WHITE WITCH, BLACK MAGIC
Jade Calhoun despises magic. Her mother, a powerful witch in an Idaho coven, disappeared during a ritual twelve years ago. A powerful empath herself, Jade has spent the years since her mother’s disappearance running from magic, from witches, from covens, from everything actually. Quite frankly, Jade is the embodiment of “flight,” when one considers the meaning of the term “fight or flight response.”
But the events of three months ago have forced Jade back into the world of magic. Two ghosts, one evil and one benign, haunted Jade and one of her friends. Without the aid of the leader of the New Orleans coven, both Jade and Pyper would probably be dead now, their spirits still trapped in the evil ghost’s other-dimensional torture cage. However, in exorcising the evil spirit, the coven leader, Bea, expended too much energy and is deteriorating in spite of energy transfers via Jade.
Bea is convinced that Jade is not only an empath but also a natural-born white witch. For these three months, she has been trying to teach Jade how to access the witch’s spark within her so that earth energy can be transferred rather than emotional energy. Unfortunately for Bea, Jade’s fight or flight response is firmly seated in flight, even if it is passively disguised as “I just can’t do this.”
Then Pyper finds three portraits of old hags in a thrift store that she feels are perfect for decorating the club for the upcoming Halloween party. Jade immediately senses spirits trapped in the portraits, two good and one evil. One of the “good” spirits connects with Jade and claims to have first hand knowledge of Jade’s mother’s situation. Concurrently with this revelation, Jade realizes that she can no longer sense Kane’s emotional signature.
Thus, in relatively short order, Deanna Chase puts the Rule of Three in place and does so in spades. First, there are three major plot lines revolving around Jade – her acceptance of her white witch powers, her mother’s fate and her relationship with Kane. Then there are the three portraits with three spirits and three voodoo dolls with three souls. Thirdly, there are three people compromised by the evil spirit. And, as the book starts, it is three days until the full moon.
For me, Jade Calhoun is a character that is difficult to like. In the first book of the series, her self-pity was practically toxic. In this second book, her fight-or-flight attitude is practically lethal, literally. Every time she encounters a problem, she either runs full-speed away with hurt feelings or she runs full-speed ahead with boiling anger, never considering the effect of her actions on others. There is no middle ground and there are no questions directed to the “offending” party in order to pinpoint or resolve the problem.
Deanna Chase has created a character with incredibly poor communication skills and a pervading aura of negativity and selfishness. However, Chase apparently decides that it is time for the major supporting characters to call Jade on this behavior and take her to task for it. Lives are at stake, souls are in danger of being condemned to Hell and it is time for Jade to wake up and smell the incense.
Had Chase not taken this tact, this would have been my last read in the series. After two books and nearly 700 total pages of angst, self-imposed ignorance and selfishly rash decisions, I had reached the end of my tolerance for Jade. Even though the end of this novel sets a good hook for the next entry and promises a more positive and proactive attitude for Jade, that ending also highlights a major flaw in her connection between her mind and her magic. So it looks like we’re in for another tense ride.
Cover Art from Goodreads