Thursday, April 12, 2012

The Wicked Instead by Vivien Weaver

Publisher: Hard Limits Press, January 2012
Blurb (Goodreads): Cary and Lindsay Delaney have always known they were special. Warriors for God, their father said, meant to bring about the Rapture, and every moment in their family’s isolated Ozarks compound was spent preparing for that day. Cary’s paraplegic injury put an end to that dream, however, and the brothers, now estranged from the father who once exalted them, find a different kind of magic in the streets of Springfield, Missouri.

Dubiously blessed with the title prince and heirs to powerful t├íltos magic, the brothers find themselves embroiled in a struggle for the health of the World Tree, the structure that supports not only their world, but every world. The Tree is rotting, and it’s only a matter of time before the corruption reaches its heart. Can Cary and Lindsay make their own way and heal the Tree, despite those who would use them for their often shadowy ends?

A coming of age urban fantasy with a twist, The Wicked Instead combines the voice of a redneck haint tale with an unerring modern sensibility and sensitivity. As much about struggling to survive and the bonds forged between unlikely friends as it is about fantasy, The Wicked Instead will change the way you think about the genre.

The Wicked Instead was the winner of my twitter contest, where the 100th follower won a review of their book. It's taken me longer to get to this than I would like, so I apologize in advance. Now, on to the review.

The book takes us on a journey with two brothers. Cary is a paraplegic, and I felt like Weaver did extremely well showing us just how his disability affected his day-to-day life and how he felt about it. Lindsay is gay, and again I felt that it was more a part of the story than something that Weaver threw in just to make the characters "more interesting." This is good, as I would have probably stopped reading if I felt that the character was gay for the sake of being different, rather than just a deeper part of the storyline.

The magic is the book was well-done, and reminded me in a strange way of The Hobbit. The magic itself wasn't the same as Tolkien's work, but the way that the characters come into the situation with no knowledge allows the reader to take the journey with them and experience what they learn and see. I will readily admit that this isn't uncommon in fantasy, but for some reason as I read it, I immediately thought of The Hobbit. Got Baggins on the mind, I guess.

If I had to pick on the book at all (and I HAVE to, I just can't help myself) then I'd say that the book didn't grab me in the first couple of chapters like I was hoping it would. Once things got rolling later on, then it was easier to keep turning pages, but I was a little disappointed that the beginning didn't seem to grab me like a lot of other books have lately. I can't quite explain why the book didn't snag me. The elements were all there. Maybe I was just tired after staying up too late the night before, who knows.

Overall, Lindsay and Cary's journey is something that I'm hesitant to recommend to everyone. For some, it might be just outside what they normally enjoy, and for others it will be a brilliant new experience. It's definitely one of those books that tries to defy genre labeling, and if you're into those kinds of books it's probably worth a look. I'm really happy that Vivien was my 100th follower. Make sure to check her out on Twitter and her blog


  1. Hmm. I pretty much want to read anything that gets compared to The Hobbit. I also like a book that defies categorizing. Glad she turned out to be your 100th follower, now I have a new author to look at.

  2. Remember its only the fact that they learn as they go that reminded me of the hobbit. This book is not like it ib terms of character or plot.