Monday, January 14, 2013

Born Wicked: A Review

I chose Born Wicked, by Jessica Spotswood, because A) the title is alluring and B) the cover was also alluring.  Oh, the power of a good book cover!  (Authors have little to no control over what the book cover is, by the way.)  The cover my library had is different than the one on her webpage.  I think the hardcover image I am looking at this very moment is fabulous, but it makes it look like it's for an older audience.  It does, though, capture the mood of the book, in my opinion.  Seductive, yet innocent...mystery that beckons.

I was initially confused about when and where the book was set.  This was clearly not modern, but there were references to real places, so it wasn't high fantasy.  Eventually I realized this was set just before the beginning of the 19th century, and while the names of places were real, there is an alternate reality that strikes a similar chord to The Handmaiden's Tale.  The women in this tale are even more oppressed than they were in real life during that era, which is saying something.  If I'm wrong about all this, it just goes to show that the setting was vibrant while not being totally clear, which is interesting in and of itself.

From the first page, we know the protagonist is a witch and this is seen as a family problem.  I love stories about witches, so I was ready to read from page 1.  There is romance, there is intrigue, there are twists and turns.  Book 2 of the series comes out June 18th and I will definitely check it out.  This, so far, isn't a book I have to buy, but I did enjoy the alternate-odd reality she created and I respected Ms. Spotswood's world-building skills.  It is much harder than it seems to figure out how something like magic will work in your world, and being consistent with that is harder still.  I thought Spotswood did a great job of describing the magic in this world.  I also enjoyed character of Finn and hope to see more of him in the next book.

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