Review: Old Magic by Marianne CurleyOld Magic by Marianne Curley
Published by Bloomsbury on 2012-09-13
Pages: 320
Genres: Paranormal YA, Young Adult
Source: Purchased myself
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Jarrod Thornton is mesmerizing, but Kate Warren doesn't know why.

The moment the new guy walks into the room, Kate senses something strange and intense about him. Something supernatural. Her instincts are proven correct a few minutes later when, bullied by his classmates, Jarrod unknowingly conjures up a freak thunderstorm inside their classroom.

Jarrod doesn't believe in the paranormal. When Kate tries to convince him that he has extraordinary powers that need to be harnessed, he only puts up with her "hocus pocus" notions because he finds her captivating. However, the dangerous, uncontrolled strengthening of his gift finally convinces Jarrod that he must take Kate's theories seriously. Together, they embark on a remarkable journey—one which will unravel the mystery that has haunted Jarrod's family for generations and pit the teens against immense forces in a battle to undo the past and reshape the future.

Spoiler Alert: This review has a few in it – but they are basically the facts that I wish someone had told me about before I started reading.

Thoughts: Old Magic is really damn hard to review. Because although it had a lot of elements in it that were enjoyable, it was ultimately a let down.

The main character Kate and Jarrod were relatively enjoyable, but not all that well developed. In fact, Jarrod’s main character trait was his extraordinary cowardice. Sure, that was entertaining and believable for about 100 pages – but after a while I wanted to slam his head into something hard. Because of his utter lack of spine, I found Kate’s attraction to him rather peculiar.

Despite that, I really enjoyed the first half of the novel. It is set in a sleepy town surrounded by woodlands. The atmosphere was rather dark and magical – reminding me of Need and Shiver in many parts. But then, half way through the book Kate and Jarrod time-travel back 1000 years.

Er, what? No! Take me back to that mysterious little town!

That was pretty much my only thought for the rest of the book. Curley introduces us to a dozen new characters, some rather over-the-top villains and some rather drawn-out plot. I don’t really have a problem with time-travelling in books – I just would rather it be the sole focus of the novel. Instead, I felt like I had been tossed into the poorly made sequel to the first half of the book.  One where they had to recast the leads because the script was so bad…

Bottom line? Curley is a very believable writer. And while I was disappointed with Old Magic, I shall be picking up some of her other books in the near future.

Kay

Your ghost host at Dead Book Darling
Kay's been blogging about urban fantasy, young adult and werewolves since 2009. She's a firm believer in the many uses of the towel, the science of deduction and other fandom in-jokes. To support her book-buying habit, Kay keeps up a day-job as a science journalist (so feel free to ask her about Physics).

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