I was a little hesitant going into this book because all I remember saying to myself the first time I read it, was that it wasn t as good After reading, I ve decided that it was pretty good I still think that Ms MacCullough could ve just written a longer and single book instead of two.Since the ending of the last book, Tam and Gabriel realize that they have to time travel and find the Knights, the family that is trying to ruin their own Tamsin is still thinking about the prophecy that her grandmother has told her about that she will have to make a very important choice Tam, while going after the Knights in the 19th century New York, is concerned about this To spy on Alistair and the other Knights, she disguises herself as a lady s maid and works in the heart of the evil family She has to pretend that she is Talentless, hide from La Spider, the head of the family, and to ignore Liam s dangerous advances on her.Toward the end, Tam realizes her horrific choice and protects herself against the Knight s with a lot of Talent.There were many things about this book that I liked One was the action Tam was always hiding or using different personalities to stay in the house with her fake name of Agatha.Tam was also a strong leading women Instead of whining, giving up, and loving other men, she is determined and very level headed The ending of the book definitely continued to how her character.One of the things that I didn t like was that there wasn t development of the characters The reader just went on the what they learned about her peculiar family and Gabriel I would ve liked to see of Gabriel or love between Tam and him Gabriel was one of my favorite characters so that would have been good.Another weakness that I saw was how adjusted Tam seem to being in the 1880 s New York She blended right in and talked the same as everyone else This wasn t that believable.The ending was not what I expected and I was a little disappointed I felt bad for Tam but I sort of did like the outcome.Overall, Ms MacCullough did write a very good historical fiction novel as the second installment of this series. More reviews can be found at my blog Nomalicious ReadsAlways A Witch was a thrilling, sigh worthy read a fantastic conclusion to Once a Witch Carolyn MacCullough tied all the ends off very nicely, and I m sad that Tamsin s journey is now over But it ended so well that I can t complain Tamsin dealing with the social norms and bad guy,s in the nineteenth century definitely had its amusing moments as well as its heartwarming and shocking ones The bad guys, La Spider and Liam were amazingly, chillingly evil Carolyn did an amazing job with them At some moments, she had me on the edge of my seat anticipating what would happen next, hoping that Tamsin would survive working in their lair Gabriel is just so yummy I would have loved to have seen even of him and Tamsin, but really that s just me fangirling And Tamsin She s just an amazing, down to earth, kick ass heroine I m really sad to see this book come to an end, but I ll be eagerly awaiting Carolyn s other books, she s won me over as a fan for life I give Always a Witch by Carolyn MacCullough 5 noms. I confidently predict that readers who loved Once a Witch will also love the second half of the story about the seemingly talentfree, teenaged witch Tamsin Greene, her wacky, magic family, her hot and talented boyfriend Gabriel and their joint fight against the super evil and humans hating Knight clan, because it is basically composed using the same elements an imperfect and insecure but likable, courageous and strong teenaged heroine a cute and devoted love interest and side kick a slightly nutty familiy of bickering but well meaning witches who provide both surprise elements and entertainment physically dangerous time travel action and a little thrill throroughly evil black witches lacking a conscience and compassion but filling the gaps with cool calculation, greed and gruesome practices like human sacrifice decent writing.For me personally, Always a Witch dropped half a star from the 3.5 stars I doled out to Once a Witch out of a total of 5 , maybe mainly because the sequel is exactly that The second part of the story, one which did not add new elements, take the romance to a further level, or make the heroine s otherness stand out apart from her developing quite angelic traits in the end All in all, a sequel that is almost as good as its precessor is an unexpectedly positive thing, for the nature of paranomal sequels seems to have this natural gravitation thing, that drags them down, built in Still, I nonetheless irrationally hoped for Tamsim to have difficulties to adapt to her life in the past the struggle of nowadays people with the customs and the mechanisms of everyday life in past centuries is what makes time travel stories so attractive to me But Tamsin takes over the life and the tasks of a lady s maid within a day and without blinking an eye or getting scolded for being clueless Tamsin s and Gabriel s shared time not to be wholly consumed by witchy business matters i.e saving the Greene family instead of occasionally letting some hot sparks fly I really expected Tamsin, who is different from her family, not to be so hesitant and or old couplish Apart from one misunderstanding view spoiler Gabriel interprets Tamsin s invitation to her room as taking the initiative to a good rolling in the hay hide spoiler Wow Just wow I did NOT see that coming After I read Once a Witch, I remember saying that MacCullough s writing was pretty decent Now I m forced to swallow my words It s not just decent, it s pretty damn good In this sequel to Once A Witch, Tamsin must journey back in time to the New York of the 1880s to stop her family s enemies from regaining their power and destroying what the Greenes