ONCE A WITCH is a fast-paced and engaging story filled with magic, danger, and family secrets. It's easy to get caught up in this extremely readable novel.
Tamsin is a charming protagonist, simultaneously determined yet vulnerable. She narrates her family's story with an ease that draws us into her world. Similarly, all of the other characters are subtly introduced and developed, so that we never feel as if the Greene family's world is contrived, but rather as if they could be living among us.
The plot is a little unsteady but still ultimately satisfactory. It was horrifying to see how some characters changed as a result of contact with the villain--but, like I said earlier, I appreciated its naturalness. Most events in the novel flowed like they had to happen under those circumstances.
That's not to say, of course, that there aren't some aspects of ONCE A WITCH that felt overdone or cliche. These include Tamsin's sidekick and love interest, Gabriel, the time travel scenes, and the way various characters occasionally prophetized to explain backstory. These minor slip-ups are easy to overlook in light of my larger enjoyment of the whole book, though. Those who like a little magic and mystery in their books will love ONCE A WITCH, and even those who don't normally delve into urban fantasy/paranormal fiction will find Tamsin's story an easy and delightful read. It seems like there is a good chance of there being a sequel, which I will definitely be looking forward to!
Reviewed by Jennifer Rummel for TeensReadToo.com
Tamsin's family all have Talent - it manifests at the age of eight. However, Tamsin never fully developed; she's the only one with no Talent. She's spent her whole life on the outside wishing she fit in with her family.
She's clumsy and awkward but has the perfect older sister who will one day take over the family business of finding lost items through their bookstore. One day, a man comes into the bookstore looking for Tamsin's sister. Tamsin is the only one there and allows him to believe she can help him.
She's determined to find the clock he's looking for, an old family heirloom. Without understanding the consequences, she enlists an old friend to help her recover the item. Together, they've unleashed a danger far greater than they ever imagined - a danger that could lead to their clan's ruin. Can they do damage control or is it too late?
I adore books about witches and the cover of ONCE A WITCH definitely caught my eye. I really enjoyed reading and uncovering the mystery behind layers of family drama, romantic suspense, and danger.
I really like this book. The story pulled you right in from the begining. Quick moving characters are well written and complex. Plenty of background so you feel grounded with the story. Characters are not whiney. She writes characters of all ages well not just the team. Highly recommend.