Tuesday, January 25, 2011
Review: Always a Witch
Author: Carolyn MacCullough
Publisher: Clarion Books (August 1, 2011)
Summary: Since the gripping conclusion of Once a Witch, Tamsin Greene has been haunted by her grandmother’s prophecy that she will soon be forced to make a crucial decision—one so terrible that it could harm her family forever. When she discovers that her enemy, Alistair Knight, went back in time to Victorian-era New York in order to destroy her family, Tamsin is forced to follow him into the past. Stranded all alone in the nineteenth century, Tamsin soon finds herself disguised as a lady’s maid in the terrifying mansion of the evil Knight family, avoiding the watchful eye of the vicious matron, La Spider, and fending off the advances of Liam Knight. As time runs out, both families square off in a thrilling display of magic. And to her horror, Tamsin finally understands the nature of her fateful choice.
First Impressions: In my IMM post, I mentioned that NetGalley books would take me longer to read, because I had to be on my computer. Well, if all the books I get are this good, that won't be a problem! I was so enthralled, I could hardly drag myself away.
Plot: At the end of Once a Witch, Alistair Knight had escaped into the past to try and prevent the Greene family from stripping his family's talents. The Knights were drinking human blood to strengthen their talents and prolong their lives, and it is up to Tamsin Greene to find a way to Travel into the past to protect the future.
This is a very gripping story! The Knights' house is like a house of horrors - it even has the requisite secret passages! (When I build my own house I am sorely tempted to put in at least one.) Tamsin must find a way to not only keep Alistair from changing the past, but also help the Greenes strengthen the Domani so that the Knights will never be able to retrieve their powers. There isn't a ton of action, but when it starts up it is very exciting.
Characters: Tamsin is so awesome! She's a very strong character, and she is even more amazingly in this book than the first. There isn't a huge amount of focus on her relationship with Gabriel, since they are apart for much of the book, but they remain a realistic, great couple. The Knight family and past Greenes are interesting, but the book is definitely All About Tamsin.
Style: I love the first person narration style of this book. While it can drive me up a wall in books with characters I find less pleasant, in this case it keeps the moral dilemma of Tamsin's choice interesting and immediate, and the action up close and personal.
Wrap up: A strong conclusion to an awesome beginning. I really enjoyed this book. My only complaint would be that I wish for a little more information after the climax. Once Tamsin has made her choice, I'd like a little more information about what she does with herself and whether there were any further repercussions from her time traveling. It ended a little abruptly. But I still loved it.