Book Review: Always A Witch

Book Review: Always A WitchAlways a Witch by Carolyn MacCullough
Series: Witch #2
Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt on August 1st 2011
Pages: 288

The adventures of Tam and Gabriel continue with more time travel, Talents, spy work, and of course, the evil Knights.

Since the gripping conclusion of Once A Witch, Tamsin Greene has been haunted by her grandmother's prophecy that she will soon be forced to make a crucial decision—one so terrible that it could harm her family forever. When she discovers that her enemy, Alistair Knight, went back in time to Victorian-era New York in order to destroy her family, Tamsin is forced to follow him into the past. Stranded all alone in the nineteenth century, Tamsin soon finds herself disguised as a lady's maid in the terrifying mansion of the evil Knight family, avoiding the watchful eye of the vicious matron, La Spider, and fending off the advances of Liam Knight. As time runs out, both families square off in a thrilling display of magic. And to her horror, Tamsin finally understands the nature of her fateful choice.

Always a Witch is the sequel to Once a Witch. Having loved the previous novel, I knew that the sequel was going to be read one way or the other.

Always a Witch picks up right where Once a Witch stopped. Rowena is still getting ready for her wedding. Tamsin trying to find her place in her Talented family. Business as usual. Or is it?

Honestly, I had really high hopes for Always a Witch. I fell in love with Tamsin and her family in the previous novel. And I expected to fall deep still in the sequel. But it didn't exactly happen that way. Always a Witch centers more on Tamsin, her journey, and the Greenes of yesteryear. And while I liked that MacCullough went in a little bit of a different direction, the spark that Once a Witch had was missing.

Ever since I finished the last page, I have been racking my brain trying to figure out what special ingredient that Always a Witch was missing. I think I have boiled it down to two things: her current family and Gabriel. Both are key elements that I loved about the previous novel and missing from most of this one. I did enjoy the time spent with the past Greene and Knight families. But it wasn't the same.

Final Verdict:
It really pains me to admit that I didn't love this book. In many ways, I wish MacCullough had blended some of the storyline of this tale into the previous novel. Always a Witch, while an interesting read, seemed a little weak on its own. Lovers of Once a Witch, proceed with caution.

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