Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Review: Star Cursed by Jessica Spotswood

Star Cursed (The Cahill Witch Chronicles, #2)

Title: Star Cursed 
Author: Jessica Spotswood
 Putnam Juvenile
Publishing Date: June 18th 2013
Pages: 384
Genre:  YA Paranormal Historical Fiction
Series: The Cahill Witch Chronicles
Source: ARC Paperback


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.

I absolutely adored the first book, Born Wicked, in this series. I fell in love and couldn’t wait for the next book. The first just left me hanging and  I needed to know more. I was quick to respond to an invitation to read the ARC for the second book. I couldn’t wait to crack it open. I was a little weary because I listened to the first one and wasn’t sure if I would get the same satisfaction without the wonderful narrator I had with the first book. Once I started the book, I just couldn’t put it down. I didn’t need the narrator, It was so amazing in my own mind. I love the story, the romance, the magic, the good and evil and the fine line in between of this story. 

The story pretty much takes off where the first book ended. Cate is at the sisterhood and Finn is with the brotherhood. Things are getting way worse. The Brotherhood is on an arresting and banning high, making ridiculous laws and are all about the men rule women game. Cate is busy with the Sisterhood learning to control her magic and playing the waiting game.. waiting for her visions to start, waiting to see if she is the prophesied witch. The sisterhood is busy planning the beginning of a war. When Tess and Maura join Cate at the Sisterhood, things just go from bad to worse. 

The story picks up pretty much where the first one left off and I didn’t have a hard time remembering what was going on at all. This installment held the same tragic beauty as the first along with some sweet romance and maddening evil. I don’t think I have read a book since Hunger Games that infuriated me so much. The book didn’t just infuriate me, aside from the evil brotherhood we do have some really happy moments, some sweet bonding moments, some kick butt moments, and so much more. The author did a wonderful job at bringing out so many emotions. The writing is so vivid, I felt, I saw, I reacted… The story was for sure real for me and also unreal all at the same time. Beautiful, haunting, thrilling…. Love this author’s writing style. I do believe I would pick up anything she wrote… even her grocery list. 

The most wonderful characters fill this book. I absolutely adore Cate. I enjoyed her in the first book, and this book I loved her. She was just spectacular.. her loyalty, her bravery, her selflessness. She was just so amazing. Even when she was faced with losing everything she still attempted to put the good of all above one, especially herself. She wasn't afraid to fight either. She could really deal out some hefty magic. I really appreciated how she never did anything rash… or quick. It may have been her downfall for some but to me it showed her maturity and her ability to be level headed under any circumstance. She was proper but not afraid to bend or break rules. I loved her interactions with her sisters.

 There was a bit more of Maura in this book. I was able to get to know her character so mych more and she was so aggravating, but I loved her in part in the story… she brought a new kind of madness that went beyond the brotherhood. Power hungry and intense.. complete opposite of Cate. Anything good Cate did Maura was sure to undo it. Then of course there was Tess. I loved little Tess. So adorable, smart, and she was  way beyond her years in statute and cleverness. She was even tempered, calm, and able to deal with anything thrown at her. I love the role she played in the story and I hope the next book has even more of her. Finally we have Finn. Oh how I swooned for Finn. He was just how I like them…. cute in the bookish way… loyal.. smart… independent… and brave. 

I was completely immersed in this story.  I loved the mixture of alternate history with the likeness to the history of the Salem witch trials. There was also a  great mixture of fantasy and history. I don’t think I can remember the last time I read a book with a group as evil and crazy as the brotherhood. I wanted to reach into the book and just start strangling them. I loved hating them and fearing them. They brought a real sense of madness and thrills to the book. The Brotherhood didn't limit their prosecution to withces, but all women. If they didn't like the way the spoke, dressed, acted, or lived they found a reason to punish them.  The idea of bringing the Brotherhood down excited me and kept me flipping through the pages as fast as my fingers would go. 

The world building was also amazing. I love the historical aspect, the clothing, the culture, the way things are spoken added into the world of magic. There is something right about mixing witches with the Victorian age. I had a great time hanging out in this era. The author did such a wonderful job of making the actual history of this era stand out enough for me to feel it and see it with every word.

The wonderful story, writing, and characters make for a fantastic read and this book has all that and more… a real page turner for sure. Once I started, there was no going back. I really don’t know how to pass my time until the next book.

A must read. If you have not started this series yet and you like magic, alternate histories, romance and madness… get this book. It rocked my reading world.

Jessica Spotswood

I grew up in a tiny one-stoplight town in Pennsylvania, where I could be found swimming, playing clarinet, memorizing lines for the school play, or—most often—with my nose in a book. I've been writing since I was little but studied theatre in college and grad school. Now I live in Washington, DC with my brilliant playwright husband and a cuddly cat named Monkey.
I heart books, yoga, tea, cardamom cookies, the color pink, board games, theatre, twirly dresses, and bells chiming the hour. I’m frighteningly enthusiastic.
I use GR to keep track of what I read and to recommend books that I really love.

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  1. Wow! That looks so good(: Great review!

  2. I love witchy stories!!! And sister stories! I need to read these books. :)

  3. I cant wait to read these books!! They sound so good!! Thanks for the giveaway!!

  4. I have not yet read Born Wicked but it is definitely in the cards. I love anything witchy, and I have heard that this series is one of the best witchy YA's out there. So, I cannot wait to read Born Wicked (Which sits on my Kindle!), so that I can hurry up and get to Star Cursed. I do wish they had worked out a cover for this one that was a fabulous as the first cover. Cause that first cover...... AWESOME! This one is pretty too, I reckon!

  5. I haven't read these yet, sound good though! I'm adding to my TBR list

  6. I am excited to start reading this series. Witches are always a pleasure to read.

    Thank you for the giveaway!

  7. I have been wanting to read this series

  8. I just finished this!! I loved it but the end tore my heart out! And now I don't know what to do until the next book comes out.

  9. I've been wanting to read this series for awhile. The covers are sweeeet, and they sound like interesting reads.

  10. I can't wait to read Star Cursed, loved Born Wicked.

  11. Thanks for the awesome giveaway opportunity!

  12. When I started Born Wicked, I wasn't expecting much from it. But it blew. me. away. I loved it! So anxious to read this sequel--I need more Finn in my life! ;D

  13. Thank you for this giveaway :D

  14. I can't wait to read this!! Thanks so much for the giveaway and chance to win


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