Book Review: Sweep (volume 1)

Sorry this week's book review is a day late, I had the flu.  Eek.  I'm feeling much better now and promise to keep up on my posting.  I have a lot of blogs to read too, I want to get caught up with all you so I'll spend most of my day reading blogs . . . if the Bug and Bear cooperate.  They're both still a bit under the weather. 

I was going to post my review of Dean Koontz' Frankenstein #3 but well . . . it just wasn't my favorite, actually it totally disappointed me.  I gave it 3 stars but really it was 2.5, I just like to round up.  I decided to post a review of something else because I'm just tired of the negativity.  I'm ever the optimist and posting negative things just isn't my style.  If you're still interested in reading the review you can find it on Goodreads here.

I'd like to start doing something new with my book reviews. Since I'm writing them for the benefit of writers I think I'll start to focus more on what I've learned about writing from the book.  I've never picked up a book (good or bad, classic or indie) that I haven't learned something about writing from.  Sometimes its what not to do, other times it about setting, pacing, characterization, etc. and I'd like to pass on my findings to you.

Onto my review of Sweep . . .

Sweep, Volume 1: (Book of Shadows; The Coven; Blood Witch)Sweep, Volume 1: by Cate Tiernan

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Goodreads Summary:  Morgan Rowlands never thought she was anything other than a typical sixteen-year-old girl. But when she meets Cal, a captivatingly handsome coven leader, she makes a discover that turns her whole world upside down: she is a witch, descended from an ancient and powerful line. And so is Cal. Their connection is immediate and unbreakable; Cal teases out Morgan's power, her love, her magick. But Morgan discovers too soon that her powers are strong—almost too powerful to control. And she begins to suspect that Cal may be keeping secrets from her . . . secrets that could destroy them both.

Sweep Volume 1 contains the first three books of a series originally released in 2001, "Book of Shadows," "The Coven," and "Blood Witch."
I really enjoyed these books. The contain just the right amount of romance and intrigue mixed with witchcraft. Not the fantastical kind found in most paranormal books, but more along the lines of the Wiccan religion.
Things I loved:
The realistic witchcraft
The family being present
Morgan's growth

Things that didn't quite work for me:
Some parts were cliche
The writing isn't perfect
The endings lack substance

What I learned about writing from reading Sweep:
One of the major things I learned was how to set the mood for each chapter.  Every chapter begins with a short entry from a Book of Shadows.  Most of these entries are from characters that we never meet in the book, but they still pertain to the chapter.  They give readers insight into the world of witchcraft and establish the mood.  I loved how the author did this.

I've used this tactic in my manuscript.  Many of the chapters in Smolder start off with entries from Dr. Knight's lab book.  It takes us out of Brett's head and into the mind of the scientist.  In my case these entries are essential to the integrity of the novel.  I don't think it would read nearly as well if I hadn't done the lab entries.

Happy Reading!

View all my reviews


  1. Aw, sorry about the flu. Glad you're feeling better!
    I liked this review. It's great how you are honest about what you like and didn't like. I'll look for this book the next time I'm at the bookstore.


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