Saturday, June 4, 2011

Early Review - The Witches of East End (The Beauchamp Family, Book 1) by Melissa De La Cruz (3/5 stars)

Witches of East End (The Beauchamp Family)Reading level: Adult
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Size: 288 pages
Publisher: Hyperion
Release Date: June 21, 2011
ISBN-13: 978-1401323905
Stand Alone or Series: 1st in Beauchamp Family series
Source: ARC from Librarything's Early Reviewer Program
Rating: 3/5 stars

I love Cruz's Blue Bloods series and was excited to see what she would come up with for an adult novel.  This is the first in her new series about the Beauchamp family.  I got an advanced reading copy of this book from Librarything's Early Reviewer program.  The book was okay; it started off pretty slow but got more interesting as it went on.

Freya (the youngest daughter), Ingrid (the oldest daughter) and Joanna (their mother) are three women who live in North Hampton; a mist-shrouded and uneventful town that people usually pass by for some reason.  Little known to their neighbors the three are powerful witches who have pledged not to use their power because of past incidents.  As each of these women encounters something important in their lives and they are drawn to use their magic for just some little things.  As they use more and more magic evil things start to happen around town.  Are the two connected?  What will happen when the townspeople start to look for someone to blame for their problems?

The beginning of this book reminded of the book Garden Spells by Sarah Addison Allen; it just kind of detailed the lives of these three witches and built a bit of mystery around them and the evil things happening in town.  Unfortunately this book doesn't have the sensuality and flowing descriptions of Garden Spells and this slow building of mystery was a bit too slow and honestly a bit boring.

As the evil grows in town and the witches become ensnared in more and more problems the story gets more interesting.  I loved how Cruz ties the witches' origins in with Norse mythology and enjoyed how there were visits from some of the Blue Bloods characters in this book.  I also loved how all of the mysteries came together in the end and tied together.  I continue to enjoy Cruz's writing style, it is very readable.

The above being said I also had some issues with this book.  None of the female witches really captured my heart; they were all okay characters just not all that engaging or likable.  As I already mentioned there were some pacing issues with this book.  Then there was the sex, there is a lot of it in this fact the majority of the beginning of the book deals with people having or talking about sex.  I know this is an adult book, but I thought the amount of sex in general was a bit overkill, not all that necessary to the story, and not sensual or really steamy.

The story wraps up nicely.  Then there is an epilogue that throws a wrench in everything and sets up the storyline for the next book.  To be honest this little cliffhanger at the end kind of just made me groan.

Overall it was okay.  I enjoyed the tie in with mythology and the Blue Bloods characters dropping in.  I loved how all the little mysteries tied together.  I didn't really enjoy the characters much, thought the pacing was a bit off, and thought the sex scenes weren't all that well done and were too plentiful.  When all was said and done I finished the book and mostly thought, "Huh, well okay guess I am done with that one.  Definitely won't be reading anymore of this series."  I didn't really dislike it, but I didn't think it was great either.  If you like the idea of reading about a family of witchy women check out Garden Spells by Sarah Addison Allen; it is a bit more serious than this book but also heartfelt and sensual and just an all out wondefully romantic read.

This book goes towards the following reading challenges:
- 100+ Reading Challenge

Witches of East End (The Beauchamp Family)

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