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November 7, 2020

1 Flew Over the Raven's Nest by JB Lynn ~ a Review

by Donna Huber

During the pandemic, JB Lynn published a chapter a day as she wrote a new book in a brand new series. Then when she finished, it was edited and turned into an ebook. Since I've loved everything I've read by Lynn (I read all her books except for 3 or 4), I wanted to follow along online, but I was swamped at work and behind in my ARCs. So I read it the finished product instead.
Amazon affiliate links are used on this site. A free book was provided for an honest review.

1 Flew Over the Raven's Nest
September 2020; Indie; 979-8687040372
ebook, print (288 pages); cozy mystery
1 Flew Over the Raven's Nest
features a character that readers of Lynn's Neurotic Hitwoman series is familiar with - RV. She drives a pink RV and has helped Maggie deal with a ghost and a possessed dog. I will admit that she isn't one of my favorite characters. I'm actually pretty ambivalent about her. She hasn't been a very prominent character so maybe I just didn't know her well enough.

To be honest I struggled to get into this book. The start of the book felt chaotic to me. Several characters are introduced in quick succession and Lynn is trying to create her own paranormal universe. She does this by introducing a new lexicon. She provides a glossary at the beginning but I don't find them help in ebooks as it isn't as easy to refer back to as it is in print books. (Interestingly, unlike her Neurotic Hitwoman series, 1 Flew Over the Raven's Nest is available in paperback.)

I've mentioned before that I prefer fantasy novels that have a character that is new to the world so the reader is learning along side the character - think Harry Potter. Actually now that I think about Harry Potter, I can see other character parallels. RV is like Harry in that she has very little knowledge of magic. Then there is the know it all Hermoine character in RV's talking owl pendent (there's a term for the magical being he is but I don't remember it). And finally we have the Ron character that has always been around magic but struggles with it, Sol. But that is pretty much the limit of the comparison.

I don't know if it is RV's lack of desire to have anything to do with magic. (It's more than a lack of desire. It's active revulsion as she states several times she hates magic.) Or it might be cause the owl is reluctant to share his knowledge. Or the fact that Sol would say something about magic, RV would be all "what?!?!" and then Sol would be all "What?! You haven't told her." and then the subject would be dropped. Maybe it was all three. But whatever it was I just couldn't fully submerge myself in the story. I struggled, and thought about giving up, until about the halfway point.

Around the 50% mark, everything started to make a little more sense and improved from there. RV started to take more of an interest in magic and the owl started to explain things more. It ended up being an entertaining read.

I'm glad I didn't give up. I really liked the other characters - more than I liked RV, though she is growing on me. The cast of characters are quirky enough to add fun to the story without becoming ridiculous cartoonish characters. I'm so glad they will be appearing in future books in this series. 

So I went from struggling and might not finish to enjoying the story and willing to give a second book in the series a try. And speaking of of the second book, 2 Spells Too came out last weekend. So you don't have to wait; you can read the books back to back. And you should be quick to get to them as the third book, 3 Times a Charm, is set to release on December 4.

Start reading 1 Flew Over the Raven's Nest

Donna Huber is an avid reader and natural encourager. She is the founder of Girl Who Reads and the author of how-to marketing book Secrets to a Successful Blog Tour.

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