Read Destruction by Sharon Bayliss Online


David Vandergraff wants to be a good man. He goes to church every Sunday, keeps his lawn trim and green, and loves his wife and kids more than anything. Unfortunately, being a dark wizard isn't a choice.Eleven years ago, David's secret second family went missing. When his two lost children are finally found, he learns they suffered years of unthinkable abuse. Ready to makeDavid Vandergraff wants to be a good man. He goes to church every Sunday, keeps his lawn trim and green, and loves his wife and kids more than anything. Unfortunately, being a dark wizard isn't a choice.Eleven years ago, David's secret second family went missing. When his two lost children are finally found, he learns they suffered years of unthinkable abuse. Ready to make things right, David brings the kids home even though it could mean losing the wife he can’t imagine living without. Keeping his life together becomes harder when the new children claim to be dark wizards. David believes they use this fantasy to cope with their trauma. Until, David's wife admits a secret of her own—she is a dark wizard too, as is David, and all of their children. Now, David must parent two hurting children from a dark world he doesn’t understand and keep his family from falling apart. All while dealing with the realization that everyone he loves, including himself, may be evil....

Title : Destruction
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9781620075159
Format Type : Paperback
Number of Pages : 250 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

Destruction Reviews

  • Erin ☕ *Proud Book Hoarder*
    2019-04-13 18:19

    This book took me by surprise - I really didn't think I'd love it as much as I did. The first chapter read a little awkwardly; I think the writer was finding their footing. It thankfully took off from there - fast. David had an affair and now it's come to haunt him - as he has to take custody of the two kids from that relationship. The children were kept in hiding by the mother and her abusive boyfriend, and they practiced a dark sort of magic.The story doesn't stop with the surprises. Every few chapters I would sit there stunned, learning something new that changed the game. Changes about the children, or the main characters like David himself. The world building was creative and not like anything else I've read before. A mix between dark and light magic. It's not really in your face types, though, more of a subtle magic. Fascinating stuff.The wife took awhile to grow on me, but I ended up liking her more later. Each kid had their own personality and current story, which became fascinating. I can't wait for the second book to see what happens. I'm especially curious about David and the friend's parents. It didn't end on a cliffhanger per se, but definitely makes me want to keep reading. It's not strictly a young adult, it's as suitable for the adult genre. A fantasy type story. Highly recommended if you enjoy stories with magic as part of the world building.

  • Katie Hamstead
    2019-04-18 15:19

    ***Full Disclosure: I was the Acquiring Editor for this book***Sharon is an awesome storyteller. What I love most about this book is that the characters are so alive and even kind of nuts. They are dark wizards that want to be good, and so struggle with all their might to be good.Destruction follows David, husband of Amanda, and father of teenagers Jude, Patrick, and Emmy. It's starts when David is called to tell him his long lost children, Xavier and Evangeline, have been found, but their mother, Crystal, has been murdered. He is to take custody of the two teens, that his wife knows nothing about.When he brings them home, the expected hell breaks loose when his wife is furious about his affair from years before, and their children are furious at his betrayal. But the two new siblings reveal something about them which they didn't know; they are all dark wizards and witches.The children all start acting out and using their new found powers recklessly.This story is heartfelt and gripping. It's so human even as the characters struggle with their magical sides. With such a vast cast, Bayliss has done a fabulous job at keeping all their stories real and emotional. Through all their struggles and flaws you feel for them and hope they can resolve their problems.I can't wait for the next book!

  • Emma Adams
    2019-04-17 18:24

    I wasn’t sure what to expect going into this book – I loved Sharon’s debut novel The Charge, but I was intrigued to read a new spin on dark wizards. This couldn’t be more different from traditional stories about magic, in a good way! David’s family life might seem to be perfect on the surface, but one day he gets a phone call which changes everything. Bringing home two children from a secret affair he had twelve years ago, he has to drop a bombshell on his unsuspecting wife and three other children. Worse, his second family suffered abuse at the hands of their stepfather and seem to be suffering from delusions that the entire family are dark wizards. But maybe they aren’t delusions…I couldn’t put this book down! From the first page it had me hooked. The characters feel like real people, and the story moves at the perfect pace. It’s dark, bleak in places, but at the centre of the story is a man who loves his family, even though he’s made bad choices. I’ve honestly not read a story like it before! This is a real page-turning read, and one I’d recommend to anyone looking for something new in fantasy. Five stars!

  • Yzabel Ginsberg
    2019-04-19 18:42

    (I got an ARC through NetGalley, in exchange for an honest review.)2.5 stars. Some parts I really enjoyed, but some others were really problematic for me.All in all, the plot itself is quite a "mundane" one—in that it could be a contemporary novel, without any need for magic in it. For years, David had a mistress, who bore him two children, then vanished from the surface of Earth. Twelve years later, he learns that she's just died, and he takes custody of his children... without his wife and three other children knowing. On top of all, the kids born out of wedlock were abused by their stepfather. Instant recipe for drama. Just add water.Now, because sorcery isn't necessary to such a plot, doesn't mean I didn't like it. On the contrary. It lent an interesting spin to this story, because the "destruction" magic theme ran parallel to the destructive path on which the Vandergraff family was set, and opened up a can of questions. What would destroy them: their own nature as wizards and witches, or just their human nature, period? Would things have been the same without magic, would they have gone through the same pitfalls?The author's take on magic was one I found intriguing. Wizards/witches' powers are attuned to seasons, with mages born in summer having the most "positive" magic, spring/autumn being more balanced, and winter mages having to contend with sorcery that always ends up destroying. The latter, as a theme, was bound to get my attention, because it's something I find fascinating, and along the story, indeed, it appeared to fit my own belief system, so to speak. Winter mages are "doomed", in that magic amounts to creating consequences, without any control on the causes... and the causes their spells give birth to are of the destructive kind. For instance, a spell meant for someone to "get money" could very well result in "character inherits a lot of money due to spouse dying" (and not by merely winning the lottery, or winning at the races, etc.). On the other hand, destruction-related powers aren't bad per se: a skilled sorcerer could just as well use them to operate on people and destroy tumors, thus saving lives. I really liked that the magic system in this novel took such things into account, and didn't only go with "destruction = bad".Another thing I liked was that no character was completely black or white. David cheated on his wife and chickened out on too many things (including telling her before picking up Xavier and Evangeline at the orphanage), but he also managed to display some bravery when it came to his family's safety. Amanda was rightfully outraged, but also had secrets of her own, which didn't exactly make her a saint. Jude and Emmy are their own shades of fucked-up, Xavier harbours knowledge that could destroy him (while still wanting to protect his sister), Evangeline can't decide whether she loves her mother, or thinks she "deserved" what happened to her... And so on.However, a couple of major problems (major for me, at least) prevented me from fully enjoying this novel. First of all, wizards are supposed to be rare (0.001% of the population?), but they keep attracting each other like there's no tomorrow. This ended up in a cluster of mages gathered in the same place; even friends were wizards/witches. At some point, it became rather unbelievable—and I don't mean in a general sense: I mean within the context and "rules" of the story.Second, there were a lot of double standards, and I think I'd have liked to see them challenged some more. David does it, but only weakly. Mostly Amanda annoyed me in that regard, with her holier-than-thou attitude and her tendency to conveniently ignore what she had done, while giving guilt-trips to others. It's part of the imperfect nature of this character, sure, but almost nobody called her on her bullshit. All right, David cheated on her and had two kids in her back, which is totally crass. But in the early days of their marriage, Amanda was the one who (view spoiler)[basically decided: "He's had such a terrible childhood, so let's erase his memories of that time. Oh, the spell sorta backlashed and he lost some other memories, too. Oops? But David, you're a cheater and I want a divorce! You're the bad, bad person here!" (hide spoiler)] I'm aware this is very subjective on my part, but is cheating so much worse than removing someone's choice, deciding for them, destroying parts of who they were? Of course, it fits perfectly within the scope of destruction magic. I just wish someone, anyone, would have smacked Amanda on the back of the head and told her to look at her own mistakes some more, instead of acting like Perfect Wife And Mother. Double-standards applied to magic as well: most of the "non-practitioners" in the story apparently spent years saying that their magic would have bad consequences and they'd better not practice... but they easily break their "vow", while constantly blaming others who do the same. (At this point, you can tell that double standards in general annoy the hell out of me. Personal pet peeve here.)Third, the abuse the kids suffered from: it may be in a second book, but it's an important matter that I felt wasn't addressed enough in this first novel. There's Xavier and Evangeline, of course, but also (view spoiler)[Samantha, who gets raped by Jude, in Emmy's room, and Emmy doesn't say anything until 30 freaking hours have elapsed. (hide spoiler)] The Vandergraffs sure are a dysfunctional family, but this was pushing things too far for a beginning, in my opinion. It looked as if the abuse was a side note, something that just happened, something about which even the victims didn't care about; while I'm not for victim-mentality, nor for revelling in piles of angst, it nevertheless bothered me.Fourth: the ending. I felt the same way as I felt with Twilight, i.e. cheated out of a "big finale". I didn't really get how Emmy went from what Jude did to "must do [that big thing that is going to be the climax of the story]", and I definitely would have wanted to see how her that part went—not learning from her afterwards that this and that happened, and that another character saved the day. It was definitely weird and a little bit jarring. So much was already going on within the Vandergraff family, after all.I think I would be interested in reading the next book, though, even though I didn't give this one a stellar rating. There's a lot of potential here when it comes to magic, as well as to redefined dynamics within the family.

