Once A Witch

By Sonythebooklover

Once a Witch

When I first picked up this book, it was by chance I found a lot of good books that way, but I wasn’t sure about this one, though I got pulled in by the cover. Still, I wanted something different to read, no vamps or were, but it still had an element of fantasy to it. Time travel, intrigue, action who could ask for more? I come from a small immediate family, so I just loved Tasmin’s family right away. What appealed to me was the seize and the family dynamics; everyone was so close, and on the one hand, the family functioned like a business; their witchy utilitarian talents were put to good use, ensuring the family’s financial survival. Tamsin is a typical teenager, rebellious and unsure of herself even more so. Tamsin questions if she belongs because every else had their talents manifest at the age of eight except Tamsin, or so she thinks.  She’s embarrassed by her family’s profession and hates being a pariah. In New York, her life is a stark contrast; she’s alone and anonymous.  Unlike at home in “the hellcrater” her nickname for the town where her family is the town pariah until one of the townspeople needs something.  Until Alistair walks into her family’s shop and changes her world in one misunderstanding, which starts an adventure at the end of which Tamsin becomes stronger and has come to accept who she is in her place. The premise was fresh, a nice little adventure on Sunday afternoon.

Onto the ugly bits, what I didn’t like about the story was the sound, but it took forever for things to start even after the villain introduced himself into the story, which was clever, by the way, as a client. Another thing  I didn’t get is if Tamsin is so powerful and other talents don’t work on her, how come she couldn’t fight off her sister Rowena? It’s psychological, you say, then she fought off her grandmother. The villain in this piece, Alistair Callum runs hot and cold I mean, there are moments in the book when I think he’s an evil genius than others when he reminds me of a bully on the playground trying to take your lunch money. He would have made a great villain if he had had more evil genius and fewer playground bullies.  Overall I enjoyed Once a witch. I gave it a three and a half stars mostly because it took a while before it started, and if my attention span were a touch shorter, I would have put the book down and returned to it later, sorry. In the end, I persevered and made it past the parts laggy to the good stuff.

Disclaimer: I always try to be honest and impartial in my reviews; my goal is not to tear down a writer’s work but to offer my most humble constructive opinions. Be it negative or positive, it is meant to be taken as such; after all, these are just my opinions, so please take it with a grain of salt.

Favorite quote: They said I never made a sound but opened my eyes and immediately regarded them all with a calm and quiet gaze “as if she’s seen so much already,” my mother whispered.

Rating: 3.5/5




  • Title: Once a Witch by Carolyn MacCullough
  • Series: Witch #1
  • Published: September 19, 2009
  • Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
  • Genre: Fantasy
  • Rating: 3 1/2  – 5
  • Format: Hardcover
  • Pages: 292
  • Buy: Amazon

Tamsin Greene comes from a long line of witches, and she was supposed to be one of the most Talented among them. But Tamsin’s magic never showed up. Now seventeen, Tamsin attends boarding school in Manhattan, far from her family. But when a handsome young professor mistakes her for her very Talented sister, Tamsin agrees to find a lost family heirloom for him. The search—and the stranger—will prove to be more sinister than they first appeared, ultimately sending Tamsin on a treasure hunt through time that will unlock the secret of her true identity, unearth the sins of her family, and unleash a power so vengeful that it could destroy them all. This is a spellbinding display of storytelling that will exhilarate, enthrall, and thoroughly enchant.

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