Alanna M's Reviews > Once a Witch

Once a Witch by Carolyn MacCullough
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Jan 21, 11

bookshelves: fantasy, romance, young-adult
Read on January 05, 2011 — I own a copy, read count: 1

Despite a promising start, this book really didn't turn out very good for me. I had a hard time swallowing the resolution, since it didn't involve any measure of apology on the part of her family for estranging her all those years. One moment she's the bitter black sheep with no measure of witchy Talent, the next she is the most powerful witch of them all, ready to defend her family with her life despite the perpetuated lies they used to alienate her since she was 8 years old. The book seemed to be headed in a certain moral direction, one which celebrated individuality rather than following blindly in the footsteps of our ancestors, but in its stead there seemed a message that our destinies are tied whether we like it or not and, in effect, we don't actually have a choice in the things we do. Perhaps others will get something different from this book, but for me it was a major disappointment. I also felt the romance was more effectual when both main characters were sharing in their feelings of seclusion due to their own opposite differences. It was an interesting dynamic that the ending destroyed. While I know a story that starts out with a witch foretold to be most powerful, but who shows no signs of such, will inevitably gain the powers despite the delay... I kind of wanted it to go in the other, more unique direction. As a result I finished the book feeling emotionally hollow rather than fulfilled.
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Alexandra I have yet to finish this book, yet I agree with you on many fronts. Besides the things you've already pointed out about the theme, message and romantic subplot (if you can even call it that) falling flat, it also grated on my "sensible reading buds" for other reasons. First of all the prose...it simply recurringly chafed at my nerves, but I overlooked that as secondary to substance. I don't know about you, but I also felt the acute lack of character development throughout the whole book so far...as with the failed attempt at a suspenseful, fast-paced story-line easily degenerating into a choppy and underdeveloped plot, the characters appear to simply "land", instead of flowing smoothly, in various states of...dare I call it, development? I am more inclined to describe it as you did though : "One moment she's the bitter black sheep with no measure of witchy Talent, the next she is the most powerful witch of them all, ready to defend her family with her life." Yes, that's about it, I guess, an incredible high-jump situational read with low-definition chars...So sad, since it could have been so much better...


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