Friday, July 15, 2011

Once a Witch by Carolyn MacCullough

Tamsin Greene comes from an ancient line of witches. The day she was born her grandmother predicted she would be more powerful than anyone in her family, their beacon. The problem is, Tamsin never developed a Talent. So at seventeen, Tamsin is an outcast among her own family, and she attends school far away from them in Manhattan. But while home from school, she is mistaken for her very Talented sister, Rowena, by a professor who wants her to find... a clock. Tamsin takes the job, hoping for some recognition from her family. Tamsin's search for this heirloom sends her on a quest through time that unveils the dark past of her family, the true intentions of the professor, and unlocks the power she's always had within.

So Once a Witch was recommended to me by my cool friend from Australia, Kate (you should check out her blog here!), and I'm so glad she did. I really enjoyed reading it. I thought the relationships were well-developed and the storyline had a perfect, flowing pace.

Normally, I'm really not a big witch fan. Other than Harry Potter, I can't help but think of pointy hatted women with warts, and that's really not a happy sight. (Be pleased I didn't put up a picture. Believe me, I thought about it.) But the witches in Once a Witch have Talents, meaning each one can basically do one thing really well, and that's it. Some have more than one Talent, and some do potions and things, but they don't carry around wands and say incantations to turn you into a toad. For example, Tamsin's aunt can freeze people, not literally freeze them, but make their body stop. Completely. Which is pretty cool. Other people can find things someone is looking for, manipulate weather, and see into the future, but none of them can naturally do them all.

I found Tamsin easy to relate with (really, who doesn't feel overshadowed and stupid compared to someone?) and loving. She comes to her annoying sister's aid when she most needs it, despite having harbored bad feelings towards her for forever. Rowena is also a good character. She undergoes more changes than any other character, in my opinion, and becomes a much more likable and better person for it.

The secondary characters are great in Once a Witch. We have Tamsin's slightly unhinged roommate, Agatha,  Aunt Beatrice who has completely lost her marbles, and swoon-worthy Gabriel, who has the coolest Talent that I'd really like to learn more about!

The plot is fast-paced, keeping everything interesting. Once we get all of the major character introductions over with the book just runs away with the reader in tow. It is just complicated enough to keep you questioning, but not so complicated that you don't get it. The time traveling sequences were at first unexpected, but consistently my favorite parts.

Once a Witch is definitely an adventure you'll be tempted to read in one sitting, and can easily do so without an ounce of regret. Now may I please have the sequel?

Risk a paper cut? Once a Witch is magical (Hahaha. Pun.) and if that doesn't heal any incurred injuries, what will?

To buy: Amazon
             Barnes & Noble

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