have spent a hundred odd years building.MacCullough seems to have a talent for historical fiction The story moves much smoothly in Always A Witch The pacing is fast, the writing is tight and the plot is absorbing I m not saying that this book is a great work of literature But I am saying that it s a worthwhile read Tamsin is a likeable heroine who doesn t whine or angst or fall in love with multiple men at the same time For someone who is supposed to have great powers, she seems remarkably level headed Also, on a side note, can I mention that, apart from Rowena, who does a good job of being the sister from Hell, Tamsin s family is adorable I would actually have loved it if this book had taken a few extra pages and focused a little deeper on Tamsin s family dynamics I want Uncle Morry Gabriel, however, seems to be strictly supporting cast, as in the first book In fact, that is one of my minor complaints with regard to Always a Witch In the interests of fast pacing, MacCullough seems to have sacrificed a certain amount of characterization, so we see very little of the family, or the conflict that Tamsin s super powers are causing, and there is no fleshing out or deepening of her relationship with Gabriel There are several aspects of this book that are a little too smooth to be believable Deus ex machina plays a big role in Tamsin s fortuitous entry into the Knights house and her subsequent discoveries Of all the gin joints in all the world as Bogey would say Also, her transition from modern day New York to the New York of the 1880s is practically seamless Please If someone moved me from the city into a village, I would have trouble adjusting, but our heroine just breezes into another era and faces no constraints Overall, however, this is a book I would recommend for anyone looking for a well written, fast paced read that s not too taxing on the brain It all wraps up neatly, tied with a big, shiny bow and the reader is left feeling satisfied and positive MacCullough s second offering trumps her first hands down I received this ARC from the publishers via Net Galley No monetary or other considerations ahve affected this review, yadda yadda. Book 2 of the Witch Urban Fantasy Series for TeensNote Please do not read this review if you have not read Book 1 of the Witch series, Once a Witch, because there will inevitably be spoilers for that book.Once again 17 year old Tamsin Greene s life is strongly influenced by one of her grandmother s prophecies, in this case that she will soon have to make a huge decision that could affect her family s very survival After the events of Once a Witch, Tamsin has become fully aware of her enormous Talents as a witch Other witches magic has no affect on her a common motif in many traditional fantasy novels, as well as an ability of Bella in Twilight, but still quite intriguing here , and if other witches use their magic against her three times, she absorbs, but does not steal, their ability much like Peter Petrelli in the TV series, Heroes She also knows that the evil witch family, the Knights, have a long time blood feud with the Greenes, because the Greenes found a way to inhibit their magical power The Knights are determined to get their magical power back, and they will stop at nothing, including murder, to accomplish their goal.The action begins in Book 2 when Tamsin discovers that the villain from Book 1, Alistair Knight, has traveled through time to Victorian era New York in order to help his ancestors wipe out Tamsin s before they can halt the Knight family s magical crimes Tamsin is determined to go back in time just prior to Alistair s arrival and cut off his scheme, but she refuses to let anyone else get involved If someone is going to be killed in this overwhelming mission, she is determined that the only loss of life will be her own Unfortunately, without her boyfriend Gabriel along as he was in Book 1, she can only manage a one way trip to the past She also doesn t have the assistance of his other crucial Talent of being able to find anything in her quest to locate and warn her Greene ancestors about Alistair Knight As a result, Tamsin has no luck in her search for the Greenes, but she stumbles on the Knight family when she is offered a job as a lady s maid in the Knight mansion in New York City Tamsin quickly shifts direction and sets herself up as a mole within the Knight family in order to prevent the vicious matriarch of the Knight family, La Spider, from connecting with Alistair Unfortunately, her task is made much difficult when she is forced to resist the seductive charisma of the magnetically handsome and magically compelling Liam Knight, the eldest son of the family.This book is not only a worthy successor to Once a Witch, but actually in many ways even better Tamsin continues to be a dynamic heroine who is extremely sympathetic because of her willingness to sacrifice herself for the greater good She is also a true survivor, as evidenced by her willingness to improvise and persist against overwhelming odds as she deals with the horrible Knight family in the 19th century, completely out of her element, cut off from all support.The writing throughout this book is very well done, both as to the actual words on the page and the content of those words The urban fantasy world building continues to be well executed, the time travel element in particular Tamsin s relatives and magical enemies are very convincingly portrayed, particularly Liam Knight He is the best kind of villain, a multilayered one who is both attractive and repulsive at the same time.In this book, unlike Book 1, Tamsin doesn t smoke, and though she does drink a beer that is offered to her in the 19th century, it is as a thirst quencher rather than a mood altering substance However, Liam s sexually seductive