the book, I could not figure out one of the characters at the end of the book, or where that person came into the story, because I couldn't find that person mentioned anyplace else in the entire book. Some of the descriptive parts you know I skipped over, but they didn't have too much importance (for me) in regards to the overall plot.

    I have the 3rd in the series on order for our collection.
  • (2/5)
    mildly entertaining.
  • (5/5)
    Grrrrreat story. On to the next one in the series! Try them you will not be able to stop once you start!
  • (5/5)
    Can’t wait to hear the next one in the series!
  • (4/5)
    I enjoyed the story but the reader had a soothing voice and kept putting me to sleep so I had to relisten to parts. Once I got use to her voice it was good. I’m looking for book 2.
  • (5/5)
    Loved that it was set in my home city SF. Great description of the haight and surrounding areas. Felt like i could picture it all every location. The narrator was amazing with wife variety of accents.
  • (3/5)
    This was much darker than I expected. It was well written but a little creepy.
  • (4/5)
    Read/Listened for Fun (Audible/Paperback)Tracking Books Read Review (Short)Overall Rating: 4.00Story Rating: 4.00Character Rating: 4.00Audio Rating: 4.50 (not part of the overall rating)First Thought when Finished: Secondhand Spirits made me want to hop in a plane and visit San Francisco!Overall Thoughts:I have had this book for a very long time and can't believe I just got around to it! Secondhand Spirits was a bit of a darker cozy mystery but still had all the elements I love: good case, interesting characters, and the paranormal element was just part of how she figured out the case. I liked Lily from the get-go and feel like I will like her more as the series progresses. Overall this was just a fun listen that helped me get through laying tile! Gotta love books that will distract while doing that!Audio Thoughts: Narrated By Xe Sands / Length: 8 hrs and 15 mins I love Xe! She hasn't let me down yet and this was no exception. I will admit that I am listening to two Juliet Blackwell series at the same time and both are narrated by Xe. I haven't gotten confused once about which book I am listening too because Xe does little things to make the characters sound different. She is one of the narrators I can count on to make a good book stand out through narration.Final Thoughts: This is now on my cozy mystery list!
  • (4/5)
    Really like this book. Full of all the types of characters I like -- witches, familiars, demons, ghosts, and handsome men. Can't wait to read more in this series.
  • (1/5)
    First paragraph was it to turn me off with the description of the golden blue eyed gorgeous guy. Gave it 35 pgs. then gave it up.
  • (3/5)
    3.5

    This is a very pleasant cozy paranormal mystery with a fun premise (the vintage clothes shop) and great characters. Xe Sands does a wonderful job with the narration of the audio version.
  • (4/5)
    While this story is clearly recognizable as "urban fantasy" (my favorite genre at the moment), I appreciated that the story was clearly distinguishable from the many others I've read by having unique characters and a "slant" on witchcraft and magic that I hadn't yet come across. I particularly enjoyed the characterization of Lily's "familiar," and now I want one for myself!
  • (3/5)
    Secondhand Spirits is a promising start to the Witchcraft Mystery series. I loved the setting of the Haight-Ashbury area of San Francisco, with the array of offbeat characters living and working there. This gives a lighter, humorous backdrop to the somewhat darker undercurrent of the story.Lily's character is well developed and likable, though at times she feels a little too self-sacrificing in her heroics. The secondary characters are also well developed, each unique and memorable. I absolutely loved Oscar, Lily's familiar. I did have a minor problem with Aidan. His role seemed too convenient.The mystery is intriguing, though for me it was sometimes overshadowed and weighed down by meandering detail. The spells, particularly in the beginning, were given to us in a step-by-step process. While I appreciate the realism, these parts read a little too much like a how-to book and slowed the story down. The vintage clothing aspect was fun, but again the description was sometimes overdone. The other problem for me came in understanding Lily's background. We have quite a bit of references to her father and various family members, but we're never completely clear on what went wrong in her early life that sent her running from them all. Because of this, the walks down memory lane became more of a distraction than necessary.While this book can't really be called a light mystery, since the plot centers on some darker issues, the writing style does give it a lighter feel. There is no strong language, so it can also be considered a "clean" mystery for those of you with that preference.
  • (4/5)
    Read this a few years ago, but when I found the entire series in audiobooks from my library, I decided to start over from the beginning. Lily is such a fun character, and I love the idea of her having a vintage clothes store, where she can match clothes to people based on the vibrations. Her "familiar," Oscar, is great fun as well. The mystery is well told, and while the clues were there all along, they weren't always easy to pick out, which for me is a good thing.
  • (3/5)
    This was a great beginning to a new-to-me series. Lily Ivory is a witch - a real witch, who is just trying to open a vintage clothing story. However, when you are a witch things just seem to happen to you. Before too long she finds herself the new master to a gargoyle-like familiar and hunting down a spirit called La Llorona who steals children. I am very excited to start this series. The story is fast paced without any lags as Lily tries to piece together the mystery of La Llorona and how to fight her. The mysteries behind Lily's father and her prior life are enough to make me eager to pick up the next book in the series.
  • (3/5)
    This was a cute cozy mystery. The witchcraft was a nice touch and kept the story interesting. Nothing too groundbreaking, but I do find myself interested in where the characters go as the series continues. I think the series has more potential than was in the first book.
  • (5/5)
    Loved this book and can’t wait to get my hands on the rest of the series.
  • (2/5)
    Secondhand Spirits
    2 Stars

