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Tag Archives: witches

Review: Born Wicked

Review: Born Wicked

Title: Born Wicked
Author: Jessica Spotswood
Published: 2012
Length:  330 pages

My star rating: ★ ★ ★ ★

In this alternate universe, late nineteenth-century New England exists as its own political entity run by a puritanical patriarchy called the Brotherhood. Cate Cahill, sixteen, has grown up being taught that she is inherently wicked–and not only because she and her younger sisters are all witches. More than a hundred years before Cate’s time, New England was a bastion of magic, religious freedom, and female power, but now the Brothers keep close tabs on girls’ behavior. Any girl who steps out of line can expect either to be sent to an insane asylum or a prison ship, and at seventeen, every girl must declare her intentions: to marry or to join a religious order called the Sisterhood. As Cate’s seventeenth birthday rapidly approaches, she becomes increasingly anxious to protect her vulnerable younger sisters even as she learns yet more dangerous secrets that further complicate her already-limited choices.

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Review: The Witch of Belladonna Bay

Review: The Witch of Belladonna Bay

Title: The Witch of Belladonna Bay
Author: Suzanne Palmieri
Published: 2014
Length: 350 pages

My star rating: ★ ★ ¾

After fifteen years away, Bronwyn Whalen returns home to Magnolia Creek, Alabama, when she learns that her younger brother Patrick has been imprisoned for the murder of her best friend Charlotte. Patrick’s conviction also leaves his motherless eleven-year-old daughter, Byrd, alone save for an elderly great-aunt and an alcoholic grandfather. As the two lost Whalen girls come together, each desperate to free Patrick from prison, their respective magical powers collide and strange events begin to unfold in Magnolia Creek. Told from the alternating points-of-view of Bronwyn and Byrd, The Witch of Belladonna Bay attempts to be equal parts coming-of-age and self-discovery tales and murder mystery, with limited success.

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Review: The Dream Thieves

Review: The Dream Thieves

Title: The Dream Thieves
Author: Maggie Stiefvater
Published: 2013
Length: 448 pages

My star rating: ★ ★ ½

In this sequel to the magical Raven Boys, Ronan Lynch struggles to cope with the demons of his past, demons which sometimes literally pursue him–in the form of monsters that emerge from his dreams. Meanwhile, he and his best friends Adam Parrish and Richard Gansey III continue to pursue Owen Glendower, the legendary Welsh king that Gansey believes to be buried–though sleeping, not dead–within the hills that surround their Virginia town.

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Review: Blue is for Nightmares

Review: Blue is for Nightmares

Title: Blue is for Nightmares
Author: Laurie Faria Stolarz
Published: 2003
Length: 283 pages

My star rating: ★ ★ ¾

[10/15 novels in November]

Teenage witch Stacey Brown suffers from terrible nightmares, dreams that warn of imminent danger for her best friend and roommate, Drea. By the time she warns Drea and they decide to take action, an apparent stalker has begun sending threatening notes and packages to their dorm room. Can magic help Stacey save her friend’s life with time running out?

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Review: When Autumn Leaves

Review: When Autumn Leaves

Title: When Autumn Leaves
Author: Amy S. Foster
Published: 2009
Length: 287 pages

My star rating: ★ ★ ★

[3/15 novels in November]

When Autumn Avening’s Sisters tell her she must leave her longtime island home, they give her a year to put her affairs in order and to choose a successor to her High Priestess-like position. Over the next year, Autumn observes and counsels many different women on the island—from Ellie, the shy and reclusive researcher for the local newspaper, to Sylvie, a spirited teenager whose mother is dying of cancer—in an effort to decide which one can replace her as the town’s “wise woman.”

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Review: Once a Witch

Review: Once a Witch

Title: Once a Witch
Author: Carolyn MacCullough
Published: 2009
Length: 292 pages

My star rating:  ★ ★ ★ ★ 

Tamsin Greene comes from a family of witches. On the night of her birth, her grandmother predicted that she would be a powerful “beacon.” She disappoints everyone, however, by being the only Greene who displays no magical Talent at all. Constantly overshadowed by her older sister Rowena, Tamsin attends school in New York City and takes refuge in her very un-magical life there…until she meets a young NYU professor who mistakes her for Rowena. She agrees to help him in hopes of proving her worth, but in doing so, she reignites a centuries-old conflict that threatens both the future and the past of her entire family.

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