Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Once a Witch by Carolyn MacCullough

Once A Witch

Tamsin Greene comes from a long line of witches, and she was supposed to be one of the most Talented among them. But Tamsin's magic never showed up. Now seventeen, Tamsin attends boarding school in Manhattan, far from her family. But when a handsome young professor mistakes her for her very Talented sister, Tamsin agrees to find a lost family heirloom for him. The search—and the stranger—will prove to be more sinister than they first appeared, ultimately sending Tamsin on a treasure hunt through time that will unlock the secret of her true identity, unearth the sins of her family, and unleash a power so vengeful that it could destroy them all. This is a spellbinding display of storytelling that will exhilarate, enthrall, and thoroughly enchant.

This was a good story.  Just not a great story.  I think I had trouble connecting with Tamsin and she was really the whole story so therein lies the problem.  Tamsin was supposed to be the witch of all time, greatest to be born in her family and she's a flop.  She didn't get her powers.  And it doesn't really seem like her family rubs her nose in it except possibly her older sister Rowena, who being a bitch anyway, would do that as a bigger sister.  That's what they do.  I had an older sister.
But Tamsin has this New York size chip on her shoulder, so big that she pretends to be her sister and that's where the trouble begins and it takes two books to fix her mistakes.

Yeah, there's some budding romance with childhood friend, just returned to the clan and looking much more sexy, Gabriel.  I liked him.  He was teasing, wary, friendly and always looking out for Tamsin.  More so than she deserved.

I know heroines are supposed to be risk takers, all bravado, make sure all the harm comes to herself and no one else, but Tamsin just doesn't think before she literally leaps.  If she'd just have shared once with someone then she could have saved what she valued so much and I'm realizing this review is spilling over into the next book, so I'll stop here.

Rowena was bossy and unlikable.  Tamsin, well I just couldn't get behind.  So you aren't like everyone else in your family.  That happens sometimes.  Deal with it.  I just didn't buy that as her reason for her angst and the impetus for starting this huge problem she started.  I loved Gabriel.  As I said, he was loyal, willing to do whatever was necessary to help Tamsin, and very protective.  I like protective guys.  Not smothering, just protective.  And Agatha, her roommate seemed great, what little we saw of her.  I'd like to have her for a roommate, but Tamsin had to keep her whole life a secret from her because of the witch thing and she could never even have her down to her family's house.  That would stink!  It's like only knowing someone halfway.

You do have to read this one though because the next book is a great treat!  A whirlwind of action and tragedy and survival.
And you have to have the background of this one to read that one.  So read away!  It's not a hard to read book.  It's just that in comparison, Always a Witch is by far the better book.

But do catch up because next week when I interview Tamsin, I'll also be starting a one week giveaway for Always a Witch.  I'll also be reviewing it!
Thanks for stopping by!



  1. I'm sorry this one wasn't as wonderful for you as the second book, but at least you still enjoyed it! I absolutely loved both of the books and I wish there could be more, but on the other hand it is neat that everything is tied up in a way that isn't exactly perfect for the characters. Great review! :)

    The Musings of ALMYBNENR

  2. Yeah, I don't think there's a way for a third book without a miracle. But I do like that there wasn't a neat bow at the end. I think this one was just a lot slower than the second book and I may not have even realized it until I read the second one, but I read them back to back.


  3. I'll have to check out this one so I can get to the second one - looking forward to the interview.

  4. Too bad you didn't like this one more (I have it on one of my many TBR piles) but I'm glad you mentioned that you really liked the second one :) I guess I'll find out for myself when I get to it!

  5. Candace- I guess I gave the wrong impression. I did like this one, but I had a hard time with Tamsin. She was not my favorite type of character. And this book, to me is not as good as the second, but probably because I read them back to back. Plus, I love time travel novels! And there's a lot of action in the second novel. But both are worth the read!


  6. I think I'd have a hard time with this one because of Tasmin, too, to be honest. I need to connect, and maybe I'm getting too old, but a lot of these MCs are so hard to relate to! The premise is fab though. Great review, Heather :)

  7. Okay, I want everyone to know that I enjoyed reading Once a Witch. It was important to read to set up the second novel. And I did enjoy getting to know all the different characters-an entire commune almost of witches with different powers and a mystery mission. I just didn't relate well with the main character. But I did enjoy the story. I wish I had said that first. It's a good story line, good plot, unique definitely as far as witches go, and very well written. And the second book is even better!!
    Now pick this one up and stop thinking I didn't like it!!


  8. This sounds like a fun witch book just in time for Halloween!

  9. I really hate that not all of my comments go through. =/ I really want to read this one! Ugh. It's sitting on my shelf as we speak. Your cover is different than mine though. I like it.


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