attitude toward all females, including Tamsin, may cause some parents to judge this book less suitable for pre teens and younger teens than Book 1 The age range for YA extends from age 11 19 according to YALSA the YA portion of the American Library Association , and I would personally peg this book as appropriate for the mature end of that range, for teens 16 and above.I grade the novel this way Heroine 5 stars Subcharacters 5 stars Fantasy World Building 4 stars Writing 5 stars Magical Thriller Plot 4 stars Romantic Subplot 4 stars Overall 4.5 stars rounded up to 5 stars It took the return of an old family enemy, two episodes of time travel, and one very dangerous love spell that nearly killed my sister before I learned three things.First, I can stop anyone from using there Talents to harm me Second, I can absorb a person s Talent if they attempt to use it against me three times Third, I apparently have a choice ahead of me.Since this book isn t released till Aug 2011, I don t want to say to much since I want others to just read.this.book.Always a Witch is such a quaint, engaging and genuine story filled with so much spirit, magic and heart.I love these stories and it s characters It s just a really fun book I loved going back in time with Tam and Gabriel and meeting new villains along the way I love that Tam doesn t always have the answers, but it doesn t stop her from trying What she did for her family was amazing, such an incredible character and I simply adore Gabriel Bottom line, Great adventure, lots of twists I didn t see coming and lovable character that will keep you entertained from minute one.I adore this book to pieces and I can t wait to get a copy to treasure always I m pretty sure this is the ending to this series which makes me sad, but I can t wait to see what MacCullough comes up with next Her books will always have a special place on my shelf Thanks to Netgalley and Houghton Mifflin Harcout for giving me the opportunity to view an early copy Loved this even than the first book in this seriesmy question iswill there be a book three I am not quite ready to say good bye to Tamsin and Gabriel.Always A WitchByCarolyn MacCulloughFrom The Book Since the gripping conclusion of Once A Witch, Tamsin Greene has been haunted by her grandmother s prophecy that she will soon be forced to make a crucial decision one so terrible that it could harm everyone she loves When she discovers that her enemy, Alistair Knight, went back in time to Victorian Era New York in order to destroy her family, Tamsin is forced to follow him into the past Stranded all alone in the nineteenth century, Tamsin soon finds herself disguised as a lady s maid in the terrifying mansion of the evil Knight family, avoiding the watchful eye of the vicious matron, La Spider, and fending off the advances of Liam Knight, As time runs out, both families square off in a thrilling display of magic And to her horror, Tamsin finally understands the nature of her fateful choice.My thoughts This book was fabulous The author managed to write a sequel that I thought was even better than the first book The danger and mystery and fear were accented by Tamsin s offbeat 16 year old mannerisms and sarcasm Tamsin loves second hand clothes and her BFF Agatha and lattes and fun her hair is pretty much always a mess she is irreverent to say the least and has a typical 16 year old disregard for any and all authority.So she finds herself in practically medieval times for her trying to secure pins in the hair of the daughter of her family s evil enemy She knows she is the only one who can fix all of the awful things that the Knight family has done to innocent people and to the Greene family And because of her grandmother s warning she knows that she may not come out of this unscathed So it was a breathtaking reading experience for me nail biting even I literally finished it overnight I cheered Tamsin She is a fun and an amazing heroine Now I yearn for book three. The Adventures Of Tam And Gabriel Continue With Time Travel, Talents, Spy Work, And Of Course, The Evil KnightsSince The Gripping Conclusion Of Once A Witch, Tamsin Greene Has Been Haunted By Her Grandmother S Prophecy That She Will Soon Be Forced To Make A Crucial Decision One So Terrible That It Could Harm Her Family Forever When She Discovers That Her Enemy, Alistair Knight, Went Back In Time To Victorian Era New York In Order To Destroy Her Family, Tamsin Is Forced To Follow Him Into The Past Stranded All Alone In The Nineteenth Century, Tamsin Soon Finds Herself Disguised As A Lady S Maid In The Terrifying Mansion Of The Evil Knight Family, Avoiding The Watchful Eye Of The Vicious Matron, La Spider, And Fending Off The Advances Of Liam Knight As Time Runs Out, Both Families Square Off In A Thrilling Display Of Magic And To Her Horror, Tamsin Finally Understands The Nature Of Her Fateful Choice What started out as a cute book became a really good one in the end Full review to come. Always a Witch is the sequal to Once a Witch In Once a Witch, Tamsin Greene grew up in a talented family of witches believing herself to be ordinary Her own family were rather awful to at her times considering their deception We find out part of the reason why they treated her this way in Always a Witch view spoiler Her Grandmother knew that Tamsin would have to sacrafice her own talent stopping others from using their talent on her, so she wanted her to learn to live without having one Her family still could have treated her kindly Her dad was obnoxious I found that ending too pat so the sequel was much needed hide spoiler
Carolyn MacCullough received her MFA in creative writing from the New School and lives with her husband in Brooklyn.
- 276 pages
- Always a witch
- Carolyn MacCullough
- 04 December 2019 Carolyn MacCullough