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Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Review: Witches of East End by Melissa de la Cruz

Title: Witches of East End
Author: Melissa de la Cruz
Series: Beauchamp Family #1
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Release Date: 06/21/11
But the Book:
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The three Beauchamp women -- Joanna and her daughters Freya and Ingrid -- live in North Hampton, out on the tip of Long Island. Their beautiful, mist-shrouded town seems almost stuck in time, and all three women lead seemingly quiet, uneventful existences. But they are harboring a mighty secret -- they are powerful witches banned from using their magic. Joanna can resurrect people from the dead and heal the most serious of injuries. Ingrid, her bookish daughter, has the ability to predict the future and weave knots that can solve anything from infertility to infidelity. And finally, there's Freya, the wild child, who has a charm or a potion that can cure most any heartache.

For centuries, all three women have been forced to suppress their abilities. But then Freya, who is about to get married to the wealthy and mysterious Bran Gardiner, finds that her increasingly complicated romantic life makes it more difficult than ever to hide her secret. Soon Ingrid and Joanna confront similar dilemmas, and the Beauchamp women realize they can no longer conceal their true selves. They unearth their wands from the attic, dust off their broomsticks, and begin casting spells on the townspeople. It all seems like a bit of good-natured, innocent magic, but then mysterious, violent attacks begin to plague the town. When a young girl disappears over the Fourth of July weekend, they realize it's time to uncover who and what dark forces are working against them.

With a brand-new cast of characters, a fascinating and fresh world to discover, and a few surprise appearances from some of the Blue Blood fan favorites, this is a page-turning, deliciously fun, magical summer read fraught with love affairs, witchcraft, and an unforgettable battle between good and evil.

Plot: 3 Stars
For the first three-quarters of this novel, I was left thinking at the end of every chapter, "Where is this story going?" It seemed like a lot of nothing was happening in this small town on Long Island. The three main characters had their own mostly separate storylines, and they didn't seem to be going anywhere. There was some mystery elements here and there, but no progress was made for the majority of the novel. And then, with about seventy pages left, everything started to tie together. I wish the author hadn't waited so long to tie all of these plotlines together, because it left the end feeling a bit rushed. Also, I was completely confused why a couple characters from the author's Blue Bloods series needed to crossover. Their appearances seemed completely arbitrary to the story, but maybe it'll make more sense in future books.

Pace: 3 Stars
Every time the pace would start flowing really well, the author would change points of view. I understand that the point of view needed to change between the three main characters due to their separate storylines (that would eventually come together). But the actually points in which the point of view would change was like a mini-cliffhanger over and over. Sometimes they were even less like cliffhangers and more like cutting a scene in half into separate chapters, and then pushing a chapter or two from a different character's point of view in the middle. It took a while to get used to the jumping around that the author did throughout the novel.

Characters: 3 Stars
Freya could have been a very likeable character if it wasn't for some of her actions. I just couldn't get past her trangressions, even when we learned a bit more near the end of the novel. Ingrid, her sister, was probably my favorite character. She was a librarian and I really resonated with her love for and care of the books. Joanna, their mother, was a strange character. I never connected with her, but I think it's because she had a lot less face time as compared to her daughters. There was a lot of family history that was alluded to, but never explained all that much, which I found kind of frustrating.

Cover: 3 Stars
This cover looks too much like the covers for the author's Blue Blood series. While there was the tiniest bit of crossover in regards to characters and the two series are in the same world, I think this novel could've had a cover that stood out against her YA books a little more. Since this cover looks so similar, some may confuse it with a YA novel and it's definitely not. Otherwise, I do not have a problem with the cover. The angle of the cover model is unique, and her eyes really draw you in. The pink leaves were a very rich, saturated pink that draws the eye away from any book it's shelved near. I do not know which sister the cover model is depicting, but maybe future covers will help clue me in.

Overall: 3 Stars

Disclosure: I borrowed this novel from the local library.

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