Being a parent isn’t easy.
Zoe Lake-Winters knew that before she took on the job, but twelve years after giving birth – a legendary event that she’s still talking about (with only minimal complaint … most of the time) – she’s still getting used to not being the most immature person in the room.
Sami Winters is every mother’s dream – if every mother’s dream includes an eye-rolling snark factory who is desperate to fit into a snotty tween world, that is. Still, Zoe and her husband Aric do their best in a difficult world.
Of course, being the most powerful mage in the Midwest only adds to the problems, and when someone starts hijacking Sami’s dreams on the eve of her birthday, Zoe finds herself in the middle of a paranormal mess.
Shades haunt the woods surrounding the Winters house, and they share a goal: Getting Sami past her parents’ impressive defenses and luring a defenseless child into the wilderness so they can harness her burgeoning powers.
Zoe will do anything to protect her only child, but when the face of evil finally reveals itself, she finds the dangers of the past threatening her happy future.
Can Zoe and Aric keep their only child safe? And, more importantly, as Sami comes of age, will she prove to be stronger than either of her parents ever envisioned? Only time will tell, and the day of reckoning is finally here.
Available on Amazon and through Kindle Unlimited.
The audiobook is narrated by Erin DeWard who does a fantastic job! Erin is a new to me narrator but I’ll certainly be on the look out for more from her. The differentiation in voices is extremely well-done. Within genders, Zoe’s voice is very different from Paris’s and more so different from her teenage daughter, Sami’s. The male voices are markedly different as well; and Aric’s voice is differentiated well from his father’s older tones. Voices used are appropriate to ages and Zoe’s snarky lines are delivered with a zing. The quality of the production is excellent. I noted no blips and no issues with the text-audio synching.
The story: Returning to an old favourite series sometimes feels like catching up with old friends, and that’s definitely how this book made me feel. Of course, that’s assuming I have snarky, sickeningly in love friends who’ve produced a tween tyrant…
The Covenant College series is a very interestingly structured one. It’s divided into three trilogies. The first trilogy centres around Zoe’s college years and her first realization that she is a magical being. The second trilogy focuses on the post college years, where she’s a well-established and powerful mage. This time is spent again trying to save the world from evil forces intent on taking over the world, through her. This third series moves forward several years to when Zoë and Aric are in their late 30s/ early 40s and parents to a wily, snarky twelve year old girl. I like this progression and development of the characters through their life. Admittedly, some of their conversations can make you wonder if they ever grew up at all, but it’s still funny.
Zoë and Aric have the challenge of protecting their daughter when evil/ dark forces seek to recruit her to their side. I don’t think it’s too difficult to figure out which ‘outside’ characters are involved in trying to endanger Sami, but the how and why are what we’re pulled into.
The world building is quite dramatic and immersive and pulls on much of the backstory created in the earlier books of the series. However, a good summary of past events is provided when Zoë and Aric tell their daughter more of the truth of how they met. While I think it’s better to have read the previous trilogies, you can still get by with this story as a stand alone.
Overall a really great reintroduction to the series for me and an intriguing segue into the final trilogy. I give this story 4/5 espresso shots.