Rating: One out of five stars
I wanted to give this book a chance. I wanted to rate this book five stars. As I continued reading it, I was willing to overlook the simplistic writing and call it a guilty pleasure. But I can’t overlook an entire book just because the synopsis is the best part.
I’ll start with the literary tactics, which begins with the fact that this series has two authors. It’s obvious that this book is the result of a compromise between the two, as the writing styles do not match the supposed tone of the book. The overall voice of the work seems like it wants to be omniscient, but each paragraph ends up switching perspectives between characters. The main character barely had character development, and the rest of the cast fluctuated between in and out of character dialogue. The book is littered with unnecessary flashbacks that provide known, repetitive information. Allusions to Shakespeare’s “The Tempest” and Ophelia are made once each, as if the authors need to prove to their readers that they are well-read. The plot goes out of its way to specifically mention on multiple occasions the parallel between the main characters and Romeo and Juliet. Incorrect grammar becomes a distracting problem as well, an example being “Some truce’s couldn’t last…” (Curse, 263).
On narrowing the scope to specific events in the book, it was never mentioned how the immortal falcons of the families worked; why or how they were immortal, and how they could magically fly “in an instant” across countries. During the climax of the first book, the three witches can somehow shoot energy and lightning from their hands without it ever being explained. Later on, a ghost is so passionate with anger that he becomes a physical materialization. This writing is the result of the lack of rules in the book’s world. These rules were never established, and the world of the book thus leaves the reader confused and disappointed.
I saw only two positive aspects throughout the book. As the first, it parallels Gothic literature with the inclusion of literal daemons. The second positive aspect is the inclusion of a gay couple, whose love for each other is written better than the “love” between the two main characters who have barely spent time with one another. I was more interested in the dynamic between Eddie and Kialish than anything else.
Looking even further into the book will show the singular use of g*psy, an ethnic slur. What really made me want to throw the book against the wall was the description of a ghost dressed as a “Jamestown Puritan.” Basic history will show that the Jamestown colony in Virginia was a completely different settlement than that of the Puritans in Massachusetts. A simple search online would show this.
There is an author’s note before the beginning of the book which states that one of the authors, Nancy Holder, “explored one of the Wicca traditions under the guidance of a Wiccan high priest.” This book does for Wicca what “Fifty Shades of Grey” does for BDSM. Wicca is a real tradition, believed by real people, and yet the authors romanticize it and twist it for the sake of their cliché plot.
This book is better left closed.
This review can also be found on Goodreads.
Picture from Amazon.