Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Once a Witch (fiction)

Getting away from a bad situation always seems like a good idea... except when a bigger problem roars down from an unexpected quarter.

There's always someone, somewhere, who is taller or has a better free throw average or solves the crossword puzzle faster than you - usually we find something else to focus on and things seem better.

But Tam's birth prophecy said she would be "most powerful" and "a beacon to us all" - she's not imagining her family's disappointment as she grows up with no Talent at all. Her mom's arguments about Tam leaving home made the weather storm and moan; her grandmother's future-sight never shows whole pictures.

At least Gabriel is here now - his Talent for finding things might help Tam as she searches for the professor's long-lost family heirloom. And a little time-Traveling with a cute guy...

Followed by Always a Witch which extends and completes the story of Tamsin and the Greenes as they struggle to keep the Knight family from gaining control over humankind.

Book info: Once a Witch / Carolyn MacCullough. Graphia HMH, 2009. [author's website] [book website] [publisher site] [book trailer]

Recommendation: Boarding school is a better place for Tamsin, unTalented among her family of powerful witches. There, she can almost forget the words of her seer grandmother – that Tamsin will be most powerful of them all. Ha!

At least her childhood pal Gabriel and his mother have moved back to Hedgerow, where the extended Greene family has lived quietly for many decades, more than content to stay out of public notice. He doesn’t yet know that Tam’s Talent never manifested, but someone will surely tell him soon.

When a professor visits the family bookstore and asks her help in tracing an heirloom, mistaking Tam for her very Talented sister, she agrees. A bit odd that McCallum finds them both in New York City soon after, as Rowena shops for her wedding dress…

Tam’s search for the missing clock takes her and Gabriel much further than she had imagined – back to 1899, in fact, thanks to Gabriel’s time-traveling Talent. But finding the clock triggers a new quest as Tam learns more about her family’s history and their past battles with another group of witches who’d rather rule over unTalented humans than avoid their notice.

Can Tam keep the clock away from the professor long enough to discover its secrets? Have she and Gabriel altered the path of time? How can she do anything to help her family when she has no Talent?

Tam tries to balance her personal world with the larger questions of good versus evil in this first book of a duet which is followed by Always a Witch. Surely Rowena will decide on a wedding dress before it’s all over… (One of 5,000 books recommended on www.abookandahug.com) Review copy courtesy of the publisher.


  1. This was one of my favorite recent time travel books, and I liked the sequel as well.

  2. Yes, Ms. Yingling, this one truly examines the ramifications of time travel without getting too 'math and physics' about it. Look for recommendation of Always A Witch here soon!


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