Bets Davies – Weaver’s Web

Eclectic, sarcastic Weaver, an inner city Oakland high school teacher, knows she’s seen it all and just wants to go home after a bad day of student crises. On the way for her longed for chocolate ice cream, she learns two things she didn’t know before. Vampires are real. That thing where you make a cross with your arms doesn’t work. When the vampire, Jamie—who is nineteen or 391, depending on how you count—stops laughing, he tells her a whole lot else she doesn’t know.

Weaver and her twin brother Sam don’t have a weird genetic defect. They are changeling sidhe—full-sized elves with attitude—only twin sidhe are doomed to death at birth. Someone’s thinking twenty-five years too late isn’t too late. Weaver and Jamie must save Sam. Along the way, Weaver learns her reality was a myth, because myths are reality.

Rarely has a book left me so conflicted, not just after finishing it, but during reading it as well, as Weaver’s Web. While the concept is a fun one – all mythological monsters are real and form a sort of underground society within our own; that is until a portion of them decides they want to stop conforming and dominate humanity again. Our heroine needs to stop this, while saving her own hide, and her twin brother’s, at the same time – its execution left me a little underwhelmed. This is mostly due to the love story in the book.

So let’s start there, so I can explain why I kept reading later and end on a positive note. This book had a severe case of insta-love/lust going on, something which I really dislike. Weaver and Jamie meet in the first chapter of the book and within a day Weaver is undeniably drawn to Jamie and he to her. While insta-love is a trope I really dislike, most of the time I can tolerate it as long as it is not the sole focus of the protagonists. In this case, Weaver and Jamie’s ‘developing’ relationship completely got in the way of what, in my opinion, was a pretty okay story. Every time, and those times were numerous, the story turned to Weaver obsessing about what to do about Jamie, or Jamie thinking about Weaver, or Weaver and Jamie together as a couple, I just wanted to roll my eyes and yell at them to get on with it back to the story. Because while both Weaver and Jamie are adults, they moon over each other like love-struck calves. It just didn’t feel believable and to me was just incredibly annoying. So much so, that I contemplated just walking away from the book several times.

Why did I keep reading then, you might ask? I kept reading because the bare bones of the story, while perhaps familiar, were really fun and Davies takes some interesting monsters along in the mixes of her mythology. I liked the adding in of the Olmec Jaguar Spirits and the Russian folk tale figure of Baba Yaga, which meant that Davies adds some unique elements to her world, which could have stayed in the rather familiar supernatural territories of elves, vampires and werewolves. Her vampires even make fun of today’s sparkly vampires, by having Jamie dress in an Edward hoodie and saying he’s being ironic. In addition, Davies has a very facile and pleasant writing style, which makes reading on very easy. This easy writing style – by which I mean easy to read, I don’t know about easy to write – combined with what in its basic premise is a sound plot is what rescues this book from being a disaster in my opinion.

So, in the end, I can’t say I wholly enjoyed Weaver’s Web. As it stands, I just had too many problems with it to whole-heartedly recommend it. As a first encounter with Davies’ work, I’d far rather recommend her second novel, Rebirth, which in my opinion is far stronger. However, if you like the insta-love trope, this is definitely a book for you; alas, it’s what let the book down for me.

This book was sent to me for review by the publisher.


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