  • Nikola Vukoja
    2019-04-01 15:17

    I was fortunate enough to get a pre-copy of Destruction on Friday and was looking forward to a quiet weekend read. That didn't happen, because, I couldn't put it down! I finished the entire novel in less than 24 hours. This is a wonderful novel, the chapters are short and sharp and the mix of characters and inter-twining events just keep you turning the page.Set in the real world with a secret world of Wizards & Witches which, we are told, makes up 0.001% of the world population, the wizard families are broken up into seasons, winter wizards etc.Yet it’s so much more than fantasy meets reality. The characters deal with issues of abuse and mixed families and struggles both normal – like the “MUNDANE'S” – and the issues unique to each wizard family and each seasonal change. Let me also say, read past page 1 & 2. They seem almost out of place but as soon as you've read pages 3-5 and beyond, you understand the need for the “mundane” as it sets the scene for the struggles, internal and external of all the characters.This is a truly amazing and wonderful story. I actually am suffering from reader’s remorse and if I had every book in the series I would have read the lot this weekend with barely a break. I have already pre-requested the next in the series.Let me finish by saying, five starts simply does not do justice to this novel or to the author’s skill with words and world building. There should be another star or a gold star, dedicated to the truly awesome and utterly engaging. I simply loved it!

  • Jen Estes
    2019-04-07 22:20

    DESTRUCTION is the start of The December People Series, about a family of winter wizards (aka dark wizards) living secretly in present-day Texas. It’s a story of family secrets, family struggles, family magic – all wrapped up in a fantasy that is suspenseful, shocking and surprisingly sympathetic. Some fantasies take you into a completely different world, which can be a fun escape, but what I really liked about DESTRUCTION is that it felt like my world and my family – with a little magic and mayhem to boot. Sharon Bayliss did an amazing job creating this magical world that lies beneath our own. I love being under the spell of an excellent new series, except for one problem: the painstaking wait for the next book!

  • Isis
    2019-04-13 19:17

    I would like to thank Curiosity Quills Press for granting me the opportunity to read e-book in exchange for an honest review. Though I received this e-book for free that in no way impacts my review.David Vandergraff wants to be a good man. He goes to church every Sunday, keeps his lawn trim and green, and loves his wife and kids more than anything. Unfortunately, being a dark wizard isn't a choice.This is a fascinating take on magic & witchcraft. The concept of seasonal wizards - summer, fall, winter, and spring is a new take for me. Add to that the idea that when you are born determines if you are a light wizard or a dark wizard, and all the shades in-between. For example someone born on the winter solstice would be the darkest possible wizard, while someone born on the spring equinox would be more balanced toward light, the summer solstice would be the lightest, and the autumnal equinox would again be more balanced, but leaning more toward the dark than the spring equinox.Eleven years ago, David's secret second family went missing. When his two lost children are finally found, he learns they suffered years of unthinkable abuse. Ready to make things right, David brings the kids home even though it could mean losing the wife he can’t imagine living without. Keeping his life together becomes harder when the new children claim to be dark wizards. David believes they use this fantasy to cope with their trauma. Until, David's wife admits a secret of her own—she is a dark wizard too, as is David, and all of their children. Now, David must parent two hurting children from a dark world he doesn’t understand and keep his family from falling apart. All while dealing with the realization that everyone he loves, including himself, may be evil.David and his wife Amanda have three kids, Jude, Patrick, and Emmy. They live in an enormous house, have multiple cars, and are more than well off. David is the CEO of his own construction company, and Amanda is employed as well, bringing home a healthy income. Essentially they appear to lead a charmed life, one that is about to come crashing down around them.We first meet David as he learns his missing children, from a second family no one else knows about, have been located. He had spent the last eleven years trying to locate his two children after he broke things off with their mother. None of the private investigators he'd hired were able to locate them either; they had disappeared so completely it was if they'd never existed. Setting the tone for much of what is to follow, the day David goes to meet and pick up his two missing kids his wife reminds him that their daughter's friend Samantha would be staying with them for three weeks while her parents were skiing in Switzerland. In Amanda's mind this isn't an issue, as they have two unoccupied guest bedrooms. Obviously Amanda doesn't know that David was not only unfaithful, having children with this other woman even while the two of them were expanding their family. And David is about to potentially destroy his marriage when he returns with these two kids. Kids that are visibly his own. Clearly David avoids confrontation whenever possible, subsequently making one poor choice after another, generally making bad situations worse. Though saddened to hear the kids' mother is dead, he is horrified to learn she was killed by her abusive husband, a man whose abuse included both of David's children. But the reality is he is currently terrified of how he'll handle these two abused kids of his. And to be brutally honest, how he'll be able to keep his marriage together after he drops this bomb in everyone's laps. David's rage over what was done to his children helps insulate him from the shock, but he feels lost when it comes to meeting and raising these kids of his that he doesn't know. Kids who are entering his life at possibly one of the most emotionally challenging point in their lives. Xavier and Evangeline are not what he expected, yet he can see that they are clearly his kids. It is when David meets the social worker that he first learns of wizards and magic, for it seems that Evangeline has created an elaborate world of dark and powerful wizards as her coping mechanism. As David later discovers, what he thought of as Evangeline's believes coping mechanism is actually his new reality. Angry as she is Amanda admits to him that she too had kept a secret - not only are she and David both dark wizards, all their children are as well. But since dark wizards' power is destructive, many elect not to practice their craft, which could explain why David knows nothing about this new world he's suddenly been thrust into. Suddenly David is falling down the rabbit hole, and in his life one thing after another seems to falls apart. Things are spiraling out of control, for David and everyone around him.The kids are mostly typical teenagers, with their secrets and rebellions. But add illicit magic to the mix and things rapidly get out of hand. The magic learning curve for everyone is different, for example Samantha has always known that that she and her parents are spring witches, Amanda knows enough not to mess with magic, and to differing degrees their three kids want to experience magic. Only Xavier and Evangeline are magical unknowns, claiming to know a fair amount, but refusing to share their knowledge. For a first book in a series I feel this one does a nice job setting the scene for things to come. The character development and arc of the story blend together quite seamlessly, making the story feel as realistic as possible. This is thanks in large part to the utter believability of the characters and their individual responses to various situations they face during the course of the story. The emotional growth of the characters may feel stunted at times, but that only lasts until you remember the magnitude of what they are learning about themselves and each other. David isn't a terribly sympathetic character, though I did feel more for him toward the end, when he stopped worrying quite so much about how things would impact him and instead put his concern for his family first.The story offers a fascinating take on magic & witchcraft. The concept of seasonal wizards - summer, fall, winter, and spring is a new take for me. Add to that the idea that when you are born determines if you are a light wizard or a dark wizard, and how light or dark depends upon the date you were born. For example someone born on the winter solstice would be the darkest possible wizard, while someone born on the spring equinox would be more balanced toward light, the summer solstice would be the lightest, and the autumnal equinox would again be more balanced, but leaning more toward the dark than the spring equinox. So no matter what the intent of the person, their power comes down to something as simple as their birthday. Since dark wizards power is destructive, very few tend to practice, which means that when they may possibly need the aid of magic very few know what to do. *Brief note: Throughout this book it seems that the terms wizard and witch are used interchangeably, but there may be some differences I did not pick up.

