Sunday, May 22, 2011

Witches of East End by Melissa de la Cruz

Witches of the East End (The Beauchamp Family, #1)

Published: June 2011
Publisher: Disney Hyperion
Copy: Arc received for review
Summary: Goodreads

From the author of the highly addictive and bestselling Blue Bloods series, with almost 3 million copies sold, comes a new novel, Melissa de la Cruz's first for adults, featuring a family of formidable and beguiling witches.

The three Beauchamp women--Joanna and her daughters Freya and Ingrid--live in North Hampton, out on the tip of Long Island. Their beautiful, mist-shrouded town seems almost stuck in time, and all three women lead seemingly quiet, uneventful existences. But they are harboring a mighty secret--they are powerful witches banned from using their magic. Joanna can resurrect people from the dead and heal the most serious of injuries. Ingrid, her bookish daughter, has the ability to predict the future and weave knots that can solve anything from infertility to infidelity. And finally, there's Freya, the wild child, who has a charm or a potion that can cure most any heartache.

For centuries, all three women have been forced to suppress their abilities. But then Freya, who is about to get married to the wealthy and mysterious Bran Gardiner, finds that her increasingly complicated romantic life makes it more difficult than ever to hide her secret. Soon Ingrid and Joanna confront similar dilemmas, and the Beauchamp women realize they can no longer conceal their true selves. They unearth their wands from the attic, dust off their broomsticks, and begin casting spells on the townspeople. It all seems like a bit of good-natured, innocent magic, but then mysterious, violent attacks begin to plague the town. When a young girl disappears over the Fourth of July weekend, they realize it's time to uncover who and what dark forces are working against them.

With a brand-new cast of characters, a fascinating and fresh world to discover, and a few surprise appearances from some of the Blue Blood fan favorites, this is a page-turning, deliciously fun, magical summer read fraught with love affairs, witchcraft, and an unforgettable battle between good and evil.

I was lucky enough to receive a copy of Witches of East End for review a few weeks ago and had fun reading this newest novel by Melissa de la Cruz, this time written for an adult audience, instead of YA. The premise of Witches is your basic Good vs Evil, but there is really nothing basic about it.

Joanna, Ingrid and Freya are strong, interesting women, who happen to be witches, but with a lot more to them than meets the eye.  The story gives nods to the Salem witch trials and Norse mythology,  (which seemed strangely apt after having just watched 'Thor' at the movies) .  Wait a minute you're saying - Norse mythology in a book about witches.  Yep - I said there was more going on than meets the eye.  Weird things are happening in North Hampton, and part of the appeal of this story is the 'who dunnit' aspect.  There's murder, mystery and mayhem and so much more.

Romance - you betcha!  Ingrid and Freya are at complete opposite ends of the spectrum when it comes to dating.  I particularly loved the crazy bumblings of Ingrid and Matt - they are just so cute!  Freya and ??? - you'll have to read it to find out what's going on there. Every time I thought I had worked out where things were going, something changed, which kept the story interesting and fun.

All in all I really enjoyed Witches of East End.  A great summer read. It might also be a nice cross-over novel for older YA's - no more or less sex and violence than in most YA's and a lot less language.  But Melissa, what's with the epilogue?  Are you trying to kill me?

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