We've somewhat moved on from vampires into other realms of supernatural beings, i.e. zombies, werewolves, fairies, etc. And sometimes it gets tiring, I must admit. There don't seem to be many teen fantasy novels out lately that don't have a main character that's somehow not human, so you can't blame me for being slightly wary when it came to this one. I was slightly afraid of being bored, but ended up pleasantly surprised with a likable main character and a thrilling plot.
Once a Witch, written by Carolyn MacCullough features Tamsin, a 17 year old girl, who completely disappoints her family, simply by being ordinary. Tamsin comes from a long line of incredibly powerful witches and at birth, she was thought to be one of the most powerful in the world. Instead, her magic never came. She is just an ordinary, clumsy, teen stuck in a family of fantastic, beautiful, powerful beings. That will take take a toll on almost anyone!
While working in her grandmother's bookshop, Tamsin is approached by a mysterious man needing her sister's help in "locating" something very important. Instead of filling the man in on who she is, Tamsin pretends to be her sister, wanting to be able to accomplish what the man wants and prove to her family she's not just ordinary. What happens though is a crazy, thrill ride of events, mixing magic, some romance, and a whole lot of danger into Tamsin's slightly boring exhistence.
I loved Tamsin's character (and her name!) and really felt teen girls would understand where she's coming from, (even if her main complaints are because she doesn't have any powers). We all know what it feels like to not fit in and this character definitely has the relatability factor down. The plot was unique and exciting, for the most part, though I did feel small chunks of the story could have been cut out and it would have prevented a slight dragging through some portions.
Highly recommended for fantasy fans, a nice choice for libraries as well.
To learn more or to purchase, click on the book cover above to link to Amazon.
Once a Witch