Predictable and yucky, and still I might just read the second

Wicked: Witch by Nancy Holder and Debbie Viguie

Because I’m not sure exactly where to start with this book I’m going to start with the summery and go from there. It was one of those books.

Holly is a normal girl (she thinks) who is on vacation with her parents and her best friend, when their white water raft flips over and everyone but Holly dies. Her near death experience involves a flashback to several hundred years ago, and a woman called Isabeau, a witch with a complicated Romeo and Juliet style back story. Surprising no one, Isabeau is Holly ancestor and they are deeply connected. A thousand miles away, Micheal Deveraux is planning on murdering Holly’s long lost aunt, Marie-Clare, who has just become Holly’s guardian but stops when he learns that there is one more woman in the Cahors’ line. Desperate to gain the power lost to his family hundreds of years earlier, he tries to use his sons to get it back. Jer, his youngest son resists his father’s cruel ambition when he realizes he is inexplicably drawn to Holly.
Which shocks no one since he’s obviously the reincarnation of Isabeau’s one true love Jean.

The trouble with this book was it’s dreadful predictable-ness. Teenage girl who is mysteriously special in a time of trouble and transition is drawn into a dangerous magical world by a handsome, enigmatic and deeply dark man (see Twilight as the prime example of this). Like Twilight, Holly is not particularly active in her own story (her discovery that she has magical abilities comes from being manipulated and possessed by her ancestor, her cousin and her cat, she is protected from a distance by Jer and his coven, and in the end she makes a decision to fight for the man she’s madly in love with after 6 seconds of conversation because she’s destined to love him). Basically, she stumbles her way through a well written, very creepy coming-to-terms phase, a quick little training montage and then a big final battle, all centered around someone else’s love story, a connection that fails completely to be mysterious or compelling.

The other thing I struggled with a little was the gore and violence. I’m not opposed to either, and often I think descriptions that are uncomfortable to the reader are really important. I also like the idea of witch craft as a dark thing, and it definitely appealed to the classics nerd in me, all this animal sacrifice and ritual but it became so over the top I felt like the gore was included for it’s shock value. And I don’t see why anyone needs that. Shock me with the amazing writing quality or the epic story or by challenging my assumptions, but don’t do it with dismembering furry animals every other chapter. It stopped being shocking and creepy after the first eight animal deaths.

Having said all that, I would still probably read the next one. I am interested in the secondary characters, particularly Holly’s cousins and Jer’s coven and the cliff hanger at the end has at least made my slightly curious. Still, it’s not high on to read list right now, and that’s a long list. Points also for including two gay characters, who while shallow and under developed, had a powerful relationship.

Ultimately, not my favourite. Don’t hate it, but don’t love it either. Just a kind of boring average novel for teenage girls yearning for an Eward Cullin-esk fantasy with a little more horror.

Last movie I watched:

About half of Shrek 3. I fell asleep.

Last TV episode I watched:

Little Mosque on the Prairie. Still super funny guys. Super funny.

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