The Literary Bystander's Reviews > Book of Shadows

Book of Shadows by Cate Tiernan
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's review
Aug 14, 2011

liked it
Read from August 29 to September 09, 2011

Book of Shadow, which is the first book of the series, essentially just introduces us to the main characters and premise of the story. Morgan Rowland, normal teenager gets captivated by the world of Wicca and discovers she has powers when newcomer and sexy Cal arrives in their town.

Morgan Rowlands was, for the most part a pretty likable and relatable character. I liked that we get to see how grounded and ordinary she really is - as seen with her happy relationships with her family and friends, especially best friends Robbie and Bree. I felt that Morgan's voice did ring true and almost authentic to that of a teenage girl. There were bits of dialogue and monologue that just sounded so... teenagerie, which made it all the most realistic for me. Like how I understands Morgan and Bree's attraction towards Cal. I never believed for a second that Morgan was TRULY in love with Cal, but I can see why she felt that way, and why she thought that he was "different than the other guys I knew" with their supposed strong connection and such. Same with how Bree reacts to all this, and while I can just roll my eyes and just go: oh PLEASE - I understand that it's realistic that we tend to feel like this when we're infatuated.

Although that wasn't to say that there weren't flaws with this book. It had a relatively slow start, but that's understandable - because we are just being introduced to Cal, Wicca and the forming of their new coven. For me, it wasn't until the tension and conflict of the love triangle escalating between Bree/Cal/Morgan are blown up in their faces - did things get far more interesting for this book. And what's more, I wished that the plot of Morgan discovering more about her powers took more focus than the slow burning pace of Bree/Cal/Morgan love triangle - however plotline becomes more of the forefront in the later books, so that was fine with me.

The prose suffered from a lot more telling rather than showing, and there there were some tidbits Morgan tells us about certain characters that don't play a major part so there is not need to tell us. (Example: "Is he straight?" Justin Barlett wondered aloud. Justin's been out of the closet since seventh grade. - pg 6 = why did we need to know that. Take out the last sentence and we would have figured that out already.)

Another gripe I had with this book was Cal. I felt that his character was just so dry and boring. He really was nothing but a designated love interest and info-dumper of all things Wicca. In Morgan's perspective, we're supposed to get this image of Cal being ridiculously good looking, confident, laidback, charming, mysterious and considerate of all. However, for me - I personally thought that he was nothing short of being a combination of: Damen (Evermore), Shay (Nightshade), Ben Ravencroft (Scooby Doo and the Witch's Ghost) and a younger, creepy version of Mr. O'Neill (Daria).

I gave this book 3/5 stars.

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08/29/2011 page 23
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