About the Author
Sephera Giron is the author of Eternal Sunset, House of Pain, The Birds and the Bees, Borrowed Flesh, Mistress of the Dark and Hungarian Rhapsody. She lives in Toronto and is the Horror Writers Association Ontario rep. In addition to being a published author Giron is an actress and has appeared in a community theatre version of Evita, and is also a tarot card reader.
The back cover blurb of Borrowed Flesh is misleading and had me pretty disappointed. Basically, it says the book is about a witch who kills virgins and bathes in their blood in order to gain eternal youth. This only happens twice (providing the only gore and horror) and is not the focal point of the novel. Here's what the back cover blurb should say:
Vanessa is a witch with eternal life who makes a living reading tarot cards. When several of the town's women residents come to her for help with their straying husbands, she has a feeling there is something else keeping the men away. When she tries to solve the mystery she realizes she's not the only witch in town.
Borrowed Flesh should have been marketed as a paranormal romance because the novel focuses Vanessa's budding relationship with David. The parts where she bathes in virgin blood could have been easily cut out because it's not essential to the plot and are the only parts that could be considered horror.
The characters aren't very deep and I didn't find myself caring about what happens to them. Vanessa is portrayed as a "good" witch, yet she kills innocent virgins to obtain something as frivolous as looking young, which made me dislike her. She's the heroine of the novel and Giron tries to make her seem caring, but I couldn't get over the fact that she murders young women and bathes in their blood just to look pretty. Also, some characters are mentioned over and over without explaining them. Sophie constantly appears in Vanessa's dreams but there's no explanation of who she is or why she is significant to Vanessa's life. And Vanessa's ex Demian is described a bit, but there's no clarification of why he and Vanessa broke up or what their relationship was like, Giron just says how Vanessa will always love him over and over.
Although I didn't care for the characters, the novel held my interest until the end because of Giron's direct writing style and my curiosity of why the husbands went missing. Which brings me to the part of the novel which I hated the most: the anticlimactic ending. I got to the end just to find a measly five pages dedicated to the fight between our heroine, Vanessa, and the "bad" witch. And the reason behind her holding the men hostage was so ridiculous that it made me upset I wasted my time on the rest of the book just to reach this crazy conclusion.
I like Giron's writing style and will read more of her work, but I would recommend skipping this one.