Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Future Release Review: Born Wicked by Jessica Spotswood

Title: Born Wicked
Author: Jessica Spotswood site
Format: ARC, 326 pages
Release Date: 2/07/2012
Publisher: Putnam Juvenile
Source: Received from the publisher

** I personally think that parts of this synopsis give too much away. Reader beware**

A Great and Terrible Beauty meets Cassandra Clare in this spellbinding fantasy 

Everybody knows Cate Cahill and her sisters are eccentric. Too pretty, too reclusive, and far too educated for their own good. But the truth is even worse: they're witches. And if their secret is discovered by the priests of the Brotherhood, it would mean an asylum, a prison ship—or an early grave. 

Before her mother died, Cate promised to protect her sisters. But with only six months left to choose between marriage and the Sisterhood, she might not be able to keep her word . . . especially after she finds her mother's diary, uncovering a secret that could spell her family's destruction. Desperate to find alternatives to their fate, Cate starts scouring banned books and questioning rebellious new friends, all while juggling tea parties, shocking marriage proposals, and a forbidden romance with the completely unsuitable Finn Belastra. 

If what her mother wrote is true, the Cahill girls aren't safe. Not from the Brotherhood, the Sisterhood—not even from each other.

How it starts:
Set in an altered past, run by a dystopian society where men are in charge and women are oppressed at every opportunity, Cate Cahill has six months before she is forced to declare her intentions to the Brotherhood, the male organization that overthrew the witches 20 years ago. Women are only given two options, join the Sisters or get married. The decision tortures her, how can she keep her promise to her late mother, to look after her sisters. She must protect their secret, lest Cate and her sisters be discovered as witches. The situation is made worse when their nosey neighbor, Mrs. Corbett, convinces their too absent father to get them a governess. When she arrives, Cate can’t shake the feeling that Lena (the governess) is up to something besides teaching French. What are her real motives?

I loved pretty much all of the characters in Born Wicked. There was a very well balanced cast. My only hesitation was for Finn, who may have a little PCD* though I haven’t seen enough of him to really tell.

Plot and Story:
A Great and Terrible Beauty meets Cassandra Clare” really does perfectly describe this book. I love the concept of witchery set in the nineteenth century, and the altered past gave the story an extra twist that made Born Wicked irresistible. It was a really hard book to put down. You’re always left wondering who can really be trusted, what are the characters true motives. All of the twists and turns were timed perfectly. And there are always unanswered questions that will leave you on the edge of your seat in anticipation.  My only complaint is that the timing of Cate and Finn expressing feelings for each other didn’t really make sense to me. It seemed a little forced by the author.

Born Wicked is one of the few books that is deserving of it’s hype. All the different aspects from the characters to the plot just meshed together so well. I could see myself recommending Born Wicked to fans of lots of different genres. (i.e. fans of historical fiction, fantasy, dystopians, ect.) I ate it up, and can’t wait for the sequel. I foresee this series is destined for greatness. May it rise up the Bestseller’s list! I give it 4.5 of 5 stars! I can’t wait to see more from this debut author.

*PCD stands for Perfect Character Disorder. I usually use this term when a character is portrayed as unrealistically perfect. (i.e. always understanding, handsome/beautiful, without fault, ect.)


  1. tnx 4 reviewing
    hoping2read it soon

  2. I read this one and loved it. I really did think I had a similar reaction to it as A Great and Terrible Beauty. Perhaps, it was the time period. I'll be reviewing this one next week.