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Review: Witches of East End by Melissa de la Cruz

Witches of East End (The Beauchamp Family #1) by Melissa de la Cruz
Urban Fantasy, Witches, Mythology
Hardcover $23.99 (288 pages, HYPERION)
The three Beauchamp women--Joanna and her daughters Freya and Ingrid--live in North Hampton, out on the tip of Long Island. Their beautiful, mist-shrouded town seems almost stuck in time, and all three women lead seemingly quiet, uneventful existences. But they are harboring a mighty secret--they are powerful witches banned from using their magic. Joanna can resurrect people from the dead and heal the most serious of injuries. Ingrid, her bookish daughter, has the ability to predict the future and weave knots that can solve anything from infertility to infidelity. And finally, there's Freya, the wild child, who has a charm or a potion that can cure most any heartache.
For centuries, all three women have been forced to suppress their abilities. But then Freya, who is about to get married to the wealthy and mysterious Bran Gardiner, finds that her increasingly complicated romantic life makes it more difficult than ever to hide her secret. Soon Ingrid and Joanna confront similar dilemmas, and the Beauchamp women realize they can no longer conceal their true selves. They unearth their wands from the attic, dust off their broomsticks, and begin casting spells on the townspeople. It all seems like a bit of good-natured, innocent magic, but then mysterious, violent attacks begin to plague the town. When a young girl disappears over the Fourth of July weekend, they realize it's time to uncover who and what dark forces are working against them.
With a brand-new cast of characters, a fascinating and fresh world to discover, and a few surprise appearances from some of the Blue Blood fan favorites, this is a page-turning, deliciously fun, magical summer read fraught with love affairs, witchcraft, and an unforgettable battle between good and evil.

Author Site: www.melissa-delacruz.com

Adult Characters, Young Adult Novel (3 stars)

The Beauchamp witches have been forbidden to use their magic for a very long time. Daughters Freya a gifted maker of potions and Ingrid who has knack for foresight couldn't be much different from one another. Their mother, Joanna has the gift of healing and essentially ressurection. Dwelling in North Hampton they've done just fine until a series of events leads each to dabble with their forbidden talents. As they let themselves slip back into old ways a mysterious toxin poisons the waters North Hampton depends on for tourism and food and other equally strange things begin to occur. Suddenly linked to a series of problems the three must seek out the source of the town's troubles or risk the past being repeated a past where being a witch could equal death.

De la Cruz's Blue Bloods series is really fresh and enjoyable and fans of the series who are able to dable in the adult shelves will be pleased to know that a couple of BB characters have cameos in WITCHES OF EAST END. Unfortunately adult readers might find this tale really dicey. I honestly didn't realize it was de la Cruz's adult debut until I was a few chapters in and started really looking at the details for the book (what can I say I picked it up because I liked the BB books). It reads like a teenager's idea of what being an adult is like.

At first I liked each of the Beauchamp women but once I was well into the book and past the surface I found them selfish, naive and lacking in the refinement I expected of adult characters. Each one was quite cliched and if you hate too-stupid-to-live characters you will really have a hard time with these gals. As much as I wanted to like them they once again echoed that feeling of being written for teens.

The saving grace of the entire book--aside from the Blue Bloods cameos--is the brilliant mythology and great plot. The blend of Norse mythological elements with witchcraft was exceptionally well built and I LOVED it. While I had a horrid time with the overall vibe feeling like a Young Adult title with smutty sex thrown in (and my dislike of the protagonists), the story kept me guessing. If you tend to get frustrated when it's really obvious right away what's going to happen I think you will be pleasantly surprised here. Though the pace is pretty slow most of the time the conclusion was great and the cliffhanger ending did make me think I'd give another one in this series a chance.

If you're familiar with De la Cruz's YA novels you will probably want to check this one out, it's flawed but not unenjoyable. If you've not read any of her other work you might not want to make this your first book of hers, I don't feel like this is her best work.

Other Reviews:
Reading Between the Wines Book Club
Crowinator on Goodreads

Notes: Received ARC via Amazon Vine.


Idris said...

The same thing I thought. I didn't ejoy this book, and was the first I read by her. Too bad.

Rhianna said...

I saw your review on Goodreads Idris and you definitely echoed the basic thoughts I was trying to put down here.

The cover doesn't help either though... the cover model looks about 12 to me so I seriously thought it was YA. Some might say that's my own fault for assuming and not looking into it but with as many authors as I read and are out there it can be easy to miss something that simple.

Thanks for commenting!


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