Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Born Wicked Book 3

Jessica Spotswood's debut novel Born Wicked  is engaging and enticing. I think the thing I loved the most about this book is that in some ways it's historical fiction though it seems to be an alternative history.

It's the late 1800's. Witches are being hunted, and the U.S. is being ran by a Calvinistic religious group referred to as "The Brotherhood," while the mid-east is liberal and progressive. The thing I love about the alternative history and the world Spotswood built is that most of the things is that in some degree or another most of these things have happened, just not at the same time.

Cate (the MC) promised her dying mother that she would keep her two younger sisters safe. A promise she vows to keep. The only problem is there all witches who sometimes can't control their magic. Their own father doesn't know about it, because mom didn't think he could handle the magic and he's gone a lot. Cate is totally responsible for her sisters. Added to that is a well written love triangle. I enjoyed the triangle too. It's not as angsty as the Twilight triangle, but I think to some degree it's more believable. Cate's a pretty girl though I didn't get the impression that she was glamorous. Her family isn't rich but she's of a certain social class, and expected to act like it. She doesn't. She spent years in farm dresses and likes to climb trees. The boy she's expected to marry is her childhood best friend. She does care about him, but things change. People change, and she's moved on. His four year absence helped that. The boy she loves is a shop keeper's son whose family has been targeted by the brotherhood as potential traitors. A family of witches with too much magic really can't afford the association, not to mention he's now employed as her gardener.

This book was fun. I read the whole thing in half a day, and everytime I told myself one more chapter then I'll unpack it didn't happen until I got to the end. I remember thinking to myself several times "Wow, I'm having fun today." (I know this sounds trivial but really I've been sick for seven months and don't really enjoy living in the tundra, so feeling like the girl that reviewed 52 books and wrote 2.5 in Austin was great). But I have to say some of the choices the characters made seemed to be for the sole purpose of adding conflict. I guess that's okay, but I wish it wasn't so obvious. And I HATED the ending. I just don't find Cate's choice believable. I can't tell you what happened that has me so peeved without lots of spoilers, but I'll try to sum it up the best I can. It has become possible for her to get what she wants. Given the set of circumstances that allow this, I don't think the people she's most worried about by the end of the book can really harm her. The book actually even says this. Then a few pages later she does exactly what they wanted anyhow, leaving the reader jaded and unsatisfied. For me, it took this book from 5 stars to 3. That being said, I will totally read the sequel. Meanwhile, I've read books that got 5 stars, but I'm not that interested in the sequel. LOL. So I hope this helps.


  1. It sounds like an interesting book--witch hunts had some terrible results, but it's always intriguing when an author turns it around so that witches actually existed.

  2. I've seen this around. The cover is really eye catching, and I love historical fiction.

  3. I hate when the writer forces characters to make choices for conflict rather than because of who the characters are. Conflict should come from the characters personalities. Not author contrivances.

  4. Love the title and the cover! It sounds like a fun read :D

  5. I know what you mean about books that get five stars yet I'm not compelled to read the sequel. Great review!