  • Veronica of V's Reads
    2019-04-05 21:27

    I didn't know I'd like this book so much! I mean, it starts out with an adulterous husband, David, learning that his teenage kids have been found. Kids he hadn't known--not since their mother had disappeared. And, I mean that literally. She was a witch. Now dead, their children Evangeline and Xavier were recovered, not completely intact. Part of their wizard stepfather's rituals had included rape...of both of them.Bringing his lover's kids home is sure to destroy his marriage--and it does. Amanda is furious, but takes the children in knowing they have no other prospects. David's other children--Jude, Patrick, and Emmy--want nothing to do with David or their strange half-siblings. Evangeline believes herself a witch, for crying out loud! And Xavier says virtually nothing to anyone.This family has more than just infidelity issues, however. Because, it turns out Evangeline is right--she is a witch. In fact, the whole family is magical--and not in a good way. Amanda had long ago, without David's knowledge, stripped the painful memories of his childhood--including his knowledge of magic.Amanda knew they were dark witches, and wanted to keep her family safe from the destructive magic they controlled by ensuring no one ever practiced. Not so easy when you bring home two magical children. Now all David's children are practicing, on the down-low against Amanda's wishes.But it seems here's a lot more going on in this family. The darkness is taking over Jude, and pitting brother against brother--particularly when Jude attacks Patrick's girlfriend. To save his family, David must embrace the magic within and surrounding him. And, when he learns Evangeline and Xavier's stepfather may not have been killed, well, it kicks off the biggest crisis of the book.I must say, I was captivated by the story. The magic within is very subtle, and bears plenty of repercussions--being Winter People, David's family can't help but channel the destructive type of magic. Even simple spells with good intentions turn out to be horrible. You want to help someone? They get helped, but at another's expense.It's diabolical, really. I wanted to hate David. He's a weak man who carried on an affair for years--and yet, it's impossible to hate him. His personal and professional lives are crumbling. Many men might walk away--and he refuses. He does his best to be the stand-up guy and strikes a bargain with Amanda to co-habitate and raise the kids together--even when all the magic becomes real and he's completely rudderless.Amanda is not a great person, because she's so damned real. She's a harried, frustrated, angry woman in a situation she never expected to be: supporting a man and his five children, though she only gave birth to three of them. Oh, and practicing magic again to contain her magic-infused charges--something she swore she would never do. Her whole world bottomed out the day those kids showed up at her doorstep, but she fought hard to keep her self, and her family, together. I had to love her passion for those kids and really respected how she handled David's betrayal.The book just kept moving, the plot getting darker and murkier--much like the magic. Don't expect to see a lot of binding spells or fire incantations. This is a subtle magic, which I think made it more approachable. It's a standalone book, and the first in a series. Several directions for other books to pick up this families trials, however.Clearly Jude's burgeoning darkness will be a huge part of future stories. And the day-to-day trials of choosing to use, or not use, magic will play out. The family clearly is divided on that issue. I look forward to other books in the series.

  • Dianne
    2019-04-23 21:13

    One of the biggest joys of reading is “tasting” the fruits of an author’s labors. Each novel has a unique flavor, or a unique blend of flavors and Destruction by Sharon Bayliss is no exception. Infidelity, secrets, deceit and dark magic fill this tale of a family of dark wizards, who, for all intents, live and look like any other suburban family. David has kept a secret from his wife, who has, in turn kept a secret from David. Years ago, David had a long standing affair, now his girlfriend has died and he must bring his two children with her into his life. How could he expect his wife to accept these children, especially as they are the same ages as their children? He takes the cowardly way out, lies, picks up the children and drops the bomb on his family. These young children were abused by their stepfather and have escaped into the fantasy that they are dark wizards. Of course, this is nonsense, or is it? Could his wife know more about dark wizardry than he knows? Could he be in some kind of nightmare that he cannot awaken from? Why doesn’t he remember parts of his past? How could everyone keep these secrets from him and WHY? Are dark wizards truly evil? Does this make him a monster? How can he keep his family from imploding in on itself when he doesn’t know what he is up against? Are there outside threats he needs to protect them from?Talk about a new spin on magic, the paranormal and even infidelity! Where did talented author Sharon Bayliss come up with her tale? She flavors her tale with intrigue, emotion and a wildly incredible plot that walks the line of family drama and magical fantasy. Well-paced and intense, Ms. Bayliss leads her readers down a path of twists, turns and surprises that adjust their pace to create the ultimate in riveting storytelling. The characters grow and are colored in more vividly with each scene while the plot unfolds and questions are answered.Looking for something a little out of the ordinary? Like drama? Like “magic”? Take a look at Destruction and the journey of one family who has more than their share of "issues" to deal with.I received this copy in exchange for my honest review as part of the Destruction Tour & Giveaway now at Tome Tender.Series: The December People - Book 1Publication Date: April 13, 2014Publisher: Curiosity Quills PressGenre: Fantasy \ Urban FantasyPrint Length: 274 pagesAmazon |  Barnes & Noble

  • Lucinda
    2019-04-13 18:30

    A refreshingly new edition to the fantasy genre and gripping page-turner! Anyone seeking a sensational story with extraordinary world building and breathtaking imaginative vision will find this novel an unexpected delight. Atypically set within a modern-day setting this highly unusual fantasy blends seamlessly together current, contemporary fiction with a sprinkling of otherworldly enchantment. Due to the 21st century setting that hides secrets about magic, it makes the well-crafted storyline even more convincing and believable as you can relate to the characters easily. The fine line between fantasy and reality is so beautifully blended that the dark Wizards feel a very much a part of life; and so I found it easy to lose myself within Sharon Bayliss’ convincing tale. ‘The December People’ is a series that will appeal to fans of edgy Urban fantasy and “Charmed”, who like how magic is interwoven within the fabric of our own existence…therefore making it seem all the more real as a part of our world! (Opposed to classic fantasy worlds). David Vandergraff is a loving husband and caring father whose clever façade hides beneath a dark, sinister secret. He is a Wizard with an enigma surrounding a second family; all of who are Dark Wizards like himself. Not only does David have to come to terms with the realization that everyone he loves, including himself, may be evil but that his has a challenging task ahead to keep his family together This character-driven, poignant tale is about love, loss and family as it highlights the inner-strength we all are in possession of. The intriguing concept and breathtaking premise of this story is utterly phenomenal, and I was certainly not expecting such an engrossing read that kept me sat in suspense throughout. The heartfelt sincerity and warmth within the deftly woven narrative reaches out to the reader, so as to touch you inwardly and make you care about the characters and their personal journey. I liked how the main protagonist grew and developed throughout the book, with the hardships that tested him only making him a stronger person. Hugely impacting and inspiring this spellbinding story is wonderfully woven and brilliantly realized on the page, so as to leave you with memories that linger on the mind for a long time afterward. The characters in this book feel very real due to the profundity of depth and emotional resonance within the storyline. Deliciously darkchilling tension, the bleak backdrop of this novel is hypnotically magnetic and so you are drawn into this strange new world. At times I almost forgot that I was reading fantasy fiction, as the family drama and characterization seemed to take precedence.4.5 Stars! *I would like to thank Sharon Bayliss for providing me with a physical copy of her new novel “Destruction” to read & review. *

  • Ann M. Noser
    2019-04-15 21:15

    This book kept me reading, which was a big relief because I DNF the last 3 books I picked up. Sometimes I wonder if the issue is with ME and not the book in my hand. So finding DESTRUCTION right now was perfect timing. Thank goodness!Non-spoiler-ish:Potential readers should realize (and will pick up on this right away) that this is not a YA paranormal story. I'm not sure why I thought this. Was it something about the lovely cover? Or did the mere mention of wizards and witchcraft send me straight to Harry Potter land? I don't know. But this novel is gritty and determined. Infidelity, abuse, discovery, and disappointment fill the pages.I've never seen witchcraft combined with a family drama in this way. What a fabulous idea! Why should only teenagers have all the fun? This is a really unique way to write about witchcraft. Of course, I've read Alice Hoffman who combines adults with magic, but this felt very different.The writing, descriptions, characters, and pacing were spot on.The ending left me wanting more. Thank goodness it's the first book in a series. I hope to learn more about the character Rachel in the second book in the series. I feel there is so much more to her than one would think.All the characters seemed real. They acted and reacted. They were both good and bad. I had no trouble jumping from character to character as the POV changed. Patrick was my favorite. He had the purest soul. Plus, he's the only one who reacted as he should've to the one issue I point out below.Potentially spoilerish comment below: (don't read if you don't want to know)The only person I shook my head at was David. Actually, I wanted to shake him at times. His poor wife. I tried to blame his lying, hiding, and cowardice on his addled brain (which his wife messed with years before), but his inability to take rape and abuse as more serious matters than he does, that I have a hard time forgiving. This character fault is likely intentional, but doesn't make him very likable when he cares so much more for the rapist than the victim. I realize why he cares, and I personally might be considered over-senstive on the subject of rape, but I couldn't help feel the victim was hurt much more than once, and betrayed by more than just her attacker.But that was my ONLY issue. And, as I've said, I am oversensitive on that subject. So I am biased.Otherwise, I loved every single thing about this book. I really want to know where the author is going with this series. I'd also like more details on a death near the end of the book. (I'll say no more on that. Don't want to be too over spoilerish.)5 stars means that someday I plan to reread this book, and that I intend to read the rest of the series.Highly recommended read! Cheers!

  • The Bookend Family
    2019-04-02 22:17

    I'm going to be honest, when I first started reading this book I was under the impression I was going to be reviewing a new Young Adult Series. I quickly realized my mistake and readjusted my viewpoint. How wonderful that an author chose to write about magic in the adult world (ie., families, kids, work,and so on.) I was enthralled with this world for many reasons. First and foremost it resembled my own. It's always nice to believe there is a little bit of magic in our world every now and then. This book expanded upon that premise beautifully. The author did an exception job of keeping a real world perspective, there were the interpersonal issues of a merging family, the money issues of a job loss, and then there were the issues of teenagers not listening to their parents. Sharon Bayliss took all that and added a layer of magic, which was both a blessing and a curse to the family.The story opens with the main characters discovery that two children from a previous adulteress relationship have been located under the most heinous conditions. He quickly resolves that he will be bringing his children home to his unknowing family. What follows is a remarkable look into a family with issues all while discovering and learning that they have magically abilities, but that they should not use them because they are "black" witches and wizards. Even though they desire to do good their ultimate result will be that of destruction.I really enjoyed this book, and I read it quickly. There are moments where the author captured the breath-taking beauty of the Texas country in such detail that I had no problems visualizing it. The characters were real, they had flaws, and I learned to care about each of them. The only about this book that I would criticize is that the ending felt too rushed. The big battle at the end was not even there, it was relayed to us by another character. There were also some things left open, the job loss, was it caused by magic, etc.. These are minor things, as overall the story excelled for that of a new emerging author. I would certainly recommend it and I without a doubt will be patiently awaiting the next book in this series.

  • Amanda
    2019-04-12 22:23

    3 StarsI received a copy to review from Curiosity Quills Press and NetgalleyIt's really hard for me to write a review for this book because there are so many aspects of the story that I loved. The world Sharon Bayliss built was pretty cool, and the concept of a second family was really interesting. But I think that this book should have been two separate books instead of one. There are two directions that this story could have gone. It could have been an awesome adventure story with witches, or it could have been a heartbreaking story about sexually abused children. I didn't feel any emotional connection to this story at all, and I think that's because the characters didn't either. They were just all kind of numb. There was no grieving or symptoms of PTSD. There was some real serious issues in this book. Where is the emotion? Why am I not crying? As for the plot, I feel like it really didn't exist. So much of the book was spent getting to know all 8 characters and building the world that the plot kind of fell to the background. Then there was something thrown in towards the end that gave you a climax. Although, I didn't really feel like that was a climax. I was surprised that the book was over because the ending wasn't that exciting. Overall I'm a bit disappointed. This was a story with so much potential, but it lacked direction and emotion.

  • March Shoggoth Madness The Haunted Reading Room
    2019-04-09 19:42

    I so completely love this intense, powerful, book that I feel I've consumed it and made it a part of my soul. It's magical (yes, magic and its practice or avoidance is one of the essential theme threads) but "magical" in the sense of inspiring, soaring, life-affirming, love-affirming. It's lyrical, light-bringing, and unforgettable. Please do savor it and make it a part of your life too.

  • Melissa
    2019-04-12 20:17

    I was given this book in exchange for an honest review.This was written in such a unique voice and has a well-developed storyline. You begin the first page and before you know it you have read the last.

  • Booksniffer Tours
    2019-04-17 14:23

    3.5 Sniffs - We may linger a bit longer to enjoy the fragrance.Check out my review at Booksniffer Book Reviews! http://booksnifferbookreviews.blogspo...

