Thursday, July 18, 2013

Review: Star Cursed by Jessica Spotswood

Star Cursed

Author: Jessica Spotswood
Release: June 18th 2013
Genre: Supernatural, Witches, Historical, YA
#2 in The Cahill Witch Chronicles
Series: Born Wicked (#1), Sisters' Fate (#3)


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 have found one fatal flaw with this book, and only one alone: That cover change. Why did they have to do that? Darn them, the other cover art was so much more beautiful! Well, at least they don't differ too much.

This book was really great. Greeaaat. While it did have the annoying quality its predecessor had, picking up, dropping, picking up and dropping again, it was much better this time. That was much rarer in this sequel, and so I was able to devour this and enjoy it openly.

The plot is a little slow the first hundred pages, although still being interesting and nice, it was a little overshadowed by the awesomeness of everything that came after that. Again, Spotswood surprises us with many shockers, as well as nice little details here and there that make sense only later. I just love that sort of foreshadowing, where afterwards you'll put a hand to your forehead and be like, "That's what that was all about!" It was amazing. So was the structure, it was very well handled, better than in the first novel. So many things happened and they were full of suspense and angst, but a good kind of angst. Drama, but a good kind of drama. The now heated conflicts between the three Cahill sisters have a desperate urgency behind them as the prophecy looms closer, and I adored their differences with each other. Especially the rivalry that goes on between Maura and Cate was so nicely done, just — wow.

Writing was, again, so delightful, I seriously am a huge fan of Spotswood now. Definitely. Like in the first installment, the writing style, dialogue and narrative voice were adapted skillfully to fit the time period, while also being comprehensible to a younger audience who doesn't know words like reticule, scuttlebutt or footpad. It was so lovely I could cry.

The characters were amazing. Just, amazing. Cate Cahill was even more kickass than in Born Wicked, and the two teeny little things I had criticised her for were gone completely. She wasn't overly dramatic about anything, nor was she too starstruck with her lover. No, Cate Cahill is on top of her game in this installment and she is freaking awesome, while also being clever, cunning, careful, and calm. (oh yeah I totally just went there) I don't have words powerful enough to properly describe how much I enjoy Catherine Anna Cahill.

Tess got even better as well. I liked her already in the first book, but she plays a more prominent role in this one, as does Maura. And I absolutely loved getting to know more about her. Like Cate, she's smart, sweet and calculating, and I simply loved her innocence. Maura is still hard to like, however, she is still an important part of the books and totally 3D, so I can accept her. There have to be characters like her in a good novel, I believe in that. Then, we have Finn back, and I do believe I am Team Finn now. I could finally connect to Cate's and his romance, which was adorable now that I saw their attraction, and Finn was just so nice and loyal, he's a very good character. Not as fleshed out as the others, maybe, but still a good guy to like. I especially like him as a person, not just as a love interest, and that was well done by Spotswood. Many guys get reduced to only love interests, and it's a smart move to make the characters, both guys and girls, stand out on their own outside of their relationships. 

Then there is a whole new cast of characters at the convent, and they are all very alive, too. There's Sister Cora, the headmistress, who was just badass, Sister Sophia, so sweet and lovely, Vi, Rilla and Mei, who were true and devoted friends to Cate, and they all had voices of their own. They weren't the same, they weren't just names on a page. I could feel their bonds with Cate and each other, especially Vi was such a vivid character, she really grew on me. I do hope we'll get more development on Rilla in the next book and Elena as well, since they didn't have specific character arcs yet, but I'm hopeful. Nonetheless, they still felt alive and I loved them. The only regret I have is that we didn't get to see much of Paul, since I thought he'd play a more important role, but nope.

Is there anything else I can say? I just truly loved this, enjoyed every minute of it. Great, great series. Definitely recommended!

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