Sunday, December 9, 2012

Book Review: Born Wicked

Everybody knows Cate Cahill and her sisters are eccentric. Too pretty, too reclusive, and far too educated for their own good. But the truth is even worse: they’re witches. And if their secret is discovered by the priests of the Brotherhood, it would mean an asylum, a prison ship—or an early grave.

Before her mother died, Cate promised to protect her sisters. But with only six months left to choose between marriage and the Sisterhood, she might not be able to keep her word... especially after she finds her mother’s diary, uncovering a secret that could spell her family’s destruction. Desperate to find alternatives to their fate, Cate starts scouring banned books and questioning rebellious new friends, all while juggling tea parties, shocking marriage proposals, and a forbidden romance with the completely unsuitable Finn Belastra.

If what her mother wrote is true, the Cahill girls aren’t safe. Not from the Brotherhood, the Sisterhood—not even from each other. Quoted from Goodreads


I saw this book almost a year ago and thought it was beautiful.  Granted, I thought it was set in the roaring '20s, not the late 1800s, but still, the cover is gorgeous. I'm kind of sad it took me this long to read it, and a little bit happy as well--sad because I've been missing out on this book for the past 10 months, happy because I only have to wait another 6 months for the second book.

I'll warn you from the beginning, this is not a fast paced book--I stayed up till 1:30 last night because I couldn't put it down, but it's not heart-pounding suspense.  It's built more on tension than action.  Cate's time/childhood is running out.  She has to decide who she wants to marry or if she wants to join the Sisterhood before her seventeenth birthday, all while protecting her sisters and their secret from both the Brotherhood and the Sisterhood.

The beauty of this series is I'm not exactly sure how it's going to end well. Of course, I'm hoping Cate ends up with the boy she loves and a nice garden, but as for the bigger picture?  I'm not really liking the two options the author presents, so I'm excited to see what the author will do with it. Don't get me wrong, I absolutely hate the Brotherhood. They were so utterly stifling, it drove me crazy.  But then (spoiler alert) the Sisterhood, who Cate finds out are witches working against the Brotherhood, were also so unlikable I didn't really want them to win either.  Honestly, this is one of the things I loved (and hated) most about the book. I'm rooting for Cate and her sisters, but not really for anyone else, and I'm interested to see what will happen in the next books.

Cate and her sisters really are the heart of this book.  Cate's the practical one, too young, with too much responsibility heaped on her shoulders. She's strong but very human. Maura's fifteen.  Yes, at times she drove me crazy and I didn't like her all that much, but again. Fifteen. (You all remember the fifth Harry Potter book, right?) Enough said.  Last, there's Tess.  She's the sweet one, the one who's older than her years.  Honestly, I have a bad feeling she might be the Beth of the series (or Rue if you want a more modern equivalent), but it only makes me love her more. The relationship between these three is genuine.  They fought, disagreed, and basically came across as sisters, but when push came to shove, they were there for each other.  Still, I'm kind of afraid for  them. I mean, who knows what will happen with the prophecy . . .

Ah, the ending. I loved it.  It was beautifully painful, full of dashed hopes and people you love to hate.  It wasn't entirely unexpected, but it still was sad. I absolutely can't wait for the next book.

This book was a fun 3.5 stars for me. I enjoyed the setting and the expansion of the Salem Witch Trials into an alternate history.  I liked Cate and her sisters, partly because they were so human.  They weren't always brave and good, but they were trying, especially Cate.  I loved the romance.  It was a bit rushed when you look at it on a timeline, but it didn't feel that way.  The characters were developed, and their relationship fit and was sweet. Plus while there were hints of the dreaded love triangle, it never really happened. If you like historical romance with a paranormal twist, this book is perfect. Now enjoy the book preview below.  If focus's on the romance, leaving out a lot of the tension in the plot, but it's still fun.

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