Author: Alyxandra Harvey
Published: January 7th 2014 by Walker Childrens
Source: Publisher via Netgalley
Description: In 1814, three cousins—Gretchen, Emma, and Penelope—discover their family lineage of witchcraft when a binding spell is broken, allowing their individual magical powers to manifest. Now, beyond the manicured gardens and ballrooms of Regency London, an alluring underworld available only to those with power is revealed to the cousins. By claiming their power, the three cousins have accidentally opened the gates to the underworld. Now ghouls, hellhounds—and most terrifying of all, the spirits of dark witches known as the Greymalkin Sisters—are hunting and killing young debutante witches for their powers. And, somehow, Emma is connected to the murders…because she keeps finding the bodies. Can the cousins seal the gates before another witch is killed…or even worse, before their new gifts are stripped away?
First Line: Breaking into a dead woman's house was easy work since she rarely complained.
I Give This ...
I tend to gravitate to this author when I see her name pop up on a book. But, I have to be honest and say I haven't been wowed since her vampire series. I really hoped this book would spark that interest again. Sadly, it wasn't quite so.
I really liked how close these three cousins are because when you learn about their mothers, you realize it couldn't easily have been that they have nothing to with each other. They get through it all no matter what the costs. When Emma accidentally breaks the binding spell and all hell breaks loose, Gretchen and Penelope never hesitant to be right behind her helping solve their complicated past.
And complicated it is. I really think that's were this story lost me. There's just a lot of details that padded the story to the point it was too much. First the history of witchcraft isn't as simple as one would think. There's also a hierarchy that's in place that just didn't work for me. Which is funny because it's really everywhere. I didn't enjoy how only those from aristocratic backgrounds that demonstrated powers could be trained and attend the academy. I also still don't understand what The Order does. Do the protect or control?
I wasn't disinterested to the point that I put the book down though. I really wanted to know more about Emma's mother and why she put the binding spell in place. I really enjoyed our brief glimpses we get of who she was and who she is now. There's also a few great little twists to the story that helped bring the book up a little.
I'm not giving up on this author yet. I just don't think I connect with her paranormal historical fiction as much as I would like.