Friday, June 25, 2010

Wicked: Witch and Curse by Nancy Holder & Debbie Viguié

Wicked: Witch & CurseHolly Cathers barely knew her cousins Amanda and Nicole when after a tragic white-water rafting trip, she becomes an orphan and moves in with them.  Jer Deveraux knows that the Cathers women are descended from a powerful line of witches, and he knows his father's plans for them.  But no one knows how deep the connections between their families go, or how Holly and Jer may be the key to unraveling a 400-year-old war-- and becoming thrall to a 400-year-old love.

This book was...okay.  The plot and magical concepts were good, but the characters were flat and largely unsympathetic-- even Holly eventually loses a good deal of the good will that being an orphan earned her in the beginning.  Jer isn't much better, because while he's less evil and power-hungry than his father and brother, he's also basically a jerk who shows no real inclination to take any real stance against them (though he does reach out to other sources for more ethical magical training).  Also, I found his and Holly's relationship to be forced.  There is some justification to that, since both are conduits for the spirits of their ancestors who were in love, but there is no real reason for Holly and Jer to be attracted to each other at all.

That said, this book has a number of good points.  I liked how, despite first impressions, neither the Cathers nor the Deveraux are completely good or completely evil.  The flashbacks to the Deveraux and Cahors (the Cathers ancestors) past are an engaging glimpse of history and political intrigue, both real and magical. And even though Jer is a bit of a jerk, his association with his other magical teachers gesture strongly towards a later transformation.  So not only is Jer not beyond redemption, I am not completely turned off by the idea of finishing the series!  So I'm going to give this one:


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