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Friday, November 6, 2009

Review: Once a Witch by Carolyn MacCullough

Title: Once a Witch
Author: Carolyn MacCullough
Genre: Young Adult
Release date: 09/15/09
Tamsin Greene comes from a long line of witches, and she was supposed to be one of the most Talented among them. But Tamsin's magic never showed up. Now seventeen, Tamsin attends boarding school in Manhattan, far from her family. But when a handsome young professor mistakes her for her very Talented sister, Tamsin agrees to find a lost family heirloom for him. The search—and the stranger—will prove to be more sinister than they first appeared, ultimately sending Tamsin on a treasure hunt through time that will unlock the secret of her true identity, unearth the sins of her family, and unleash a power so vengeful that it could destroy them all. This is a spellbinding display of storytelling that will exhilarate, enthrall, and thoroughly enchant.

Plot: 3 Stars
The title leads you to believe this book is going to be all about magic, or "talents". But you only get to see a couple different talents that some characters have. With the time travel aspect, the book feels a little too close to science fiction. Although there wasn't anything I specifically didn't like about the story, there also wasn't really anything that blew me away.

Pace: 3 Stars
The majority of the book moved at an adequate pace, but the end was rushed and jumbled. I needed to re-read multiple parts of the last chapter (before the epilogue) to try to wrap my head around what was happening. It seemed like the author was trying to shove too much action into only a couple of pages and some of the descriptions got muddled along the way.

Characters: 3 Stars
I liked the main characters, and most of the lesser characters, but I felt like I didn't learn much about them. You got a little bit of background about Tamsin and Gabriel, but not much else. Although I'm glad the story wasn't bogged down in little details that weren't relevant, I wish there could've been a little more exploration and depth in many of the characters.

Cover: 3.5 Stars
The cover is eye catching, but when I look back on the book, it really doesn't tell you enough about the book. I like that the cover model is blurred so that you can make your own mental picture of Tamsin. I just wish there could've been a couple little details added in that tied in to the story.

Overall: 3 Stars

Disclosure: I bought this book for my own enjoyment.

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