'Born Wicked' is a fantastic read about three sisters who also happen to be witches. This is a secret that they must keep even from their father, beca...more'Born Wicked' is a fantastic read about three sisters who also happen to be witches. This is a secret that they must keep even from their father, because it would be far too dangerous for them if the truth was ever discovered. With no mother to guide them, the oldest sister Cate vows to look after and protect her younger siblings from the Brotherhood, who arrest anyone they suspect to be a witch. When a new governess arrives to look after them, Cate tries to safeguard their secret but the discovery of a prophecy in her mother's journal about three sisters, puts their future in jeopardy.
If you love witchy stories then you definitely need to pick up this title! It only took me a few pages to become hooked and then I found it nearly impossible to put down. Because of the period in which it is set, there is a culture of fear created by The Brotherhood, who warn people against anything to do with witchcraft. They lecture the town's people regularly about the evils of magic, as well as the fact that women should be obedient to men and often force young girls into marriage. Cate is headstrong and wishes to choose her own path but wonders whether she would be safer marrying the handsome Paul who she grew up alongside.
I quite liked Paul to start with but my heart was most definitely won over by Finn Belastra, the gorgeous gardener, whose family also owns and runs the local bookshop. He's intelligent and bookish and utterly wonderful! I thought he was a much better match for Cate because he treated her like an equal. He is also fiercely protective of his mother and sister and would do anything for them. There is one particular scene (those of you who have read it will immediately know which one I'm talking about!) which set my heart fluttering wildly. It was beautifully written and my favourite moment of the whole book.
Cate and her sisters Tess and Maura each have very different personalities. I enjoyed reading about each of them, although Cate was my favourite. Because of their shared secret they are extremely close but don't necessarily have the same plans for their future. Due to the discovery of an unexpected revelation in the prophecy, it will be interesting to see what happens to this sibling bond in the next instalment of the trilogy.
Because this is a book about witches I was expecting it to verge on the side of the paranormal, but in reality, it actually often came across more as historical fiction which I liked. There are quite a lot of magical occurences which take place throughout the story but this never distracted from the plot and the character development which was brilliantly executed.
I'm really looking forward to the story continuing in 'Star Cursed' which will be published in the UK by Puffin in 2014. (less)
There has been a lot of pre-publication buzz surrounding this debut by British author James Dawson, so I couldn't wait to pick it up as soon as it arr...moreThere has been a lot of pre-publication buzz surrounding this debut by British author James Dawson, so I couldn't wait to pick it up as soon as it arrived. I initially thought that it was going to be about witches and witchcraft but although that was an element of the story it didn't figure as predominantly as I'd imagined. The plot is actually more concerned with learning to start life over with a fresh slate in front of you and given that chance what you'll do with it. That's the dilemma that faces Lis London when she moves from her home in Wales to live with her sister in the town of Hollow Pike.
Told in a third person narrative, I was impressed that a male author could write so convincingly from a female point of view. The dialogue was fresh and engaging and I immediately felt a connection to Lis who was bullied at her old school and has moved away to escape the people who've taunted her for so long. The book conveys quite a serious message about the impact that bullying can have on people and this was dealt with in a sensitive manner but without pulling any punches about the damage that it can cause.
I found the start of the book a little slow going which mainly focused on introducing the key players and establishing the plot. However, the second half was much better with the tension really being ramped up, leading to an explosive ending which sent shivers down my spine. The story itself seemed to change direction quite rapidly, but I thought it cleverly combined different genres, mixing together a paranormal tale about witches with a contemporary modern day thriller. I would have liked to have seen more of the romance between Lis and local boy Danny, but on the other hand, it was nice to see girl power trumping the boys for once!
Overall 'Hollow Pike' was an enjoyable and exciting read which continually left me guessing about all the secrets that the characters were keeping hidden. I often didn't know who could be trusted and who was hiding something. I'm really looking forward to future offerings from this very talented British author. (less)
This is the sequel to ‘A Witch in Winter’ which was one of my favourite books of last year. I’ve been looking forward to catching-up with all the char...moreThis is the sequel to ‘A Witch in Winter’ which was one of my favourite books of last year. I’ve been looking forward to catching-up with all the characters ever since. I’ve no idea how Ruth Warburton has done it, but I have to say that ‘A Witch in Love’ is even more brilliant and even more compulsive reading than the first in the series. I picked this one up on Sunday afternoon, planning to just read a few chapters but then decided that there was no way I was going to be able to sleep that night until I’d finished it. So I was glued for the rest of the day!
