Title: Star Cursed
Author: Jessica Spotswood (Born Wicked)
Publisher: G.P. Putnam’s Son
With the Brotherhood persecuting witches like never before, a divided Sisterhood desperately needs Cate to come into her Prophesied powers. And after Cate’s friend Sachi is arrested for using magic, a war-thirsty Sister offers to help her find answers—if Cate is willing to endanger everyone she loves.
Cate doesn’t want to be a weapon, and she doesn’t want to involve her friends and Finn in the Sisterhood’s schemes. But when Maura and Tess join the Sisterhood, Maura makes it clear that she’ll do whatever it takes to lead the witches to victory. Even if it means sacrifices. Even if it means overthrowing Cate. Even if it means all-out war.
In the highly anticipated sequel to Born Wicked, the Cahill Witch Chronicles continue Cate, Maura and Tess’s quest to find love, protect family, and explore their magic against all odds in an alternate history of New England.
I thought that Born Wicked was a pretty decent debut. I’m not the biggest fan of historical fiction books, but it had an interesting look at an alternate version of Victorian America (although it seemed like it was a twisted version of colonial America that happens to be in the late 1800s) and was about sisters and magic. Unfortunately, the sequel didn’t work out as good for me.
I don’t think I was a big fan of Cate in the first book, but I definitely wasn’t a fan of her in this book. I’m not quite sure what was the main problem – I guess it was a bunch of different things. Cate was a bit too angsty, cared way too much about her boyfriend (another problem – I didn’t care about the romance at all, so any mention of her boyfriend was too much for me), and I rarely agreed with her. She seemed contradictory – the “bad” witches want to do something and it’s awful, but the “good” witches (and Cate) want to do something similar and it’s suddenly the right thing to do. Cate kept insisting that she didn’t want to be a leader and such, but she sure acted like it.
The fighting between Cate and Maura made me mad, mostly because I was normally on Maura’s side. I didn’t care about Cate, so when she was annoyed at Maura and the book seemed to want me to be annoyed at Maura as well, I simply got more annoyed with Cate and the book. I didn’t care about Cate’s story enough to care about the book itself most of the time.
Then there’s the Brotherhood and the Sisterhood. I don’t know if this would have bothered me as much if I hadn’t read this post on The YA Kitten right before I started reading this book. The world that this book takes place in is very sexist. That’s the point of the story, of course – Cate and the other witches are fighting to end the sexist rule of the Brotherhood. Why do they have to be so sexist, though? Why do so many fantasy books have to revert women to even more of a second class position than we have today? This has become a weak trope, a tired one that shows the authors could be trying a lot harder. It’s lazy. And yes, I was definitely influenced by the above post, but that’s because it pointed out so many things that I agree with. You should check it out and see if you don’t agree with it as much.
And then we get to the end. I’m not going to spoil anything, but the very end had me rolling my eyes so much. It was out of nowhere and really seemed quite silly for me. I’ll just say this: as someone who doesn’t care about Cate and really doesn’t care about the romance, the cliffhanger has me running in the opposite direction rather than anxiously counting down the days until the third and final book.
So, I wasn’t really impressed with this sequel. I don’t think I’m going to continue with the series unless I hear really good things about it, which is kind of unfortunate after a decent start to the series.