Friday, July 29, 2011

Review: Always a Witch

Always a Witch
By Carolyn MacCullough
Publication date: July 11, 2011

My review:

In this sequel to Once a Witch, Tamsin Greene must travel back in time to save her family. Their enemy Alistair Knight has somehow found a way to Travel to 19th Century New York to destroy the Greenes. In an effort to stop Alistair, Tamsin takes a dangerous job as a maid with the Knight family which places her squarely in the sights of evil Liam Knight. According to a prophecy, Tamsin will be forced to make a terrible choice. Will Tamsin prove to be the savior of the Greene family or will she lose everyone she loves?  

In some ways I liked Always a Witch more than Once a Witch. For one thing, Tamsin isn't moping about her lack of Talent. I also enjoyed the historical setting of New York in the 1800s. With these exceptions however I think Once a Witch is the better book. One thing I missed in the sequel is the humor. Always a Witch is a much darker book. I don't mind that but I liked the humor in Once a Witch. As far as the villains go, I thought Alistair Knight was bad but his ancestors are even more vile. Liam Knight and his mother La Spider are truly horrible people, which makes them candidates for great villains. Unfortunately we don't really get to know them as characters or understand their motivations. Likewise we don't get to see why Jessica Knight behaves the way she does. Another disappointment is the romance. Gabriel isn't around for much of the book and his relationship with Tamsin is lacking in chemistry.

My overall feeling about this book is that everything is on the surface and the story is rushed. There are some creepy moments but I felt disappointed by the lack of development for the villains. It also didn't make sense that Tamsin fit into that time period so easily. How could she know all the things she'd need to know to be believable?  I did like the ending and how the crisis was resolved but if there is a third book in the series I am not sure that I will read it. Always a Witch would have been a better novel if it wasn't so rushed and more time was allowed for character development. 

Readalikes (I consider these to be better books than Always a Witch but they are similar in subject): 

Gateway by Sharon Shinn, Bewitching Season by Marissa Doyle, The Prophecy of the Sisters by Michelle Zink, The Vespertine by Saundra Mitchell, The Glass series by Maria V. Snyder

Note: I received an ARC of this book through the Amazon Vine program in exchange for an honest review


  1. I love this series, it's so good. I hope there's a book #3! Great review!

  2. I liked this one more because Tamsin seemed to know who she was and wasn't moping all the time. I also loved the historical setting even if I didn't completely buy it. I really liked the emphasis on family although there could have been more about the Greenes instead of just the Knights.

  3. Ah, I'm so nervous to read this one. That's such a bummer that it isn't as humor-filled as the previous story.

    Thanks for the honest review! :)

  4. I really like once a witch and just got this one from the library. and I was really looking forward to reading this. but now I am feeling, not to keep my hopes to high other wise I will really be made at this book.
    thanks so much for this review. it means a lot to me to read this review before I read this book. =]


Reading Extensively is now an award free blog. Thanks for stopping by! Please leave a comment. I enjoy receiving feedback! Due to increase in spam, I've enabled comment moderation. Sorry for any inconvenience!