Monday, 23 January 2012

A Witch in Winter - Ruth Warburton.

Published: 5th January 2012
Format: Paperback
Publisher: Hodder
Pages: 368
Challenge: Debut Author Challenge 2012/Witches & Witchcraft Challenge 2012
Buy this book: Amazon UK

Synopsis [Amazon UK]
Anna Winterson doesn't know she's a witch and would probably mock you for believing in magic, but after moving to the small town of Winter with her father, she learns more than she ever wanted to about power. When Anna meets Seth, she is smitten, but when she enchants him to love her, she unwittingly amplifies a deadly conflict between two witch clans and splits her own heart in two. She wants to love Seth, to let him love her - but if it is her magic that's controlling his passion, then she is as monstrous as the witch clan who are trying to use her amazing powers for their own gain.
When love is tangled up in magic, how can you be sure what's real?

The cover...
I really like this cover.  It gives you the perfect image of what Anna could look like and where she is now living.  I don't know what it is, but for me lightning strikes on a cover are absolutely gorgeous!  The font of the title captures the eye and fits in with the design too.
How did I find out about this book?
I bought this book for the Debut Author Challenge that I am participating in.
What is this book about?
This book is about a girl named Anna who moves from London to a town named Winter with her dad as he has been made redundant and wants them both to make a fresh start.  Anna's new start in Winter doesn't turn out great though as whilst drunk at a sleepover with her new school friends they all use an enchantment spell on their crushes, however only Anna's works! She then tries to stop the enchanted boy from loving her and ends up falling in love with him too.  Through trying to stop the enchantment she is showing her presence in the town to the other witches and the 'rulers' and this brings troubles, storms, and unexpected connections.
My opinion...
Maybe my expectations are far too high in regards to books involving the supernatural.  For a witch, Anna doesn't seem to do that much magic until the end of this book.  She doesn't know how she is a witch and no one seems to tell her.  We get an inkling that it came from her mother who disappeared when Anna was young but other than that we are told nothing and that really bugged me.

I want to ask 'where's the drama?'...It seems like this book is slow, it takes a while to get to the action telling you all the small parts of a story that people usually leave out because they're boring.  When there was a bit of drama it felt like it was over before it started.  There should be more explanation and depth into the various storms and the characters involved should be voicing their feelings in regards to the freak storms 'out loud' instead, for example, of just third person 'I swore'.  Perhaps the author was trying not to use swear words but there are plenty more words that can be used and if the word 'tit' was used (although the author seems to be going down the British route) then why not go the full hog.

The main focus of the book was on Anna's enchantment on Seth and it got to a point where I'm thinking, 'is this it? Storms and 'fake love'?'.  It also made me ponder whether the enchantment was already gone but just being dragged on until the main scene, and that Seth actually 'liked' Anna (as Anna also continuously reminded Seth of this).  I couldn't relate to the main character of Anna at all, it just seemed like she was selfish in a way thinking of how her life would be turned upside down rather than everyone else's.  She did mention her loved ones but it was more in relation to how they were there for her.  In regards to loved ones are they really her loved ones? They just seem to be in her life because their connection is the title of 'witch'.

From the start the character of Seth is my favourite.  His anger and passion is portrayed through the strong use of adjectives and it makes you warm to him instantly.  You just want him to get the girl in the end.  However, as far as characters go Seth is the only one, in my opinion, who gets the most attention, he even draws the attention away from Anna slightly and she's the main character.  Some characters are introduced into the storyline by what seems to be name only and it would have been good to find out a bit more about them, especially Maya and Emmaline.  Other characters were brought into the story for a short period and then seemed to disappear - this being in reference to June, Prue and Liz, they are the ones who are with Anna when the enchantment spell was done but it seems that that was their soul purpose and it might have been better to keep at least one of them in the story as perhaps a confidante of Anna, as she doesn't seem to have anyone else.

It seems like a lot of characters had no back story they just appeared when needed and it would be great if in Book Two we find out more from them.  As I already mentioned, even Anna's backstory in regards to her mother isn't revealed either. Mainly, I think there should be some kind of point of view from the Ealdwitans.  You basically only hear that they are the rulers and are bad, but why are they bad? Who exactly are they?  Where did they come from? Who are Mr Brereton's 'friends' exactly? etc. etc. ...

To be honest I was quite disappointed with this book. Although, in the last few chapters the book actually starts to fight back along with Anna,which makes me intrigued as to where it will go next...but it had all the potential and ingredients to be a great first novel,  I just think there was far too much added in to one book and it should have just focused on one or two main aspects (especially since it's a trilogy), therefore it just didn't do it for me in the end.  However, this doesn't mean that I won't be reading Book Two, as I said there is so many unanswered questions and it will annoy me until they get answered.  You never know, it might grow on me.

If you enjoyed this book: what to read next...
Book Two of this book is released in July of this year titled 'A Witch in Love'.  Until then I suggest reading The Secret Circle.  I have watched The Secret Circle tv show and I have been dying to read the books.  I usually don't like to compare the books to the tv shows as in a lot of cases they are completely different, but if the books are even half as good as the tv show then I can't wait to read them!

1 comment:

  1. Sorry to hear that this one was a slow read and overall a bit of a disappointment! Great review though!



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