  • °~Amy~°
    2019-04-21 16:18

    I received an ARC copy of Destruction from the author in exchange for a fair and honest review. I will jump right into my review just like this author loves to jump right into the meat of her stories (something I do love about her!) There was a lot to like about this book. The story-line was not your typical wizard/witch tale. This is a believable well-off modern day family struggling with the types of dramas you might actually imagine a family in their social situation dealing with; a cheating husband, a controlling wife, an emotional bunch of teenagers with all their issues in tow, a failing business, etc. So life is difficult enough for this family, then magic happens. No one handles the news well but who would really? Not I. Overall I enjoyed the characters. There was a LOT of them though. It was a little difficult to keep up with who was who sometimes. I was kind of thinking I would need to create a diagram to keep track of who was related to whom, who practices and who doesn't, who is a winter/spring/summer/fall, etc. Not being anywhere near that ambitious, I read through without one. I am thinking that it might get harder to keep the details straight as the series progresses but we’ll have to wait and see how the author handles that as it unfolds. The only real dislike I had was all the unanswered questions at the end. There was really only one major story point that was resolved. And that felt too easily accomplished for me. I would have liked to see more interaction between the villain and David but that’s just me I guess. With all the simultaneous story-lines going on I think it was difficult to give this one the attention that it needed. But this book was created as a base for something much bigger so brevity was probably necessary. If every character and every scene got the full on attention I wanted, the book would have been hundreds and hundreds of pages long. Again, that’s just me; I’m a detail kind of gal. I assume the loose ends will all be story points farther along in the series so I may yet get those details I am craving. Each of the characters had a distinct personality and each handled their new-found capabilities differently. I really look forward to learning more about these characters and how they each choose to move ahead with the knowledge and powers they have been given. I am very confident that this author will keep us guessing and wanting more with every page. Waiting (not so) patiently for book #2. :-)

  • Lu (Sugar & Snark)
    2019-03-30 22:37

    What a book! And what a concept!! This book starts off with David finding out his long-lost children are still alive. His wife knows nothing about his past indiscretions, but she finds out quickly enough when he brings his two teenage children home. Not only have they lost their mother, but they have been abused for years. This makes for a very tense home-life, especially because he also has children with his wife.The family dynamics, and the way David traverses all these mines is so intriguing. I found myself feeling so bad for all the characters and really getting pulled into the story head first. I was distracted by the way David was trying to keep everyone together and at the same time getting to know his long-lost children, that I didn’t see the next part of the book coming. And that part, I would prefer not to talk about. Because, that is what made the book. It went from something so real and heartfelt to something that was incorporated so masterfully that I didn’t even realize what was happening until I was smack dab in the middle of this amazingly crafted plot!! All I can say is if you are a fantasy lover, then this is the kind of book you have been waiting for.The characters were fantastic. They were rich and so real. The story took my breath away and left me wanting to talk to someone who has also read the book. I can’t wait to see what the second book in the series holds!Do yourself a favor. Don’t read the summary of this book and get a copy asap! This was and is one of the best review books I have every had the pleasure of reading.

  • Jacque Stengel
    2019-03-25 15:28

    Hauntingly beautiful yet full of destruction and darkness. This book had me hooked from page one and just like a fish who can't get away from the hook, I couldn't put it down. Actually I did put it down long enough to tell the author that I was already in love with the story and I hadn't even really gotten to the meat of the story yet. So many secrets kept in a normal everyday family that leak out one by one until the truth is that they are far from normal. The story flowed effortlessly from story line to story line that made reading a joy. Can I say the whole book is a joy? Nope...there are so many dark corners I was taken into that I lost count, but each step added to the intensity of the story. The magic issues involving dark magic vs. white magic are further explained in the book and while no one seems to know the right answer, the journey of discovering powers is going to keep the series very interesting. Not a lot of answers to so many questions yet, but this series has the potential to become something very powerful. A new twist on an old genre is much appreciated in this digital age of so many books. Kudos to Sharon Bayliss on creating something that is far from Mundane!

  • Tara Holman
    2019-04-14 21:26

    I received this book from the author in exchange for an honest review. It was also on my upcoming list of books to read for the Paranormal Book Club that I am a member of, so I was eager to read this story! Going into the book, my first impression is of the gorgeous cover- just captivating cover art! When a cover draws me in, I usually set myself up for a bit of failure, however I was not disappointed when I began reading. The story is centered on the husband, David Vandergraff, whom appears to be living a dual life with two separate women & families. Early on, the reader is hooked with trying to learn more about his missing children from another relationship and how that all transpired. I loved the way the book had paranormal aspects, along with being about adults. It was refreshing to see the author give witching qualities to a family, instead of just some typical high school kids. The story touches on many everyday family struggles such as raising step-children, infidelity, rape and more. I absolutely loved this book and will definitely read more of the series. Kudos to the author Sharon Bayliss for including local references, you made this Central Texas reader a happy one!

  • Eye Candy Bookstore
    2019-04-14 20:25

    I have got to say when I started reading this book I was a little nervous since it was a completely different genre then what I normally read. Sharon did a fantastic job with this story and got me out of my comfort zone and ready for more books like it.While reading this book I had a hard time getting myself to put it down. David is a father to three children and has a great marriage to Amanda. He has a secret that he has been keeping from his family for more then ten years. one day he gets the call he thought he never would. Now he has to explain to Amanda not only did he have an affair but has two more children that he now has custody of.Amanda has a secret of her own and once it comes out nothing will ever be the same. Will magic help or pull this family apart even more?Through out this book I wanted to cast many spells on David for cheating and breaking up his perfect family. At the end I realized he was not as bad as I thought. I was completely on edge through out the whole story. Everytime I thought I knew what was goibg to happen I was wrong. I will definitely be getting more books from Sharon and can't wait to see what is next.Reviewed by Amy Zec

  • Kelly Clare
    2019-04-03 14:41

    This book had a very strong start. The author did well to balance a handful of important characters, giving each individuality and attention. The pace in the first half was excellent, with the fantasy world explained well, and the setting crystal clear in my mind.While the second half lost a little pace for me, with a bit of a shaky finish, I have to commend the author on facing emotionally difficult storylines head on (you'll see what I mean).I thought the relationship woes between Amanada and David were perfect and what I would expect in the situation - look at me trying to be cryptic and avoid spoilers :)Overall it was a good read with interesting world buildings and great attention to the setting and characters.

