Author: Carolyn McCullough
Genre: Teen Fiction, Fantasy
Publication Date: August 1, 2011
Publisher: Clarion Books
ISBN-13 Book: 9780547224855
Publisher Audio CD: Brilliance Audio
ISBN CD: 9781455856992
Length: 7 CDs (Approximately 461 minutes)
Narrator: Hannah Friedman
Disclosure: I checked out a copy of the audio book from my public library. This is my honest review!
Always a Witch by Carolyn MacCullough
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Tamsin Greene, who believed for so long that she was the only member of her Talented family without a Talent, learned at the end of Once a Witch that she has the incredible ability to copy the abilities of other witches. Always a Witch starts where Once a Witch left off. Still worried about her grandmother’s prophecy, and the fact that Alistair Knight got away from them, Tam waits for his next move. When one of the Knight family shows up in the Greene living room, Tam is left with only one option, to go back in time and stop Alistair and save her family. Once in the past Tam is employed by the Knight family, and she watches and waits for an opportunity to find her family in the past. But time is moving quickly and soon Tamsin will have to make a terrible choice to save her family in the future.
I loved the first book Once a Witch and couldn’t wait to read the sequel, unfortunately it got buried under my extensive TBR pile. This past week I haven’t felt much like reading, so I decided that now might be the time to try this book on audio, and see how it did in that format.
I love Tamsin and her quirky family, and I really would have liked more of Gabriel in this book—he is definitely one hot ticket! It was nice though to see Tam on her own, away from her family and navigating the shark infested waters of the evil Knight family. While some of her choices made me more than a little nervous, it did keep me on the edge of my seat waiting to see what would happen and if she would get caught.
While the Knights, except for Jessica, came across as your stereotypical bad guys, and could have used some more definition of character, they were suitably creepy enough to keep you interested. Jessica was the anomaly, a character you weren’t sure whether to be wary of her, or to trust her.
The story was intriguing and definitely kept you on the edge of your seat, and the pacing was spot on. McCullough knows how to keep a story interesting and I loved the time travel motif, though I think more could have been said about the adjustments Tamsin had to make to the time period.
The audio was produced by Brilliance Audio and read by Hannah Friedman. This book was well suited to audio, although there were times I wanted to get through the book more quickly than listening to it. While the production is good and free of flaws, I found the reading to be a bit over acted or overly exaggerated at times. It would throw me out of the story a bit. It wasn’t a bad way to experience the story, and Friedman has a nice voice, it just didn’t have the polish of other readings. When the dialogue was internal, the reading was fine, conversations, and parts that were more dramatic, felt a bit overacted.
Overall, this book was an entertaining read. I had predicted the ending long before I got there, but still the journey was worth it. I love the characters, and it definitely kept me on the edge of my seat.
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