Book Reviews of The Book of Shadows (Herculine, Bk 1)

The Book of Shadows (Herculine, Bk 1)
The Book of Shadows - Herculine, Bk 1
Author: James Reese
ISBN-13: 9780061031847
ISBN-10: 0061031844
Publication Date: 12/1/2002
Pages: 640
Rating:
  • Currently 2.9/5 Stars.
 102

2.9 stars, based on 102 ratings
Publisher: HarperTorch
Book Type: Mass Market Paperback
Reviews: Amazon | Write a Review

35 Book Reviews submitted by our Members...sorted by voted most helpful

reviewed The Book of Shadows (Herculine, Bk 1) on + 13 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 7
This book was not what I had expected. It sounded like it would be good but it dragged on in parts. It also took me awhile to realize that the main character is transgendered from lack of descriptions. Needless to say, it was a bit confusing in parts.
reviewed The Book of Shadows (Herculine, Bk 1) on + 149 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 6
The back cover had me so intrigued that I could hardly wait to read this book. I was excited at the prospect of a new series.

The writing was very 'wordy' and I found myself becoming frustrated with all the minute descriptions. I only kept on to see what was going to happen next. After about 200 pages, I just couldn't read anymore and literally skimmed the remaining pages until the end of the book.

He seems to be a talented writer, however, it didn't appeal to me.
reviewed The Book of Shadows (Herculine, Bk 1) on + 1756 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 5
This book was a slow read, but I thought it was well worth it. I think it started out different than what I expected because the main character was raised in a convent and I was expecting a character who would immediately be part of the pagan society due to the title of the book. But since the writing was so well-done, I didn't want to put the book down and just kept reading because Herculine's character was quite interesting. The story does pick up up you begin to realize that Herculine isn't a normal girl, but instead a hermaphrodite, who has never known until an occurrence that brings her uniqueness to the attention of others. The awful things that this person has to endure at the hands of Christians is quite sad, but not as awful as some of the things she finds out about when she reads of things done to people by the church to "prove" they were witches or from first hand accounts of two spirits who need her help.

The historical parts of this book that were researched by the author to show this past bigotry and persecution gives us a very grim and horrifying look at the methods of torture used on people during the "Burning Times". It really makes me glad that I didn't live during a time where the church had such free reign over society because the hatred and cruelty is mortifying. The lies and threats used to prove people were witches, demons, or just "in league with Lucifer" in general does, ironically, tend to remind one of modern day activists or extremists.

The paranormal events in the book also make it quite interesting, as Herculine is able to communicate with spirits. There is also, definitely, some scenes in which old-school witchery is used, along with the less gruesome, more contemporary, "pagan-lite" rites that are more often found in popular modern-day fiction.

Overall, it's an interesting read, and though it didn't make me want to sit down and devour it in one session, I'm definitely going to be reading more of the series and books by this author.
reviewed The Book of Shadows (Herculine, Bk 1) on + 404 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 4
This was a mixed book for me. It was beautifully written - at times evocative and at times poetic. I especially liked the description of the French Revolution as seen through the eyes of the witches and other characters. I also liked the characters Herculine, Madeleine, Father Louis and Sebastiana. While there were parts that dragged, especially chapters concerning the convent and Sebastiana's first coven meeting, the crossroads scene towards the end made the read worthwhile.
reviewed The Book of Shadows (Herculine, Bk 1) on + 15 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 4
The beginning of this book had me hoping for a fantastic new paranormal series, but I never really got into it. Despite it's initial promise, I found that the characterization and situations dragged a bit for my taste. I didn't think it was *horrible* but I defiantly won't be rereading, nor am I interested in the third book in this series (read the second).
reviewed The Book of Shadows (Herculine, Bk 1) on
Helpful Score: 2
I came into this book not knowing anything about it except the title. I really enjoyed the description of Herculine's life in the convent school and then Father Louis entered the story. Now, I am all for lush language that vividly describes the scene and the mood but Father Louis' story began to belabor the point, several times I thought the descriptions could be pared down. Father Louis, Sebastiana and especially Madeleine's dialouge became repetitive. I finally had to put the book down and decided to give it up.

About not knowing what the book was about: From the title I expected it to be about Wicca as the Book of Shadows in Wicca is the personal book that a Wiccan uses to keep rituals and rites among other writings. This is not a book about Wicca...it's a book about Christianity and it's flip side.

