Always a Witch by Carolyn MacCullough

Summary/Cover Image from Publisher's Website:
Since the gripping conclusion of Once a Witch, Tamsin Greene has been haunted by her grandmother’s prophecy that she will soon be forced to make a crucial decision—one so terrible that it could harm her family forever. When she discovers that her enemy, Alistair Knight, went back in time to Victorian-era New York in order to destroy her family, Tamsin is forced to follow him into the past. Stranded all alone in the nineteenth century, Tamsin soon finds herself disguised as a lady’s maid in the terrifying mansion of the evil Knight family, avoiding the watchful eye of the vicious matron, La Spider, and fending off the advances of Liam Knight. As time runs out, both families square off in a thrilling display of magic. And to her horror, Tamsin finally understands the nature of her fateful choice.

Just a little over two years ago a little book named Once a Witch rocked my world in more ways than one. Combining witches, time travel, and family secrets, there was a lot to love about that one. So when I heard about Always a Witch, the sequel that has been two years in the making, I couldn't wait to read it. I was eager to get back to Tasmin's world. However, while Always a Witch certainly did provide an interesting story, it wasn't nearly as great as its predecessor. Sadly enough, in some small ways, I even wish the main story ark in this one had been combined into Once a Witch somehow, because by itself, it didn't stand nearly as strong as it should have, in my opinion.

Always a Witch opens a little while after Once a Witch left off. Tamsin and her family are preparing for Rowena's upcoming wedding, and because of that Tamsin has moved back home for the meantime. However, even though Tamsin is enjoying being home in some ways, nothing is nearly as peachy as it should be. Tamsin is still silently fretting about her grandmother's prophecy that has bothered her in more ways than one, and after a surprise attack on the Greene family, everything is thrown into chaos yet again.  Her family's enemy Alistair Knight has a new sinister plan in the works, one that just may ruin everything for the Greene family. Knowing she has no choice but to go after him, Tamsin slips back through time, hoping to bring down Alistair once and for all. What she's doesn't know, though, is that this trip will change her in more ways than one. Will she be able to survive the burn so to say? Only time and more pages can tell!

The one thing I always enjoy about sequels is seeing the characters I've come to adore come back to life on the page, and that was just the case with Always a Witch. Tamsin especially was such a joy to see. I loved seeing how she continued to grow as a character as the book continued. Plus, I enjoyed seeing Gabriel once again. Just as sweet and adorable as ever, he managed to steal the show when he made an appearance, which made the fact that he had so little page time, all the more frustrating, in my opinion.

Even though I enjoyed seeing the characters in this one, the plot made Always a Witch fail in more ways than one. What I loved about the first one in this series was how exciting the plot had been, but with Always a Witch I felt everything had been watered down. The main storyline didn't hold the intrigue I was looking for, and for the most part, I knew how everything was going to go down form the beginning. Plus, Alistair, the villain who had been so cunning and manipulative before, even appeared watered down at times. Sometimes it was even hard to truly see him as anything but a non-essential character, one who was weak and even pathetic at times. However, I will admit that I enjoyed the storyline of  La Spider and her family. Now those people were wicked to say the least!

Carolyn's writing was good overall though. She did a great job with descriptions of the time period Tamsin was in and with furthering character development.

Lacking the spark and flair Once a Witch contained, Always a Witch wasn't really the sequel I had been hoping for. However, I still suggest it to fans who adored Once a Witch, as seeing the characters in this is more than enough reason to read it, but to others who were iffy about Once a Witch, I recommend ending the series with that one.

Grade: B

Always a Witch is now available!

Source: Publisher via Netgalley

1 comment:

  1. I really loved Once a Witch, sad to hear Gabriel isn't in it much though, I really loved the first book and cant wait to start this one!


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