Zoe (Book Review)




Author: Sarah Doughty

Title: Zoe

Book Description: Zoe Kavanaugh is clueless about the supernatural world and her place in it, but after she meets an unlikely ally, she discovers the awful truth about her past and the price she’ll have to pay to protect the ones she loves.

Eighteen year old Zoe Kavanaugh can’t for the life of her remember why she decided to take the plunge and become a witch with a desire she can’t explain to develop her power. But she’s failing. Until she meets light witch, Connor Jennings — the man that takes her under his wing and wins her heart.

When a dark witch from Zoe’s past shows up to threaten everything — including the man she loves and his werewolf friend, Shadow — memories of all he did to her and her family come flooding back. She will risk everything to protect her only friends, rescue the last remaining member of her family, and stop the dark witch that stalks her. Even if it means embracing the darkness.

Sometimes, it’s good to be bad


The book tells the story of Zoe who, from what I gather, hasn’t been a very sympathetic character in the Earthen Witch World series. In this short (novella), she is being given a bit of a back story to offer some insight into her being. In many ways Sara Doughty pulls this off very well, telling us Zoe’s story from where she comes from and to the predicament that transformed her forever with enough convincing character motivations, dilemmas and pleasing plot twists. It is a good story. Sarah succeeds in turning Zoe into someone we do care about, which I really admired.

I’m new to the Earthen Witch World Series so what stood out to me is how creative the author got with the world and its social condition. I found that most intriguing but not much time is spent on exploring or explaining it, which isn’t a flaw at all because this novella is tailored for fans of the series who have spent some time with the novels. The explanations given are sufficient for the book’s purpose, which is to tell a defining story.


However, there are some weaknesses. The characters in this book aren’t developed very well. Even if the author assumed that we are already familiar with the characters from previous installments, there weren’t any traits, eccentricities or habits that differentiated them from one another except for ones that were central to moving the plot. The writing is very “tell” instead of “show”(69% percent “tell”, 31% “show”). As a result, the author misses moments she could have exploited to strengthen her plot even more. There are times when she fails to fill the details that could strengthen what she is saying to make for a credible case. This creates distance between the new reader and the work, alienating us from being invested as strongly as long-time fans. If these were worked on, I feel this short could have reeled in many new readers to the series.

In the end, Sarah Doughy gets enormous points for creativity and composing an enthralling story with an ending that leaves you with a mischievous smile.


On a personal note

I am impressed by Sarah Doughty and her success with this series despite her troubles with mental health. Her story is inspiring and I think she has one of the most imaginative minds out there.

Click here to check out her blog, she has some really insightful little poems there and more. Also, I got the book on Smashwords for free, grab yourself a copy if you are interested.


ps. I am not doing so well, folks. My depression is really killing me at this point. I hope I feel better soon and complete my novel, didn’t think it would take me this long or life would get in the way.

Thanks for reading


“The soul has seen
Through eyes of heaven
The imperium of earth
There’s nothing left to perceive

Help me to escape from this existence
I yearn for an answer… can you help me?
I’m drowning in a sea of abused visions and shattered dreams
In somnolent illusion… I’m paralyzed” – Anathema ‘Shroud of Frost’


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