The writing in the Book of Shadows is superb, there's just too much repetition. To paraphrase author Keith Abbott...a first time novelist tends to put every idea, the kitchen sink, in the first book. That seems to be what has happened with the Book of Shadows. I'll let Madeleine have the last word about how reading this book felt..."Please, moaned Madeleine, we haven't an eternity!"
reviewed The Book of Shadows (Herculine, Bk 1) on + 1756 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
This book was a slow read, but I thought it was well worth it. I think it started out different than what I expected because the main character was raised in a convent and I was expecting a character who would immediately be part of the pagan society due to the title of the book. But since the writing was so well-done, I didn't want to put the book down and just kept reading because Herculine's character was quite interesting. The story does pick up up you begin to realize that Herculine isn't a normal girl, but instead a hermaphrodite, who has never known until an occurrence that brings her uniqueness to the attention of others. The awful things that this person has to endure at the hands of Christians is quite sad, but not as awful as some of the things she finds out about when she reads of things done to people by the church to "prove" they were witches or from first hand accounts of two spirits who need her help.

The historical parts of this book that were researched by the author to show this past bigotry and persecution gives us a very grim and horrifying look at the methods of torture used on people during the "Burning Times". It really makes me glad that I didn't live during a time where the church had such free reign over society because the hatred and cruelty is mortifying. The lies and threats used to prove people were witches, demons, or just "in league with Lucifer" in general does, ironically, tend to remind one of modern day activists or extremists.

The paranormal events in the book also make it quite interesting, as Herculine is able to communicate with spirits. There is also, definitely, some scenes in which old-school witchery is used, along with the less gruesome, more contemporary, "pagan-lite" rites that are more often found in popular modern-day fiction.

Overall, it's an interesting read, and though it didn't make me want to sit down and devour it in one session, I'm definitely going to be reading more of the series and books by this author.
reviewed The Book of Shadows (Herculine, Bk 1) on + 34 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
Fantasy novel dealing with witches.
reviewed The Book of Shadows (Herculine, Bk 1) on + 15 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
There was a bit of a twist to this book that was pretty obvious early on in the story. There was quite a bit of playing on wording that did get tiresome after awhile. Eventually the writer came out with the the point of it and the story moved along fairly well after words. All and all, a worthwhile read.
reviewed The Book of Shadows (Herculine, Bk 1) on + 20 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
Gothic Fiction - reminiscent of Anne Rice
reviewed The Book of Shadows (Herculine, Bk 1) on + 12 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
This was a good read. Not quite what I expected but I enjoyed it all the same.
reviewed The Book of Shadows (Herculine, Bk 1) on
Very well written and researched. I was surprised and delighted by the historical details that were included. I'm no history expert so I can't really speak to the accuracy of the facts but it really seemed like Reese did his homework. Character development was good, plot was riveting. I stayed up a few nights far past my bedtime to finish this one. I was a little disappointed by the ending but I figured it made room for a sequel (although it didn't promise one) so I'm anxiously awaiting that. I'm a little discouraged that there isn't one out yet.
reviewed The Book of Shadows (Herculine, Bk 1) on + 1520 more book reviews
This author has definitely done a lot of research about the customs and vocabulary of the period just around the French Revolution---a lot of research into witchcraft beliefs and folklore too. I confess that I couldn't finish the book, though, as the reporting of certain forms of torture such as sanctified by the Inquisition made me a bit sick to my stomach.

From back cover: Alone among the young girls taught by nuns at a convent school in nineteenth-century France, orphaned Herculine has neither wealth nor social connections. When she's accused of being a witch, the shy student is locked up with no hope of escape ... until her rescue by a real witch, the beautiful, mysterious Sebastiana. Swept away to the witch's manor, Herculine will enter a fantastic, erotic world to discover her true nature -- and her destiny -- in this breathtaking, darkly sensual first novel.
reviewed The Book of Shadows (Herculine, Bk 1) on + 7 more book reviews
This book is all right, though there's far too much of Lebrun's diary bogging down the middle of it, and it doesn't seem to go anywhere at the end. I prefer books that stand on their own better, even if a series is intended. Call me weird.
reviewed The Book of Shadows (Herculine, Bk 1) on + 1756 more book reviews
This book was a slow read, but I thought it was well worth it. I think it started out different than what I expected because the main character was raised in a convent and I was expecting a character who would immediately be part of the pagan society due to the title of the book. But since the writing was so well-done, I didn't want to put the book down and just kept reading because Herculine's character was quite interesting. The story does pick up up you begin to realize that Herculine isn't a normal girl, but instead a hermaphrodite, who has never known until an occurrence that brings her uniqueness to the attention of others. The awful things that this person has to endure at the hands of Christians is quite sad, but not as awful as some of the things she finds out about when she reads of things done to people by the church to "prove" they were witches or from first hand accounts of two spirits who need her help.

The historical parts of this book that were researched by the author to show this past bigotry and persecution gives us a very grim and horrifying look at the methods of torture used on people during the "Burning Times". It really makes me glad that I didn't live during a time where the church had such free reign over society because the hatred and cruelty is mortifying. The lies and threats used to prove people were witches, demons, or just "in league with Lucifer" in general does, ironically, tend to remind one of modern day activists or extremists.

