Posts Tagged 'witch'

Utopia, Iowa by Brian Yansky

utopia

Genre:  Fantasy

# of Pages:  323

RAC:  Yes

Set in fictional Utopia, Iowa where the life expectancy is longer than usual and many people are believed to have “gifts,”  Jack Bell lives with his mother, father, and sister.  Jack, his mother, and his sister can all see ghosts, but they have taken extra precautions to make sure they cannot enter their home.  When Jack’s sister, Amanda, claims to see a ghost on Jack’s bed they are all naturally alarmed because more than likely it would take a much stronger spirit to enter their house than a usual ghost.  Then, a young college student is pushed from a dorm window to her death and she seeks Jack’s help in finding what happened to her.  She does not remember her death, which is unusual for ghosts, but she knows her boyfriend didn’t kill her despite his confession.  The police detective starts to become concerned that Jack is somehow connected to this case because he seems to know details he should not know, and he is not a believer in the town “gifts.”  Can Jack help this spirit find her way and clear his name?  Can he protect himself from the growing number of threats people keep prophesying about him?

This light fantasy story provides an usual spin on the ghost genre in that the reason behind the threats and mysterious deaths actually connect to an ancient story that is slowly explained throughout the book.  Jack comes in contact with several different types of gifted people who all try to help in their own ways as he deals with the ghosts that keep seeking his advice as well as the mounting danger he keeps getting warned about.  The ending is exciting and satisfying, but it’s not a story that the reader will think much about once it is over.  Recommended for fans looking for a fun fantasy.

Advertisements

Beautiful Creatures by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl

Beautiful Creatures

Genre:  Fantasy

# of Pages:  563

RAC:  Yes

Ethan lives in a small town in the south that still holds very rigid beliefs about who should belong in the community and who should be shunned.  Lena is the new girl in school and the niece of the most notorious shut in in town.  Therefore, she is an outcast before she even begins school.  Ethan is immediately intrigued with Lena, and finds himself crossing paths with her often.  They begin to strike up a romance and learn they can communicate with each other simply using their minds.  Lena comes from a family of Casters and on her upcoming birthday she will either go Light or Dark.  She is terrified she will go Dark like her cousin, Ridley.  Ethan does not fully understand Lena and her family, partly because they keep a lot of secrets, but he knows he will do whatever it takes to keep Lena safe.

Fans of fantasy romance will enjoy this title because it has many interesting characters and plot revelations.  It is also very slow moving at times.  The book is over 500 pages and not all of it feels strictly necessary.  The length may scare away some reluctant readers who struggle to get through some of those slower moments.  The ending feels a bit rushed considering the overall length of the story and some readers may be confused by the outcome.  Fantasy lovers will enjoy, but others may struggle to care about these characters.

Once a Witch by Carolyn MacCullough

Genre:  Fantasy

# of Pages:  292

RAC Book:  Yes

Tamsin was proclaimed to be the most powerful witch in her family at her birth, but by her eighth birthday no gifts had appeared and the family believed she was without any powers.  When Tamsin is 17 she is working at her family’s magic shop when a bumbling English professor comes in to ask for her help in finding a lost item.  He mistakenly believes she is her talented older sister and she lets him because she wants to prove she is useful to the family.  She finds his object, but learns he did not tell her the truth about his intentions and she may have unwittingly put her entire family in danger.  Can she find a way to save her family?  Can she find the power within herself that she was predicted to have?

Fans of fantasy stories will enjoy this one as Tamsin and her many magical family members struggle through this attack on their family.  Time traveling, spells, and potions are all present and used in a unique way.  There are a few times when the plot seems a bit cumbersome and confusing, but fantasy readers will power through.  The ending leaves some questions, but most will find it satisfying.

Jinx by Meg Cabot

Genre:  Fantasy

# of Pages:  254

RAC Book:  Yes

Jean or “Jinx” as she is called has a habit of finding bad luck wherever she goes.  Due to this bad luck, she moves in with her Aunt’s family in New York City in order to escape from a tough situation back home in Iowa.  When Jinx arrives she is hoping to bond with her cousin, Tory, like they used to when they were younger.  However, the Tory she remembers is gone and has been replaced by a magic obsessed goth girl who believes she is a witch and wants Jinx to join her coven.  Jinx has bad feelings about playing with magic, for reasons which are revealed later, and refuses.  Tory becomes enraged and begins to wage a war against Jinx so that she will be humiliated and will return home.  It does not help matters that Jinx hits it off with Tory’s neighbor, whom Tory also has a crush on.  Can Jinx convince Tory to leave black magic alone before it hurts her or someone she loves?

Jinx’s story of moving to New York City and trying to fit into a new family, school, and atmosphere will interest teen readers.  She tries to do the right thing even when she knows it will bring her bad luck or cause her to get into trouble.  The characters in the story are fun and endearing, but Tory’s plot to control Jinx gets way out of hand and might startle some readers.  All in all, a light fantasy read that Meg Cabot readers will enjoy.


Advertisements