At the beginning of the book we see Anna and Seth together, happy and in love. Their relationship seems to have grown stronger since we saw them last and from the outside they look like the perfect couple. Seth is kind and affectionate and isn’t afraid to show his love for Anna, who it is quite clear he adores. Anna however, still worries about the spell she cast on him and can’t shake the fear that his love for her may not be truly real. This is the crux of the problem which threatens to tear them apart. I really loved the scenes between the two of them in this book. The focus of the story is much more on the romantic side which meant lots of heart-thumping, tingly moments. There’s also a potential love triangle set-up for the end of the trilogy but I’m hoping against hope that Warburton doesn’t invest too much in this because surely Anna and Seth are perfect for each other.
Anna is determined to suppress her magic after warnings from the Ealdwitan in the first book. She can’t however deny who she is which leads to lots of problems with magical leaks. It was interesting to see her having to struggle with her true nature. After so many years of not knowing who she really was and what she could do, you would almost think it would be easy to return to that but having tasted magic, she finds it hard not to use it. There’s also a new threat this time around which leads to danger for Anna.
Another interesting aspect of the story was Anna’s determination to find out more about her mother and her mother’s family. There are plenty of secrets which have been kept hidden and these all threaten to come spilling out.
The latter part of the book threw in lots of surprises that I didn’t see coming. I literally couldn’t read fast enough! It was an explosive end and it was brilliantly written, combining excitement, sadness, sorrow and hope. I don’t know how I’m possibly going to be able to wait for the final instalment, which is entitled ‘A Witch Alone’. Fingers crossed that the publication date isn’t too far away. (less)
I've had my ups and downs with this series. I thought it got off to a good start and then dipped a little with the second book. I wasn't sure what to...moreI've had my ups and downs with this series. I thought it got off to a good start and then dipped a little with the second book. I wasn't sure what to expect from 'The Fire' but overall it was an enjoyable read and I'm glad I stuck with it and got to finish Whit and Wisty's journey with them. The ending was well written and thought out and featured the long awaited and looked forward to showdown between our hero and heroine and the dreaded The One.
Whit and Wisty's ultimate goal has always been to fulfil the prophecy and defeat The One but along the way they have learnt so many valuable life lessons and have really matured as characters. They've experienced a lot and they are no longer the naive and innocent teenagers that were first seen in 'Witch and Wizard'. They have a new determination and strength in this concluding instalment and they never shy away from making hard choices and defending the people they love.
The format of the book remains the same with short chapters, alternating between the viewpoints of Whit and his sister. I still find the fact that the chapters are so brief to be a little frustrating but I've gotten used to it by now. The fact that the end was near meant the tension was ramped up which was welcome and led to a pacy story which had me turning the pages quickly.
A resolution is finally reached between Whit and Celia, which I was intrigued to see as well as between the siblings and their parents. I won't say anymore because I don't want to reveal what these resolutions actually consist of, apart from to say that they perfectly fitted the overal plot of the story.
Co-authored between James Patterson and Jill Dembowski, this was an exciting and adventurous book which featured lots of twists and turns and had a satisfactory ending at long last. (less)
'A Witch Alone' is the third and concluding part of Ruth Warburton's trilogy about Anna Winterson, a teenage witch. I have read a lot of young-adult s...more'A Witch Alone' is the third and concluding part of Ruth Warburton's trilogy about Anna Winterson, a teenage witch. I have read a lot of young-adult series and I have to say, hand on heart, that this is one of my favourite. I have adored each instalment and will definitely be picking them off my shelves to read again and again.
After the ending of 'A Witch in Love', Anna wants to find out what really happened to her mother. She is also desperately trying to work out her own place and where she belongs. She thought she belonged with Seth but now she's struggling to make sense of her life without him. I adore Anna and Seth as a couple but they have always had hanging over them the love spell that Anna originally cast over him. This book finally puts that to rest in the most spectacular way. If you're a fan of these two characters then you will not be disappointed. I must admit that I wasn't too happy about the direction that things seemed to be taking in the previous book, with the introduction of Abe as a potential love rival. I needn't have worried about this though because Ruth Warburton deals with it perfectly and this is most definitely not your typical ya love triangle.
If I had to be picky about anything, it would probably be that I wished there was more Seth in the book. Although he does feature quite prominently in the second-half, he doesn't make much of an appearance at the start and I missed him! This was however necessary to the plot so I guess I can't complain too much. Readers are also treated to a fantastic chapter between him and Anna (if you've read the book then you'll know which one I mean and if you haven't then I won't spoil it for you) which was one of my all-time favourite moments.
The ending was incredible and had me glued to the pages. I actually had to stay up half the night to finish it because I was so engrossed. There are elements which will appeal to everyone and I loved the fact that it doesn't necessarily tie everything up with a neat bow. It's much more realistic but also remains true to the characters and the story.
Full of action, excitement, magic and romance, this was the perfect end to the series. I'm so sad that it's all over but also excited because I cannot wait to see what Ruth Warburton will write next. I shall be the first in the queue to get my hands on a copy. A wonderful British author and a five star series. These books are definitely not to be missed! (less)