Friday, August 29, 2014

Book Review: Born Wicked

Title:  Born Wicked
Author: Jessica Spotswood
Publisher: Putnam Juvenile 
Genre:  Young Adult // Witches // Alt Universe
Format: Audiobook
Source: Audible

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.

Plot: This has GOT to be my favorite witches book thus so far! Born Wicked takes place in an alternate universe in which puritans still reign as the majority and women are brought up to be docile and God-fearing, and if they're witches, they get shipped off to a sort of corrections facility. Spotswood's language complements the story's mood and really transports you to the author's universe. It's not an action packed novel by any means. The pacing is slow as the series' initial installment focuses on Cate's relationship with her two younger sisters and her dilemma between marrying for love, and protecting her family from the Brotherhood. Just because the pacing is slow, it doesn't mean that the story isn't engaging. The lives of the Cahill sisters and their environment is something I need to know more about! Spotswood weaves issues of homosexuality (Yay LGBTQ characters) and women's rights into the plot and it fits very naturally. 

Characters: Born Wicked's strength is in its characters. Cate is a young girl who has some really big shoes to fill, and as the reader, you feel for her situation. She is extremely innocent which makes her first run in with love something special. I wouldn't really consider this book to circle around a love triangle because she clearly favors one young man over the other. Her relationship with Finn makes me smile because it's all very innocent and it takes its time building, which you would expect for the time period and their own pressures from society. Cate's sisters are also well-written and interesting characters who are struggling to 1) grow up without a mother 2)  not to be tried as witches 3)  find their place in the world. There isn't much about the youngest sister, Tess, but I'm sure her character will be developed further in the sequels. 

Setting: Like I said earlier, I need to know more about this alternate universe that Spotswood has created, it's so fascinating! The characters drop hints about the going-ons in different parts of the world (Like how the scandalous girls in New Dubai are allowed to wear pants!) and how The Brotherhood came to hunt witches. 

Audio book Performance: Nicole Sudhaus' performance is part of the reason why I enjoyed this audio book so much. She portrayed Cate to a T. Her tone reflected how tortured Cate felt, how distraught she felt over her sisters' witchery, and how naive she was about love. I'm definitely continuing this series as an audio book (when they decide to make the sequels available)! 

Short n Sweet: Born Wicked is a fascinating tale of a witch trying to protect everyone she loves. Spotswood brings her characters to life and I can't wait to find out what happens to my favorite witchy sisters!


  1. I loved this book/series and just read the final book..keep is so good!

  2. That sounds like such a good read. Adding to my TBR now. Thanks for sharing, and lovely review :)


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