Friday, May 16, 2014

Book Review: Born Wicked by Jessica Spotswood

Born Wicked (The Cahill Witch Chronicles #1)

Jessica Spotswood

Publication Date: February 7th 2012

Publisher: Putnam Juvenile

Pages: 330

Genre:  Paranormal, Historical, Young Adult

Everybody knows Cate Cahill and her sisters are eccentric. Too pretty, too reclusive, and far too educated for their own good. But the truth is even worse: they’re witches. And if their secret is discovered by the priests of the Brotherhood, it would mean an asylum, a prison ship—or an early grave.

Before her mother died, Cate promised to protect her sisters. But with only six months left to choose between marriage and the Sisterhood, she might not be able to keep her word... especially after she finds her mother’s diary, uncovering a secret that could spell her family’s destruction. Desperate to find alternatives to their fate, Cate starts scouring banned books and questioning rebellious new friends, all while juggling tea parties, shocking marriage proposals, and a forbidden romance with the completely unsuitable Finn Belastra.

If what her mother wrote is true, the Cahill girls aren’t safe. Not from the Brotherhood, the Sisterhood—not even from each other.

I couldn't help but read this book and realize that it's secretly a dystopic book. Sure it's semi-historical in an alternate-universe America, but the government is slightly crazed and full of religious fervor that they use against their citizens, while other countries (which citizens cannot go to due to closed borders) are full of freedoms. So there is this distinct dystopic feel to the book, despite everything else.

Yet, the book is about witches. In the past witches controlled everything, and now they are being hunted with a passion, often the girls being taken aren't even witches. To add to this, the religious government doing this are highly corrupted. They have all the girls of the town come to a "special" religion class where they tell them that they are evil, that they cannot help being evil and that men are always right and better and should always be obeyed.

This is why some of the people in charge are off having affairs and then only damning the woman involved, taking none of the blame themselves. In all of this the Cahill sisters are not traditional women. First of all they are witches, second of all none of them have "perfect ladylike" personalities. Cate seems to be a bit of a tomboy and enjoys thinking for herself, and of her younger sisters one is much too fiery and passionate and the other too intellectual. They have survived as long as they have by staying under the radar.

The characters are well done, and nothing is as it seems. It is written stylistically like a historical novel in my opinion. It's also a very good opening book as now, readers are wondering exactly what Cate has to do, nothing really makes sense anymore and we don't know who to trust. On the other hand, as of right now it seems like the second book will be different than the first and the third book full of lots and lots of drama.

I recommend this book to people who like the "stuck" feeling of a dystopian novel and the genre of historical fiction and for those who like paranormal elements and would like to see them wrapped all together with a fancy bow.



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