    2019-04-17 16:16

    Look guys - This novel is not a typical paranormal YA - sure there are teen characters in it but there are part of the of picture. picture of family and it's inside dynamics pulse the magical staff. Also This is not about light is good and dark is bad its about consonance of human behavior, choices that make you wonder how would you chose if you had been at the same situations....and I can tell you it isn't yes I didn't got those frustrations that I usually got in a typical YA.Its speak of love and abuse at the space and time and yes.... Destruction! Yes too Much Destruction!Magic is a complicated thing it really don't have a manual or guidelines each wizard has it talent base on the season which determine if he/she will be dark or light. The problem the the date and the hour also will differentiate between all this magic users and the path to destruction will be unique to his/her personality. ( really remind me the biblical theme about decisions and free will - "Then the LORD said to Cain, "If thou doest well, shalt thou not be accepted? and if thou doest not well, sin lieth at the door. And unto thee shall be his desire, and thou shalt rule over him.")It is not the first book of Sharon Bayliss that I am reading and I fell in live with her writing from her first one. She is a proud Texan and write about those crazy Texan with lots of love and pride. In each book she want fail your 5 senses so you can feel as part of the story yourself.I loved the talisman concept - A talismans protects your soul(and even it remind me about and it's n Pinocchio's official conscience Jiminy Cricket by Carlo Collodi, It's mean much more then just conscience . A true talisman is a person, not an object. You have to stay emotionally connected to your talisman, otherwise you can become unstable from the effects of the magic you're using. DESTRUCTION brings us the story of David Vandergraff, his family, and the new world he is thrust into. When his son and daughter from an affair he had years ago are finally found, he couldn't be happier to finally have them. But things go from bad to worse as secrets are revealed and his world is completely turned upside down by the revelation that he's a dark wizard and so is his entire family. that he has 2 more children from an affair that he almost forgotten about. That he used to love this other woman but chose to stay with his wife and his talismans, but now discover that his denial led her to destructive path, that lead to her death and left 2 orphans,and this orphans his children too. He had to deal with his past - the one had erased from his mind by his wife, surprisingly to his own request and the one that he hide from his wife (cheating on her with her best friend Crystal, Evangeline and Xavier mother). He has also to deal with his attitude toward magic and his wife and her family refusal to do any magic, at same time his five children begin practicing it without permission. Magic is dangerous and being dark wizards makes it even more so. It has a toll and it can be a steep one and as has his family star to practice dark magic, thing start to fall apart and spiral down very quickly. Jude, Patrick, and Emmy are the children David has with Amanda, and Evangeline and Xavier are the children he had with Crystal. Evangeline and Xavier suffered terrible abuse by their stepfather and have been traumatized by it. The children are traumatized, having been abused by their stepfather (actually, were sexually assaulted - Repeatedly by their stepfather, they were physically marked each time with a permission(?) of their mother), whom the authorities tell David are dead, so he just has to take them home and try to deal with 2 traumatized kids. When these two groups meet for the first time, they immediately dislike each other.They stay to themselves and are very protective of each other. The animosity that Jude, Patrick, and Emmy have for Evangeline and Xavier is mostly on their mother's behalf. They are angry by what their father did and they take it out on Evangeline and Xavier. Patrick was my favorite one. David! Is the main character and actually, I wanted to shake him at times. I had difficult time to handle his lying, hiding, and cowardice, even while I could lay the blame on his addled brain (which his wife messed with years before), but I really hard time to forgave him his incompetence to handle rape and abuse as more serious matters. It doesn't make him very likable when he cares so much more for the rapist than the victim. But as I said before I really don't know how what would I do if I was in his shoes, It is really easy to judge when you are the outsider. I also, didn't like how Amanda chose to react to this dark situation in a way I felt that hypocrisy can describe her behavior better - she really annoyed me, with her holier-than-thou attitude and her tendency to conveniently ignore what she had done, while giving guilt-trips to others. It’s part of the imperfect nature of this character, sure, but almost nobody called her on her it. All right, David cheated on her and had two kids in her back, which is totally hard thing to swallow, but in the early days of their marriage, she was the one who made a all those tasteless decisions for him(but again who am I to judge). What really irritate me was her part as in the “non-practitioners” that spent years saying that their magic would have bad consequences and they’d better not practice… but she was easily break her “vow”, while constantly blaming others who does the same. But overall there no matter what you think about the characters and there choices you can't stay indifference to the plot!I read it without stopping and need to know more so ....Sure I am in for the next Book!

  • zjakkelien
    2019-04-05 14:13

    Although this is clearly fantasy, it's very different from just about all other fantasy I've read. It has magic, yes, but although it plays a major role, it's like the book doesn't revolve around it. The book is not about magic, it's about a dysfunctional family going through troubled times, that happen to involve magic. This family has magical things going wrong like other families have teen pregnancies and drug abuse. And there's plenty going wrong. The father of the family, David, had an affair resulting in two children 12 years ago. The 'other woman' disappeared with his children and he was never able to find them. Then he gets a phone call: his children have been found, and their mother and stepfather are dead. David takes them in. That's the start of the dysfunctional. As for the troubles: (view spoiler)[the family's company goes bankrupt, the two newest children have been abused, the eldest son drunkenly drives the car into the house and later rapes a friend of his sister, the parents of said friend are addicts and have gone missing, and on top of that, everyone turns out to be witches, and magic always backfires. (hide spoiler)]A lot of the misery might have been caused by magic backfiring, but some of the characters disagree and say that dark witches always blame their magic for the things going wrong. In the narrative of the book, I don't think this is completely true, but on the other hand it seems to be a convenient way for giving up on leading a decent life. The 'practising magic is bad' thing is not something I believe: I'm more inclined to go with one of the characters who said that destructive magic can also be good. Some things need destroying after all. I hope that part will come through more clearly in possible follow-up books. In general, this was very easy to read (despite all the misery). Most of the characters were sympathetic, even though some behaved very strangely at times (seriously, someone can be a coward, but to not tell your wife you're bringing home your two extra-marital children she doesn't know about? That's plain stupid. To then not tell her (view spoiler)[your company has gone bankrupt, or that your son has accidentally killed his mother? (hide spoiler)]That's approaching ridiculous. Then perhaps the most heinous crime in the book belongs to Amanda: (view spoiler)[she knowingly steals David's painful childhood memories without his consent. That is such a disgusting violation that I cannot understand more is not made of it. Sure, David is angry, but is that really all? She could have asked him what he wanted. Instead she violates him and causes a lot of things to go wrong in the process. Despite admitting what she did is wrong, she still refuses to tell David about the memories. And overall, with all the drama going on, it seems to be almost forgotten. David gets more angry about his son raping a girl then this, and personally, I think this is much worse, especially considering that there seems to be something really wrong with the son. I really feel this is almost glossed over.(hide spoiler)]What bothered me about the writing sometimes was that a chapter would move to a climax, and then the next chapter has abruptly fast-forwarded too much, so that it seems as if you've missed something. About the story, I liked the ideas, and the ways they are told, but I really do think too many things were going wrong. It just kept adding up, to a point where it was not realistic any more, even considering all the magic. I did like that the atmosphere of this book was very different from most fantasy books, and that magic, instead of being the answer to everything mostly is just a pain in the backside. The book does not have a traditional adventure story line, where it is clear where everything must go: instead, things happen sort of disjointedly, in a way (aside from the quantity of misery) things might happen in real life. As a result, it might not be for everyone, but I liked it quite a bit. In all fairness, I think this might be close to a 3.5 star to me, but GR doesn't allow that, so I'm rounding upwards for originality.

