Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Book Review: Born Wicked

I believe this book is now available to purchase, but I received Born Wicked, the first book in the Cahill Witch Chronicles, as an advanced reader copy. The book is by Jessica Spotswood, and along with a great title, has a girl who is potentially in her underclothing on the cover --

Born Wicked is a fiction that takes place in an alternate history. In this novel's world, the time is the late nineteenth century, the place is New England, and the problem is a world full of witches and rules. This review will have spoilers, so if you are interested in actually reading the novel, you can skip down to the last paragraph to read my summary.

The Cahill Witches are three sisters. This book primarily focused on the eldest sister, Kate -- I have a feeling the next couple of books will focus on the other sisters. They live in a world dominated by a religious order called the Brothers, men who make and enforce rules that essentially prevent women from having power, under the guise of seeking to protect everyone from witchcraft. According to the Brothers, women have two choices once they reach the age of 17 - they can get married, or they can join the Sisterhood.

The Sisterhood is supposed to be like a less educated, less powerful, overly pious female sect, but is apparently actually a good cover for witches.

Cate is almost 17, and so has to figure out if she wants to get hitched or join the Sisterhood. While pondering this life-long decision (which will ultimately get taken out of her hands, anyway), she is also investigating a prophecy that she finds out about near the beginning of the book. The prophecy indicates that she and her two sisters were foretold, and can either bring women & witches back into a powerful position, or can bring about death and horror which essentially sounds like the Burning Times in Europe.

Overall, I wasn't a huge fan of this novel. Like a lot of young adult fiction, I felt like there were some interesting ideas, but wasn't particularly fond of the manner in which those ideas were executed. The writing was not bad, it just wasn't of high caliber. And the ideas were okay, but I found some of them rather far-fetched (I'm not even talking about the witch stuff).

This novel had a lot of potential, which it did not live up to. I do not recommend reading it.

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