Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Born Wicked (review)

Born Wicked is a story of 3 sisters who are witches set in an alternative past where witches rose to power only to be overtaken and subsequently slaughtered or imprisoned by The Brotherhood, a religious group that is both anti-witch and anti-woman.

It's set in a fascinatingly rich alternative past where girls educations and dreams are squashed by strict behavior rules, mandatory Sunday School and having to choose a husband (or the Sisterhood) before their seventeenth birthday lest it be chosen for then.

Cate is the oldest of the three sisters, she's kept her wildchild self under control to keep a promise she made to dying mother to protect her younger sisters.  But with her seventeenth birthday looming she's not going to be able to protect them much longer.  We meet Cate when she's at the crux point of deciding her future.

My biggest problem with this book was the love triangle. Lately it's an issue I have trouble getting past.  It's becoming the go-to plot device of YA.  But at least in Born Wicked it serves a purpose.  She's not just flitting unnecessarily between two men. She's being forced to decide her future and has only six weeks to make her choice.  I'm willing to be more forgiving because that premise.

I think this book is still worth reading, despite the love triangle. (Me saying that is kinda a big deal)  Because at least if it's going to have some romance it does it well.  Some books don't understand first love.  This book gives us the butterflies, the way you're too aware of the details of your crush and the heart thumping. I've read some books where people kiss without any real chemistry. Born Wicked has plenty of chemistry.  It helps that I find one of the boys very swoon-worthy with his freckles, out of control hair, nose in the book and incompetent gardening skills.

This book has plenty of secrets to give it twists and turns and a prophecy to push to the plot forward.  I really think the love triangle is DONE by the end of book one which makes me say WOOHOO because I like the worldbuilding.  I'm a bit of a sucker for books about structured repressive societies and the women who overcome them.  This is a world where every knock on the door, every sideways glance, every time you speak out of turn is a potential danger.  As a reader that keeps my heart pounding and the page turning.

Even though I have somewhat mixed feelings about this book (oh Love Triangle why did you strike again?) I enjoyed Born Wicked, found it to be a fast read and very atmospheric.  In the end the setting, society and overall premise outweighed my concerns about the love triangle.  The ending leaves me excited and anticipating book 2 (which I intend to read).

Thanks to Mindy from Magical Urban Fantasy Reads for letting me participating in this ARC tour!

(This book led to a very interesting conversations about whether real love triangles exist over on goodreads.  It has nothing to do with the book but I found it interesting. Read it here)


Wendy Darling said...

Oh good! I'm reading this soon, glad to hear it's entertaining. :)

veela-valoom said...

That it is! This is a review that I had to mull over and debate. I'll be curious to see how you review it.

Bookluvr Mindy said...

Nice review! I have a couple books to suggest to you that doesn't have love triangles. I'll have to look at the books that you have already read and then go over the books I have read and see. I hope that I'll be able to get through my reading pile so I can join in on some of these awesome ARC's before their published.

veela-valoom said...

I always love book recommendations! I hope you can read some of these too. My TBR pile has a tendency to get out of hand as well.

I was glad that I enjoyed this despite the love triangle. It doesn't help that I just re-read Hunger Games and am rewatching Lost, both of which have very frustrating love triangles ever.

One thing I quite liked was the historic setting. Not enough recent YAs are set in the past, they all seem contemporary or focused on the future. It was a nice change.

Bex said...

I'm really curious about Born Wicked! And I don't really mind love triangles, so that might be a plus with this one! Great review.

veela-valoom said...

If you don't mind a love triangle then you probably will like it. It's better done than some of the other triangles.

Wendy Darling is giving away an ARC at her blog.