February 6, 2012

Review: New England Witch Chronicles by Chelsea Bellingeri

TitleNew England Witch Chronicles - Book 1
Author:  Chelsea Bellingeri
Artist:  Rahul Philip
Pages: 345
My Rating: 3 out of 5 Stars

Synopsis: The Salem Witch Trials of 1692 were an embarrassing stain on America’s revered past. Innocent people were persecuted at the hands of a few over-zealous puritans. But what if there were real witches during those colonial hunts? What if there are witches in present day New England? That is what Alexandria Ramsey’s crazy grandmother believes. Grandma Claudia claims Alex descends from a long line of New England witches.

Modern day witches in Hazel Cove, Massachusetts? Unlikely, but strange things are occurring in the weeks preceding Alex’s seventeenth birthday, which also coincides with her family’s annual Halloween party. Alex is haunted by bizarre reoccurring nightmares of a man chasing her through the Hazel Cove Cemetery. On a few occasions, when her emotions have spiraled out of control, inanimate objects have shattered around her. But that’s just a coincidence, right? Alex isn’t so sure, especially after a local girl, who supposedly dabbled in witchcraft, was killed in the nearby forest...

My Review: The author has done a good job in transitioning through the story smoothly without having to describe a lot of things to prepare the reader for the shift, but I found the overall book to be average. It may be more appealing to young adults. With more experience, I think this author has potential.

It was difficult to grasp the author's intention for the persona of the main character. She would alternate between weak and whiny (most of the time), to strong-willed...to a point, then would buckle under any amount of pressure. The doting she received from two male characters often reminded me of the Twilight series and was a bit stomach-churning. There were several times when I felt the main character was acting "out of character", but then again, I had a difficult time trying to figure out exactly what her character was really supposed to be. I was unable to "like" her at any point.

In general, the story was a bit flat and predictable. Reading was an unemotional experience. I felt there were times when the author began to introduce a concept, as if it were meant to lead to something later, but it didn't. I was also hoping there would be more history woven in, especially as it relates to the Salem Witch Trials.

There are a large number of glaring editing errors, but generally speaking, the book was not a bad read. I look forward to more from this author as she progresses in her talents. I gave this book a rating of 3 out of 5 stars. While it may not meet my personal reading level or interests, I think young adults would find it very appealing.
Inspired by her Native American roots and Bradbury lineage, Polly Taskey is a writer and grandmother in the northern USA.  She shares her wisdom and pagan interests through Pagan by Design and The Moonlit Grove.


Melissas Eclectic Bookshelf said...

Hmmm...I had this one on my wishlist based upon a recommendation...but after reading your review I think I'll take it off! Thanks for the honest review and for participating in the challenge!

♥ Melissa @ Melissa's Eclectic Bookshelf

Polly said...

Melissa, I apologize for not getting your comment up sooner - it had gone to my Spam (why??) and I didn't see it for a while.

By all means, don't remove the book from your list based just on my review. I am not a professional critic and don't have much experience in reviewing the work of others. Perhaps I am a bit too harsh(?)

Melissa said...

My philosophy is that there are so many books out there to read...if I am on the fence about something and I read a bad review or two...then it comes off my list!  If it were really something that I had my heart set on I would still read it...or if I see another great review I might reconsider it.


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