Monday, August 12, 2013

Book Review: Emerald Isle by Barbra Annino

Title: Emerald Isle
Series: A Stacy Justice Mystery #4
Author: Barbra Annino
Publisher: Thomas and Mercer (July 2, 2013)
Genre: Paranormal Mystery

Format: Ebook ARC
Length: Novel
Source: Publisher 

Stacy Justice may be a witch, but she still wants a nice, normal twenty-ninth birthday. Unfortunately, Stacy rarely gets normal. As her grandmother, Birdie, plans a birthday ritual for Stacy, disastrous news derails the celebration: the magic cauldron that supplies the world's food has disappeared. And the last time it vanished, Ireland fell under the Great Famine. A secret society known as The Council decrees that if Stacy finds the cauldron, she’ll receive the coveted role of Seeker of Justice, and her mother will finally be freed from prison in Ireland. But the grandson of nasty council member Tallulah challenges Stacy for the role. If he finds the cauldron first, Stacy will never see her mother again. And if they both fail, the world will suffer an unimaginable fate. The fourth book in the enchanted Stacy Justice series, Emerald Isle follows Stacy's journey to Ireland—and to a mysterious, magical world. But can the reluctant witch complete her international, intergenerational quest in time to save her mother—and the whole planet? 


Teasers: That man could wake the dead with his snores. [3% Ebook ARC. This teaser reminded me of my dad. I think he could do the same.] 

Let the past lie in the shadows, Birdie, she thought. [9% Ebook ARC. I love this reminder about the past.]

That the greatest mistakes in life are not the ones we make, but the ones that never get made because we are too afraid to try. [41% Ebook ARC. Too true!]

Review: Stacy Justice arrives at her destiny, if she can survive the outcome, in Barbra Annino’s Emerald Isle.

Although Emerald Isle is book four of the Stacy Justice Mysteries, Annino supplied just the right amount of backstory, so I was easily able to follow the storyline and characters without having read the previous books.

Annino breathes life into each character. I enjoyed the dual points of view between Stacy (first person) and Birdie (third person) and was emotionally invested in the characters. Thor, Stacy’s familiar and Great Dane, made me smile. Fiona and Lolly had me laughing at their antics. Chance, Stacy’s boyfriend, brings a flash of passionate romance to the storyline as well. I loved the gray area between the other characters—whether they were friend or foe.

The storyline carried me along at a fast pace. At times, I wanted to slow down just a little bit to get a fuller understanding of the world, but at the same time, I never felt lost in the plot. The stakes are high, and the ending equally surprised me and sent me through a wonderful emotional roller coaster. The worldbuilding between where Stacy lives and Ireland as well as all the magical references with the Celtic gods/goddesses and mythology fascinated me. Annino made the world feel real.

For an entertaining read, I would highly recommend Emerald Isle by Barbra Annino and can’t wait to read the previous three books in the series!

Five Bookworms = I loved it!