  • Rola G.
    2019-03-25 14:24

    Destruction written by Sharon Bayliss is the first book in her series The December People. It also happens to be a very distinctive spin off on dark wizards and is written in third person point of view. The characters are being followed are David, an extremely confused father, and Patrick, the confused father's second eldest son. Considering the fact that it was a spin off on dark wizards, the way the plot was played out was kind of realistic. They had a mostly normal family that did mostly normal things in a hopefully completely normal Texas. Before beginning, I would like to clarify that there are no spells, owls, house elves, wands, Hogwarts, or Neville Longbottom. What really draws a reader into Destruction is its very different take on wizards in general. I don't want to give too much away, but I'll just say that the dark wizards are not said to be dark wizards because they're evil. They are said to be 'evil' because of the limits put on them due to them being dark wizards. Also, a person cannot choose to be what kind of wizard they are. That's all I'm saying, but you can read the book if you want to find out more.Very early on in the book, every character seemed to have very well defined personalities. It was handed to the reader on a silver platter in detail. And what was told to the reader about the characters proved to be true by their actions later on in the stories, sometimes to extreme levels. There was the perfect amount of mix between the flat and round characters. I really liked how I expected certain characters to act a certain way and was surprised when they didn't. It felt like I had known the characters for a good few years and that I'd been a quiet observer of this very family. I just knew what Amanda, the mother, would do when she wakes up or when Jude, the eldest brother, was upset. The author did a really great job with the characterizations of each and every single one of the characters.Destruction also has realistic characters. As I was reading, I remember thinking how much I disliked Amanda. Not because of her actions, but because of her reasoning behind her actions. But when I kept reading, I couldn't help but realize how real she is. She acts the way a wife and mother would really act. The amount of tolerance she had for what was going on was admirable, but she also had limits as to what she would and wouldn't allow in the house. She was not ready to be the type of woman to be stepped on. Everything about her was very mother-like. Her patience was present, but limited. She had her good days, and she had her stressed out low-on-caffeine bad days.To me, Destruction was an introductory book to the series. When I say this, I mean the entire book served as an introduction to The December People. The reason I say this is because I did not really recognize a determined or defined goal for the book. There was the plot, but I did not see what it was aiming for. It was a bit messy and there were plot holes which I hope are acknowledged in the rest of the series because I fully intend on reading it. Something else I noticed as I was reading was that there were scenes that did not do much for the plot and could have easily been replaced with more meaningful scenes that could have given the plot more definition. But again, this is the first book and I have high hopes for the success of the rest of the series.Destruction is a great book that has a somewhat realistic take on the wizarding world. If your'e expecting an action filled book with spells being shouted left and right, however, this book may not be for you. I do suggest you read the book, and if it does not sound like your cup of tea, you should give it a try because you never know what you might like when it comes to books.

  • Andrea
    2019-04-05 18:14

    This review was originally posted on my book review blog, The Overstuffed Bookcase.A Different Kind of Magical Tale...Honestly, I haven't read that many books about wizards and witches. I mean, I LOVE Harry Potter--it will forever be my favorite series--but other than that, I haven't read too many other books that focus solely on witches and wizards. I've read several fantasy books that deal with magic, and I have read a few other books that deal with wizards and witches, but mostly I gravitate more towards science fiction stories or contemporaries, rather than fantasy novels. But that's not to say I don't like them--I just love sci-fi even more. And even though I haven't read too many witch/wizard novels, Destruction still feels like a different kind of story to me. For one thing, it's an adult novel and I normally read YA, and also this story has a lot to do with family, whereas a lot of magical stories (or at least the ones I've read) deal with romantic relationships more than those of a family. And the witches and wizards themselves, as well as the type of magic they use, seem unique in Destruction as well. It was cool to be introduced to these characters, some of which have no idea they can even do magic, and learn along with them about this world that is hidden amid our own world.Strong Plot and Characters...I really liked that, from the beginning, David is not perfect. He cheated on his wife years ago and never told her about it, and along the way he continues to make mistakes that really hurt him in the long run. I love when characters evolve, but I also love when flawed characters remain flawed with those same characteristics. It's not realistic for characters to suddenly fix all their flaws, and I loved that while David realized his mistakes, and did evolve as a character, he was still realistically flawed at the end.And I liked all the interaction between all the characters. They all behaved slightly differently, depending on their background and their personalities, and it made for a very dynamic household. And all the kids aren't perfect, either. Some are definitely extremely affected by their past, and some end up being completely surprising, and not always in a good way. As for the plot, I was pulled in right away. I cared about these characters from the beginning, felt so horrible for some of the things that they went through, was excited as they learned to use their powers, and was anxious as the suspense and action grew. Some of the events that take place aren't really resolved, but because this is the first book in a series, I'm assuming that the majority of them will be brought up again in detail in the following books.Bonus Points...Sharon Bayliss gets some of my bonus points for the following reasons:-Destruction takes place in the Houston area, and I grew up in that area, so I loved all the references to Houston/Texas places, like Conroe, Schlitterbahn, and Pappadeaux. 50,000 points.-A Star Wars reference = 50,000 points-A Harry Potter reference = 50,000 pointsMy rating for Destruction by Sharon Bayliss: 4 huge stars, maybe even 4.5. I loved the characters, flaws and all, and I loved all the action and suspense, especially near the end! I'm definitely looking forward to the second book in this series!Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book from the author in exchange for my honest review. (Thanks, Sharon!) I was not compensated in any other way for this review.

  • Elena Alvarez Dosil
    2019-03-27 21:41

    Disclaimer: Review originally posted at www.audiobookreviewer.comDavid Vandergraff tries to be a good man. He lives with his wife and their three children, having the usual family drama, until one night when David receives a call to inform him that the children he had with another woman have finally reappeared. He goes to get them and finds that they seem to think they are wizards, surely a way to cope with all what happened to them: an abusive step-father who ended up killing their mother in front of their eyes. But things start to get out of hand when David's wife confesses that she is a witch and that David is in fact a wizard, making their three children wizards too.This is one of those rare gems that fantasy for adults books are, not a young adult finding out the magical side of things, but a middle age man with a family and very mundane problems at work, finding out that he is been a wizard all along. And not any kind of wizard, but a dark one. Wizards are classified according to the four seasons, and this translates into what kind of magic they can do. It is not a distinction between good and bad wizards, just how their magic works. Dark wizard's magic works through destruction, hence the title of the book.There are wizards who willingly decide to avoid practicing magic because it is very dangerous, trying to live a mundane life. I partly understand this, but my analytical mind cannot conceive why you would just give your back to something dangerous without further questioning. David's wife attitude to bury deep their magical past and convert to Catholicism seemed a bit childish and sheepily. I think we need to have a critical attitude in life and know your enemies and dangers so that you can decide the best course of action. I was also bothered by how much lies and deception there were in this book, but this is just a personal preference, and somehow it prevented me to fully connect to the characters.Very serious matters are discussed in this book but as I could not connect with the characters, I found it impossible to suffer for them. It was like everybody was numb. I also had problems to understand some of their actions and the motivations behind.The story is slowly paced and despite the seriousness of the situation, if feels a light read. I just hoped the tension would climb up more towards the end, which felt quite anticlimactic.This is not an easy book to be listened to just for the fact that there were many characters with evolving relationships. It would have helped if Dennis Holland's voice register could have been a bit more ample. He used two different tones of voice: a neutral one, used for male adults and the narrator, and a softer one, for female adults and children. And the main characters here are a couple and five children! It did not help that from time to time the softer tone was also used for the narration, making things a bit confusing. The audio production was correct though, without glitches.Another thing that I would like to comment is that dark wizards are the ones born around the winter solstice, and the book mentions December (the series is called The December People), so I assume this just includes the wizards in the Northern Hemisphere. What about South America or Australia? Maybe I am just too picky, but I wonder how somebody from those areas would feel when reading this book.I think this book would delight those who wish a light read and want something different than the typical young adult fantasy book.

  • wrecked_life
    2019-04-16 18:15

    Destruction by Sharon Bayliss SynopsisDavid Vandergraff wants to be a good man. He goes to church every Sunday, keeps his lawn trim and green, and loves his wife and kids more than anything. Unfortunately, being a dark wizard isn't a choice. Eleven years ago, David's secret second family went missing. When his two lost children are finally found, he learns they suffered years of unthinkable abuse. Ready to make things right, David brings the kids home even though it could mean losing the wife he can’t imagine living without. Keeping his life together becomes harder when the new children claim to be dark wizards. David believes they use this fantasy to cope with their trauma. Until, David's wife admits a secret of her own—she is a dark wizard too, as is David, and all of their children. Now, David must parent two hurting children from a dark world he doesn’t understand and keep his family from falling apart. All while dealing with the realization that everyone he loves, including himself, may be evil.ReviewAnother 5-star read!! Fantasy is my most favourite genre and well, who doesn't like witches and wizards? ;) The best part of the book was its beginning. It started in a way that one would not be able to put it down. There was a lot of mystery and intrigue and a want to find out what will come next. And it will not disappoint the readers because what will come is quite exceptional. One unique thing about this book is that you can't put it into a box with "adult book" or "young adult book". It cannot be defined that way. As it involves main characters including adults and teenagers as well. So in that respect, I think, people from all ages can enjoy it equally.David just found out about his lost kids and he is scared to tell the truth to his wife. She will be mad if she found out and demand a divorce, rightly so. But he cannot lose her, he may not be a one-woman man but he was most definitely a two-women man. After losing Crystal (mother of his lost children), he cannot imagine losing Amanda (his wife) too. But now that he is bringing his kids (a son and a daughter) home, there is no way to hide his secret affair, which happened eleven years ago.Xavier and Evangeline have been abused by their stepfather and now that David has found them he wants to protect them at all costs. His other three children, Jude, Patrick and Emmy are not so welcoming towards their step siblings. To top it all of Evangeline claims to be a witch. May be it is some kind of coping mechanism, something she can use as a shield to all the abuse and difficulties they had faced in the home of their stepfather.As soon as Amanda finds out that Evangeline is a witch she forbids her to use magic. This results in a confrontation between David and her. That's when she admits that she is a dark witch too, so is David and all of their children. After that bad things started happening as all the kids started practising magic. They did not care much for Amanda's no-magic rule. Teenagers simply cannot help themselves. they thought it was so cool to be able to use magic. The believed that even though they were dark wizards, they can be good but were they right or not is still to be determined...The story is engaging and well written. It was interesting to begin with and ended well too. Although its part of a series but can be read as stand alone. I will recommend it to all fantasy/paranormal fiction lovers.

  • Connie Jasperson
    2019-04-06 16:37

    Today we will be exploring an urban fantasy by Sharon Bayliss, Destruction: Book 1 of the December People Series. This is one of those books that you don't want to start if you are not going to be able to just sit down and read with NO distractions.THE BLURB:David Vandergraff wants to be a good man. He goes to church every Sunday, keeps his lawn trim and green, and loves his wife and kids more than anything. Unfortunately, being a dark wizard isn't a choice. Eleven years ago, David's secret second family went missing. When his two lost children are finally found, he learns they suffered years of unthinkable abuse. Ready to make things right, David brings the kids home even though it could mean losing the wife he can’t imagine living without. Keeping his life together becomes harder when the new children claim to be dark wizards. David believes they use this fantasy to cope with their trauma. Until, David's wife admits a secret of her own—she is a dark wizard too, as is David, and all of their children. Now, David must parent two hurting children from a dark world he doesn’t understand and keep his family from falling apart. All while dealing with the realization that everyone he loves, including himself, may be evil.MY REVIEW:On page one, you discover a family of real people, people who do the best they can to do good in the world, and people who do not always behave as well as they would like. This is most definitely a morality tale.David's marriage is not perfect, but he loves his wife, Amanda, and together they have 3 children, Emmy, Patrick, and Jude. His and Amanda's children are not perfect, David's business is not perfect, but they are what he has, and he is determined to keep them at all costs.Despite the fact he loves Amanda fiercely, he had an extramarital relationship with another woman whom he also loved, one that produced Evangeline and Xavier. They are nearly the same age as 2 of his children, and older than his youngest daughter. He is desperate to keep his children together. His love for Crystal had nothing to do with his love for Amanda, and while he refuses to examine that too closely, he is determined to make his new situation work.When Crystal dies, David is contacted by the authorities. He brings the two children home. things go to hell, but Amanda is determined to keep and raise them along with their own. They are also raising the daughter of friends, and this makes 6 children, ranging in ages from 12 to 18 -- six teenagers under one roof. The disintegration of the marriage, and the reconstruction of the family into a much stronger unit is a real journey into both betrayal and forgiveness. David is not alone in having kept a serious secret. Amanda is a caring person, but she is obsessed with control, and is ruthless when it comes to keeping the children together. There is nothing she won't do to achieve her goals. The worst aspects of human nature, things that cop up even in the 'nicest' families is dealt with here.This book is gripping. It is a stand-alone book. It is the first in a series, but you get a proper ending for all your time spent in their world. I really enjoyed this novel, and it stayed with me for a long while afterward. I am really looking forward to the next installment.

  • Kat
    2019-04-05 17:18

    I received this book for an honest review from Booksniffer Review tours. I give it 4 stars.The book plot evolves around David Vandergraff and his family, his life is about perfect when a call one day is about to abruptly end his cushy life.The call is from the authorities regarding his son and daughter from an affair he had years ago.Although on the one hand he's happy that he has finally found them, after their mother Crystal upped and disappeared years earlier, he takes the cowards route and omits telling his wife Amanda about the kids, instead going and picking them up from where they have been housed in a care home.The children are traumatized, having been abused by their stepfather and mother, whom the authorities tell David are dead, so he just has to take them home and try to deal with 2 traumatized kids and a very hostile waiting committee at home. Now when he turns up at home to break the news to the wife he loves and his family they have will turn his world turned upside down. the two traumatized children have escaped into a made up reality, where witches and wizards and magic exist... the authorities believe that this is their coping mechanism for having to deal with the situation they lived.But his wife also has a secret.. shes stole memories from him, the memories that confirmed that he is a dark wizard and so is his entire family!This is hard for David to accept, but as his children begin practicing magic, because how could you not want to try magic when you find out this weirdly awesome fact? He has no option than to try and deal with it.Amanda explains that the family are dark wizards, although Samantha is a Light witch, and that Dark magic has a toll on the soul and this is why she stole the memories and kept the fact a secret.Does being a family of Dark Wizards mean that they are destined to be evil, or Destruction magic as it is termed? Or can they try and be good?Along with money problems, a hostile wife and children, David also has a house guest, Samantha, whose parents have upped and left her with them while they go find themselves...Now I don't want to give much more away because I hate reviews that tell you everything - I mean why bother reading the book?I did like how the author has tried to explain how the magic is done, how they had Talismans, and what they were for, she has created a detailed world of magic hiding in the normal world.The more magic used the more chaotic their lives get, and it ends up coming to a head, in some pretty destructive ways.Now one of these I didn't like the way the author dealt with it... the 2 children David had with Crystal were sexually assaulted - Repeatedly by their stepfather, they were physically marked each time, I didn't like how this was quickly brushed under the carpet, but at least she wrote that they went to counselling. But later on during the book another Rape happens and this is really swept under the carpet, as if it really wasn't unusual to happen in a Dark Wizards family? There is obviously a lot going on in this book, betrayal, denial, teenagers trying magic, and you have to really pay attention otherwise you can get lost sometimes.I read this book over the weekend, and although it ends, It is marked as Book 1 so I am assuming there may be a sequel.