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Friday, March 19, 2010

Once A Witch by Carolyn MacCullough

Once a WitchPublisher: Clarion Books
ISBN: 0547223994
Pages: 304 pgs
Genre: Young Adult
Challenges-Read’n’Review Challenge, 100+ Reading Challenge, YA Reading Challenge

Publisher’s Description:
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.

My Review:               
I have been very into the YA paranormal romance thing lately. Call it a phase but, by God, are they compelling. It should be formulaic but every book has something different and new to offer. Once A Witch was no different.

I found the mythology of witchcraft and powers that MacCullough created in this book to be very interesting. It was a much more bohemian type of witchcraft that I really preferred over  the elitist Harry Potter wizardry. It wasn’t really as well developed as Harry Potter but it definitely has the potential to be just as compelling. The separation of “Talented” verus “Not Talented” creates a “House” like atmosphere that really mirrors the tensions in HP and makes the story much more interesting. The mystery element was really great. I mean, it is kinda obvious who is the bad guy from the beginning but what is really amazing is how Tamsin figures it out.

The real highlight of the book was Tamsin herself. She was intelligent, empathetic and her voice was strong. I felt so bad for her. She was on the outside looking in throughout most of her life. I wanted to smack her family for treating her as an outcast. It was so frustrating. Gabriel was okay as a leading man/boy. II wish that he had played a  bigger role. He also wasn’t very developed as a character.  Maybe this is because I wish there had been a bit more romance. And I do wish there had been more romance but I would not want it at the expense of the mystery. Alistair was one compelling villain. He was attractive yet creepy and I liked that. The secondary characters were rather one dimensional. I wish they had more depth to them.

I really liked Once A Witch. It felt like the beginning of a series and I really hope it is. I can’t wait to see this story develop. Especially the relationship between Gabriel and Tamsin. 
*A copy of this book was provided to me by the publisher for review. My opinion is my own and has not been influenced in any way and any monies made from associate or affiliate accounts are recycled back into the blog.


  1. I've seen this book around, and it seems like something I would really love. Adding it to my wish list. Great Review!

  2. Thanks! I hope you enjoy it.

  3. Fantastic review! I've read this one too and I really hope there will be a sequel.

  4. Thanks! I hope there is a sequel too.



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