The paranormal events in the book also make it quite interesting, as Herculine is able to communicate with spirits. There is also, definitely, some scenes in which old-school witchery is used, along with the less gruesome, more contemporary, "pagan-lite" rites that are more often found in popular modern-day fiction.

Overall, it's an interesting read, and though it didn't make me want to sit down and devour it in one session, I'm definitely going to be reading more of the series and books by this author.
reviewed The Book of Shadows (Herculine, Bk 1) on
This is definitely not my genre, though it was very interesting and well written, highly real and detailed, and actually kept my attention quite well. I'd strongly recommend it to someone who enjoys the gothic genre.
reviewed The Book of Shadows (Herculine, Bk 1) on + 4 more book reviews
I really enjoyed this book. It was a bit of a different path than most, but it was a very good read, hard to put down.
reviewed The Book of Shadows (Herculine, Bk 1) on + 7 more book reviews
Haunting and eerie.
reviewed The Book of Shadows (Herculine, Bk 1) on + 30 more book reviews
I couldn't get into it.
reviewed The Book of Shadows (Herculine, Bk 1) on + 458 more book reviews
Not one of my favorites.
reviewed The Book of Shadows (Herculine, Bk 1) on + 3 more book reviews
An amazing tale, Reese's novel is incredibly detailed and features a wide array of characters, each with their own interesting backgrounds and characteristics. One of my all-time favorite books and one I would recommend to anyone.
reviewed The Book of Shadows (Herculine, Bk 1) on + 224 more book reviews
This book was a great mixture of period historicals,
Fantasy,Witches with a tad bit of the erotic.
Loved it.
reviewed The Book of Shadows (Herculine, Bk 1) on + 16 more book reviews
Dark, elegant, exotic, sensous tale of witchcraft.
reviewed The Book of Shadows (Herculine, Bk 1) on + 72 more book reviews
A WITCHEY TALE!
reviewed The Book of Shadows (Herculine, Bk 1) on + 273 more book reviews
A very memorable book....darkly erotic.
reviewed The Book of Shadows (Herculine, Bk 1) on + 90 more book reviews
I found this a bit of a yawn. I made it page by page up to the point she moved out of the school, and then I skimmed to the end. It's not bad, it just didn't interest me.
reviewed The Book of Shadows (Herculine, Bk 1) on + 57 more book reviews
Alone among the young girls taught by nuns at a convent school in nineteenth-century France, orphaned Herculine has neither wealth nor social connections. When she's accused of being a witch, shy student is locked up with no hope of escape...until her rescure by a real witch, the beautiful, mysterious Sebastiana. Swept away to the witch's manor, Heruline will enter a fantastic,erotic world to discover her true nature-and her true destiny-in this breathtaking,darkly,sensual first novel.
reviewed The Book of Shadows (Herculine, Bk 1) on + 51 more book reviews
Good read. Somtimes drags.
reviewed The Book of Shadows (Herculine, Bk 1) on + 5 more book reviews
Very intersting, and a page turner, but quite surprising in character development.
reviewed The Book of Shadows (Herculine, Bk 1) on + 113 more book reviews
It is in the 19th century France. A young nun is accused of being a witch. Shes locked up with no hope of excape and then shes rescued..by a real witch.
reviewed The Book of Shadows (Herculine, Bk 1) on + 64 more book reviews
Almost painful to read it was so lame.
reviewed The Book of Shadows (Herculine, Bk 1) on + 207 more book reviews
Back cover says "Alone among the young girls taught by nuns at a convent school in 19th century France, orphaned Herculine has neither wealth nor social connections. When she's accused of being a witch, the shy student is locked up with no hope of escape...until her rescue by a real witch, the beautiful, mysterious Sebastiana. Swept away to the witch's manor, Herculine will enter a fantastic, erotic world to discover her true nature--and her destiny--in this breathtaking, darkly sensual first novel."
reviewed The Book of Shadows (Herculine, Bk 1) on + 95 more book reviews
Alone among the young girls taught by nuns ata convent school in 19th century France, orphaned Herculine has neither wealth nor social connections. When she's accused of being a witch, the shy student is locked up with no hope of escape...until her rescue by a real witch, the beautiful,mysterious Sebastiana.
reviewed The Book of Shadows (Herculine, Bk 1) on + 586 more book reviews
Alone among the young girls taught by nuns at a convent school in nineteenth-century France, orphaned Herculine has neither wealth nor social connections. When she's accused of being a witch, the shy student is locked up with no hope of escape...until her rescue by a real withch, the beautiful, mysterious Sebastiana. Swept away to the witch's manor, Herculine will enter a fantastic, erotic world to discover her true nature -- and her destiny -- in this breathtaking, darkly sensual first novel.
reviewed The Book of Shadows (Herculine, Bk 1) on + 80 more book reviews
The book is in excellent condition but the cover wrap is missing but otherwise is in prime condition good book very interesting in my house everybody read it my son my daughter and myself we recommended