Thursday, November 28, 2013

Review: "Book of Shadows" by Cate Tiernan

Title: Book of Shadows
Series: Wicca #1
Author: Cate Tiernan
Publisher: Speak
Year: 2007

"Something is happening to me that I don't understand.

I see things, feel things in a new way. I can do things normal people can't do. Powerful things. Magickal things. It scares me.

I never chose to learn witchcraft. But I'm starting to wonder if witchcraft is choosing me."

Note to self, I probably should have bought the omnibus version, 200 pages simply does not last me very long. And it is so much colder in the bus stop if you have nothing to read. 
Also, the blurb is a little misleading. It makes the book sound mysterious and dark, whilst the story is quite a bit lighter. But then again the blurb was one of the things that made me read this book. So it balances out.

But to the book. This was the first time I read this particular book, although I have read Cate Tiernan’s “Immortal Beloved” (which I liked). Her writing style is still very nice and flowing. The pages flew by and made for a gripping story.

I found the story quite enjoyable, it moves at a nice pace and is well written. It reflected the protagonists feelings well. At first it bothered me slightly how Morgan just looked at Cal and then she was oh-so in love. But I tried seeing the story from a teenager’s perspective. Often the initial attraction is based on looks and there is no reason why this could not be real. And as teenagers sometimes do, maybe she is making it sound a little deeper in her head than it actually is. Which made me realize that Tiernan had actually a lot of insight into a teenagers world view when she wrote this story and that is very impressive.

Tiernan obviously went through great lengths to understand Wicca before putting this on the paper and for that she has my respect. I think it is really important that she was careful and thorough with this because unlike magic systems that are based on fantasy alone, Wicca is a real religion and Tiernan gave it the respect every religion deserves. You can see it especially in times when Morgan was conflicted about what she was doing due the opposition from her parents who were Christians.

Morgan is an interesting character who does quite a bit of self-discovering in the book and I think she is a well-developed character. I do hope that Cal (and his Wiccan mother) get more back story in later books. At first I had some trouble trying to keep up with all the numerous characters, but I liked how we got the extra information on them woven into the story. It was smooth and made the characters individuals.  

I think this is a great story and would definitely recommend it, especially to teens. But I have a feeling that when the story develops it will also be very insightful for the older readership. “Book of Shadows” deserves three and a half stars and they are strong ones, shining bright next to the waning moon of the goddess.

This review has been brought to you by your Book Mistress for the day.


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