    A vintage clothing store on the streets of San Francisco run by a witch who becomes involved in the investigation of a missing girl - sounds like a recipe for perfection? Unfortunately not!

    Despite the intriguing premise, the plot of Secondhand Spirits is boring and completely lacking in tension and suspense. Furthermore, the heroine, Lily Ivory, is as dull as dishwater. There are no details on the precise origin, nature or extent of her powers and her abilities consistently fail her even though she is a supposedly exceptional witch.

    The secondary characters from Bronwyn the Wiccan business partner to Max the mythbusting reporter to Aidan the mysterious sorcerer all have tremendous potential, but are ultimately one dimensional and underdeveloped.

    The hints at a romance brewing between Lily and Max are also tedious as the couple has zero chemistry and his negative attitude toward her abilities is off-putting. There doesn’t seem to be any future for them.

    In terms of the audiobook, I’ve heard that Xe Sands is a wonderful narrator. Personally, I could not tell from this book as her narration is monotonous and entirely too relaxed for a mystery. I’m sure she has some better performances out there.

    Although this particular book is disappointing, I haven’t given up on the paranormal mystery genre as there are some fantastic series out there. Blackwell’s just isn’t one of them.
  • (3/5)
    I enjoyed the storyline and characters, and found the book easy to read at a pretty good clip--nice summer read! One discrepancy I wondered about, though, is that the book mentions that Lily has the reputation for being a powerful witch, but she certainly needed a lot of assistance in this story!
  • (3/5)
    I enjoyed this novel. I received it in swap after seeing the 3rd book in the series at BAM. It's the story of Lily Ivory, San Francisco witch.What I liked about this story was the blending of the paranormal with present day and the authors eye for detail when portraying the life of witches. She shows a lot of reverence for the subject matter at hand, and even has a disclaimer at the end of the novel about trying out the 'recipes'. In the story, Lily Ivory's character clearly displays her insecurities and self doubts. The book does a good job of showing how the she takes the opportunity to jumpstart her new life in San Francisco welcoming friends in to her world and tackling her insecurities about who she is and how powerful she can be.Other characters are brought in to the mix but since this is book #1, they are brought in more as an introductory level. They will all be in future books but first and foremost was Lily and her trials and tribulations.A good read with a twist that actually had me saying, 'gee I didn't see that coming'.
  • (4/5)
    Secondhand Spirits is the first book that I have read by Blackwell, and I really, really enjoyed it. Blackwell has created an interesting world with witches living amongst us. Lily has been running from who she is for a long time, and she finally settles down opening a vintage clothing store in an attempt to fit in. Her plans of normalcy are rudely interrupted when her client gets murdered, and she is a suspect. The only solution to her problem is for Lily to solve the murder herself. Blackwell does a great job with her world building and the character development of Lily as she finally finds herself letting people get close to her. Plus there is the potential of a love triangle when Lily meets a myth buster named Max and a fellow witch named Aidan. Overall this mystery was a fast, fun, quick read that was hard to put down, and I would definitely recommend it if you enjoy mystery, fun, and magic with your paranormal. I am already anxious to read Lily's next adventure.
  • (4/5)
    A very enjoyable cozy. Lily has finally found a home. let's hope she hasn't taken on too many debts solving this first mystery.
  • (3/5)
    Secondhand Spirits is a cute, quick read. I recommend it if you enjoy slice-of-life type stories, cozy mysteries, or paranormal chick-lit. However, the story and its characters didn’t really hook me, and the writing is a bit awkward at times. Thankfully, the plot picks up during the second half of the book, and it has a strong ending. Ultimately, I was left feeling like I might pick up the next book in the series, but I suspect that the paranormal cozy mystery genre just isn’t for me.
  • (4/5)
    A light, fun read, especially for one who loves a good paranormal mystery, which I definitely do. Liked the characters, the plot was so-so but can tell the series has potential.
  • (4/5)
    This book was good, but not great and also a little slow. Maybe my expectations were too high after reading Heather Blake's Wishcraft Mystery. I chose Blackwell's Secondhand Spirits because it was another cozy mystery about witches. Anyway, the plot was pretty good, but it wasn't until about 3/4ths of the way through that Lily started actively trying to solve the mystery. Maybe the slow start was because this was the first in the series. So I might give the second one a chance. Also, the summary is misleading with regards to the romance. Her potential love interest is not prominently featured until the end. I like the characters well enough to continue with the series, but if the next one isn't better paced, I may give up on it.Anyway, this book is worth a shot. It's just that I would recommend a few other books in this genre before this one.
  • (4/5)
    I really enjoyed this paranormal cozy mystery. Lily is a witch who owns a secondhand store and hopes she can just live a normal life without using witchcraft, but things don’t quite work out for her. While buying a collection of clothes from an elderly lady a child goes missing and Lily feels like Mrs. Potts’ life is in danger and her premonition is right on the money and the next day she is found dead. Lily tries to find out what happened to the little girl and Mrs. Potts.There is also a mythbuster, a male witch, a ghostly spirit and a goblin that turns into a pig familiar who are all interesting characters in their own right with the pig being my favorite! San Francisco and the area of the Haight were kind of a character too, you really get a feel of the bay area and I felt like a tourist discovering it all. This was the best of two genre’s I enjoy, paranormal and cozy mysteries, it was a great first book in the series and will definitely be a series I continue reading, however I so enjoyed the narration by, Xe Sands that I want to wait till I can listen to the rest on audio so I hope Tantor Audio will get them all recorded soon!If you enjoy a good cozy with magical elements I highly recommend this series!The audio production of this was great Xe Sands does such a wonderful job and she is well on her way to becoming a favorite narrator!4 Stars
  • (5/5)
    I really enjoyed this book, it was a wonderful introduction to the character and the world she inhabits. Most of the characters, at least the ones who will probably be reoccurring, felt multidimensional and realistic and I really enjoyed the main character of Lily Ivory and want to find out more about her.The mystery itself was very well done and it made absolutely perfect sense for Lily to be involved in this one so nothing about it felt forced, a problem I often have with cozy mysteries. I also really enjoyed how magic was used in this world and how the author managed to be respectful of magic and Wicca without feeling trite or cliched.I'm really looking forward to this series continuing.
  • (4/5)
    This book was fun to read as I am a bay girl and I knew the locations mentioned and I knew all the Spanish written so it definitely hit home, but more than that I was intrigued by the idea of vintage clothing and magic complete with brewery. Overall it was an enjoyable read.