Review | Halfway Dead by Terry Maggert


Come for the waffles. Stay for the magic.

Carlie McEwan loves many things.

She loves being a witch. She loves her town of Halfway, NY—a tourist destination nestled on the shores of an Adirondack lake. Carlie loves her enormous familiar, Gus, who is twenty-five pounds of judgmental Maine Coon cat, and she positively worships her Grandmother, a witch of incredible power and wisdom. Carlie spends her days cooking at the finest—and only—real diner in town, and her life is a balance between magic and the mundane, just as she likes it.

When a blonde stranger sits at the diner counter and calls her by name, that balance is gone. Major Pickford asks Carlie to lead him into the deepest shadows of the forest to find a mythical circle of chestnut trees, thought lost to forever to mankind. There are ghosts in the forest, and one of them cries out to Carlie across the years–Come find me.

Like the forest shadows, danger can run deep. The threat is real, but Carlie’s magic is born of a pure spirit. With the help of Gus, and Gran, and a rugged cop who really does want to save the world, she’ll fight to bring a ghost home, and deliver justice to a murderer who hides in the cool, mysterious green of a forest gone mad with magic.Goodreads

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Thoughts About The Book

IMG_20160605_214324I received Halfway Dead as an ARC from the author, Terry Maggert. So, I want to start my review off by first thanking the author for sending me a copy. Now that that’s done, I want to also disclose that this will be a not so perfect review, as I found some issues with the book. WARNING! Incoming rant about not-so-great reviews. When reviewing any book, I believe it is important to give a fully honest review, even if it’s not necessarily a good one. A critical, honest review is better than no review because it allows the author the opportunity to improve his or her writing; whereas no review keeps the author in the dark. As much as a good review can help an author sell work, a critical review can help the author improve future works which will in turn increase sales. With that said, I do not think it is ever okay to bash some else’s work. There is a lot of time, effort, and, as the saying goes, blood, sweat, and tears that go into every story. It is important to respect that hard work by giving constructive criticism and not simply ranting or complaining. How will doing that help the author? The two mistakes I see often in review are 1) false praise – giving a book a great review just to be “nice” and 2) bashing – yelling, calling names, and overall just being mean just for the hell of it. Why? Why do people do this? GAH! Anyway, now that my rant is over (weph! I think maybe I need to do a blog post about this), here are my thoughts about Halfway Dead, including some constructive criticism.

There were some parts I really enjoyed in this book. I liked the idea of this modern day Witch, blending in with her small town and the “normalcies” she faces. The ideas behind the magic and how the spells are from nature and are not easily controlled fascinate me. Each of the unnatural creatures we’re introduced to have interesting backgrounds as well. Waffles, Viking and magic – what a great combination. There are so many elements here to make a great story! So, where did the mark get missed?

Well, there were a lot of gaps in these ideas that I liked. It was like each scene was a thought that never fully developed. I found myself getting confused during certain scenes, wondering how we got there and where it fit with the story. There were other scenes, like the romantic interest element, that came out of nowhere. So in some cases, more buildup was needed. And while the plot was intriguing at first, I found that by the end of the story, I was confused as to why certain things were happening. The magic also irked at me. I was craving further explanation as to how and why the magic worked and what sort of history it had. We sort of just jumped right into the magic, so I didn’t get that connection I wanted. Really, the story needed some fine tuning and maybe some scene rewrites and it could have been great.


In my honest opinion, I do not recommend this book. About half way through I wanted to put it down and move on, but since it was an ARC, I finished it out of curtesy to the author. BUT if you look up reviews of the book, it has a pretty high rating. So, I don’t know if I am being overly critical or if those other reviews were not entirely truthful. My best advice for this is: Proceed With Caution.

My 5 Cup Rating:

Book Info

Genre: Fantasy, Magic
Pages: 265 (Electronic)
Publication Date: June 29, 2015
Website: Terry Maggert official website
Halfway Dead on Goodreads
Terry Maggert Amazon author page
My Review Copy: ARC from Author
◄ Where to Get Your Copy:

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