home           about           reviews           author insight           review policy

Monday, May 6, 2013

Star Cursed by Jessica Spotswood

Release Date: June 18, 2013
Publisher: Putnam Juvenile
Age Group: Young Adult
Format: E-galley
Source: Edelweiss
Series: The Cahill Witch Chronicles #2
Pages: 462
Buy: Amazon / Barnes & Noble / IndieBound
Description: Goodreads
With the Brotherhood persecuting witches like never before, a divided Sisterhood desperately needs Cate to come into her Prophesied powers. And after Cate's friend Sachi is arrested for using magic, a war-thirsty Sister offers to help her find answers—if Cate is willing to endanger everyone she loves.

Cate doesn't want to be a weapon, and she doesn't want to involve her friends and Finn in the Sisterhood's schemes. But when Maura and Tess join the Sisterhood, Maura makes it clear that she'll do whatever it takes to lead the witches to victory. Even if it means sacrifices. Even if it means overthrowing Cate. Even if it means all-out war.

In the highly anticipated sequel to Born Wicked, the Cahill Witch Chronicles continue Cate, Maura and Tess's quest to find love, protect family, and explore their magic against all odds in an alternate history of New England.

Last year’s Born Wicked (see review) was one of my favorite surprises.  I knew I wanted to like it based on the fact that it’s written by one of the most genuinely nice people in the business, Jessica Spotswood.  However, historical fiction isn’t usually my bag, baby.  As you saw from my review, though, Born Wicked is anything but traditional, and I reveled in the feminist themes, the world of witchcraft, and the adorable Finn Belastra.  I’ve been dying for its sequel, Star Cursed, since the moment I closed the first book.  It should come as no surprise that Star Cursed is a worthy follow-up with an even stronger story, more sisterly drama, and even more romantic delights.

The thing I love best about Star Cursed is that it has its own separate arc within the greater story.  Trilogies are so prevalent in YA, and I read a ton of YA, so I’ve found that the dreaded Second Book Syndrome crops up so often.  It’s one of my pet peeves, and it can turn me off to a series completely.  There is nothing to worry about here.  This is not a sluggish drag between a snappy beginning and a climactic finish.  Honestly, by the end of the fourth chapter, I’d run through an entire book’s worth of emotions.  Thankfully, you get some recovery time after that, but this doesn’t mean the story stops moving. 

The alternate world in which Cate lives continues to spin on, and while she has a bit more freedom in the Sisterhood, she’s still just as feisty and stubborn as ever.  We get an even closer look at Cate’s relationship with both of her sisters, and it isn’t always pretty.  Cate still acts as a maternal figure for youngest Tess, though that becomes tougher and tougher the older Tess gets.  Cate and Maura still butt heads like sisters do, but there is a decided shift in the reasoning behind the fights from the first book to this one.  There were so many times I wanted to grab Maura’s shoulders and shake her and shout MAURA WHAT IS YOUR DAMAGE.  She has so much anger and angst and honey, keep calm and have a cup of tea.  Geezy peez.
I’ve had the pleasure of seeing Jess speak at a couple of signings (yay DC writer friends!), and she always finds a way to mention how much she loves writing the kissing scenes.  Even if I didn’t already know that, it would be clearly evident after this.  If you thought the feather scene from Born Wicked was something?  Oh, you ain’t seen nothing yet.  If possible, Finn becomes even more adorable.  Of course, a happy, adorable couple means you should have your guard up.  Le sigh.

If you loved Born Wicked, then you will adore Star Cursed.  It’s a fabulous follow-up that carries on the greater story without sacrificing its own plot in the process.  I anxiously await the chance to return to Cate’s world, though I am already not looking forward to saying good-bye.

1 comment: