* Prices may differ from that shown
==Synopsis of the book:==
There are three very unusual ladies that live in North Hampton. First there is the Mother Joanna Bauchamp, then there is Ingrid and lastly there is Freya. What makes this family different is they are all witches with different magic skills. However the ladies have been banned from using their talents by the Local Council, but having complied for a long time each one of them feels the need to try and help their towns people in various ways. Surely this can't hurt?
Despite having been alive for hundreds of years Freya has finally found the man of her dreams in Bran. She is a very outgoing lady who has had many sexual encounters with members of either sex. Now she is ready or so she thinks to commit to one man and is looking forward to her engagement to this wealthy and desirable man. But something is wrong and Freya can't quite put her finger on it and instead of enjoying her engagement party she finds herself wondering what is causing her this minor blot on the landscape.
==My thoughts on this book:==
Maybe I have read too many supernatural stories in the past few years but I found this one very poor and I really did not enjoy it. I say that because the majority of these books I have enjoyed but I'm sorry to say in my opinion this was one too many. This is the first in what I believe will be a series of stories dealing with these witches and it was written in 2011.
Melissa de la Cruz is a best selling author even before she embarked on this new book. This Philoppino author has already written 20 pieces of fiction in various series of stories. Her most popular of these is the Au Pairs series that are directed at the teen market. However for me this was a poor introduction into this new witch series and I certainly would not be looking to try any of her supplementary stories although I feel at some stage I must try something else she has written because I cannot believe it can be as disappointing as this one.
Admittedly I do usually take a while to warm to a new author but there are many reasons why I do not think I will ever like anything from this series and I am not sure its an age thing, me being many years past my teens. But I did approach this novel with an open mind and I have previously enjoyed both Vampire and Witch stories I have tried.
I am always on the look out for different novels and although crime stories are my favourite I do try different style of fiction. I discovered this book in my local bookshop as there was a special feature of the author and her new novel. And despite the pretty girl on the cover it was not this that attracted me to purchase this one. Firstly I quite liked the title it had me intrigued and I wondered if it would be anything like the Witches of Eastwick (It wasn't). So I flipped the book over and had a look at the summary of the story. This was quite short and only two short paragraphs, but in those short passages it wetted my appetite with concepts three witches starting to practice their forbidden skills again.
The story started with a fittingly with a prologue. This was about three pages long and it set the scene well and made this seem a very mysterious story. Yes I would have preferred a little more depth and background to it, but it certainly left a lot of possibilities open and I was later to discover that this start did have relevance to the rest of the book. Because all to often I find in prologues they really have little to do with the story that follows them.
The story started at Freya's engagement party with her fear that something wasn't quite right despite her love for Bran. I initially liked the depth and the background the author gave us on Freya and in following on Joanna and Ingrid. I liked the way the writer moved between this very contrasting and usually ladies. They where all good characters and I'm sure anyone who reads this book will have their favourite but regardless while they rarely appear all together in the same scene, they author skilfully switches between them so they are never far away in the story.
However, I soon started to feel I could not really relate to what I was reading. Maybe in part it was because all the leading characters are all ladies and in many ways despite being a Witch story it was a bit of a chic lit. Although I have read quite a few of this style of story in the past and despite sometimes struggling to understand the depth and feeling expressed I can appreciate a good story that is full of ups and downs.
But no it was more much more than that. It was because I found the story unlikely and hard to believe in especially when the past was brought into it. I found it impossible to relate to and because these ladies had such special skills I found myself asking, having dabbled in magic again why did they simple not solve all the problems that surrounded them with their recently acquired old skills. And while the author was at pains to introduce mystery into the story I always just felt these ladies always had the upper hand with their magic.
The book was appealing in the sense it had short concise chapters that made it very easy to read. With a real unpredictability about it as at no time until the very end did I know or understand the answer to the mystery. Although I did think the concluding chapter could have been longer, more complex and this would have made it more exciting and worthwhile. As it was for me it was a bit of a damp squid and while the author explained everything so it made sense I still was not convinced by it.
The story dealt with some adult scenes and to be honest I thought in the context of the story these devalued it. I thought it would have been more powerful to have feeling, thoughts and senses of characters like Freya rather than focusing on her lust between her and the lead male characters. I thought this was a mistake and I did not think these scenes where particularly well written and I did not enjoy reading them.
And while author worked hard creating suspense in what was happening in North Hampton to its people I found what was happening in the town in some respects unbelievable and a little confusing.
It all made little sense until the ending and so I felt a lot of it just washed over me.
I am sure this book would be preferred by Women as all its lead characters are women and throughout the story they shared their thoughts, feelings and emotions with the reader. I liked all these characters probably because they where all so different from one another. The author was good at always making sure they acted in their established characters. This helped me understand them, I just found it hard to believe that they should all decide without consulting each other that after not practising Witchcraft for generations to all start at the same time. I would have expected Joanna the Mother of the two Witches to be more worldly wise, but for me she seemed to lack common sense and would do anything to please a four year old boy. This given what had happened to her in the past I found odd and puzzling.
The length of the book was in my opinion a little too short. I think the author could have expanded the concluding chapters. This would have added to the suspense and increased the readers excitement with a longer finish to the story, because I felt it was a little too simple and too easy given all the build up to it.
I would not recommend this supernatural piece of fiction as a worthwhile read. For me the story was hard to believe and as a result I felt I could not relate to it. With all the lead characters being women and witches at that, I found some of there emotions a little hard to understand. Although they where very different in personalities there was something fascinating about each one. The stories ending I thought should have been longer and more complex as it was a real let down as it finished far too quickly.
More about the author: www.melissadelacruz.com
Year of publication: 2011
Thanks for reading my review.
This review is published under my user name on both Ciao and Dooyoo.
© CPTDANIELS April 2012.