I really liked this book and the authors spin on "witches". While I did like the book I also did have a few problems with it.
First let me say that I really liked that this book was written in the guy's pov. With paranormal books and paranormal romance you almost never see this, at least in the books that I've read. I liked seeing things from Ethan's view and I like seeing how Ethan falls in love and what love looks like from a HUMAN Guy's perspective. I like Ethan's character as well. I like how he stands up for Lena in school and how he stands up for the right thing even if it means he's going to be alienated. I like how he is willing to stand by Lena's side no matter what, even if it means him getting seriously hurt. He loves Lena so much and so completely that its really touching. He is willing to do anything for her and he doesn't care what side she will be on when she is claimed. He's definitely a keeper.
As for the other characters I really like Macon Ravenwood. I like how he is so prim and proper. He also cracked me up a few times. It was a little annoying how mysterious he was but I liked him and how he changed his own nature to protect Lena at all costs. Amma was ok. She was weird too but she kind of annoyed me. I did like how she helped Lena at the end of the book and while she was weary of Macon she still worked with him to protect Lena and Ethan. Link is too hilarious and he's a good guy. I also liked Boo who protected Lena and followed her everywhere to make sure she was safe.
I liked the witch mythology in the book. I liked how each caster has their own specific power and their own specific name. Lena is a natural which is not really explained fully in the book. I kinda get the idea that she can control the 4 elements. I loved when Ethan and Lena were reading the Book of Moons and we learned about some aspects of the caster world. And OMG the Caster Library was awesome. I would love to run amok in there! I also loved the flashbacks/visions which showed how Lena's family became cursed. The story the visions told was so sad. I can't imagining going through what they girl in the visions went through. I can't say that I wouldn't do the same thing she did, especially if I was a caster.
The romance was done well. No insta love and no love triangles. Ethan was attractive to Lena but they didn't immediately fall in love. They hung out with each other and for more than half the book they didn't know what they were to each other. Were they friends or more? It was cute how they were treading carefully about using the word girlfriend and boyfriend until Link uses it for them and they agree that they are in a relationship. I love how they don't drop the L bomb unnecessarily and even have a hard time saying it to each other for the first (and only time in this book). Its like the characters and authors realized that the L word is important and should not be thrown around willy nilly. Anyway I love how both Lena and Ethan would do anything for each other and how they keep being together and keep trying to be together even though everyone is saying they can't be.
A few thing bothered me about the book. One was that it was about 100 or so pages way to long. Some of the useless scenes could have been cut out and the action could of been closer together instead of so far apart.
Another thing was that I really didn't like how all the characters in the book sounded like uneducated hicks. I mean I know southerns have an accent and have a southern drawl but sometimes it was painful to read. And there were many times where things, food, holidays and such were claimed as being "south" or "southern" or "famously southern". When you have to mention over and over that something is southern then its really not. It was just annoying.
Also when Ethan and Lena were reading the Book of Moons, the writing was ridiculous. I don't think that anyone in the past wrote like that. Here is a passage:
"until the darkening bringes the tyme of clayming, at the sixteenthe moone, when the person of powere has the freedome of wille and agencie to caste the eternal choice, in the end of daye, or the laste moment of the last oure, under the clayming moone"
Really WTF is that? I know people spelled thing differently centuries ago but come on like this? Maybe I'm wrong about this but nevertheless it was annoying to read.
Now,finally, on to Lena. I don't really know how I feel about her. I guess you could say I feel indifferent towards her. I mean I know Ethan loves her but he can do so much better. She is just so boring and has no personality. I just didn't connect with her at all and I don't really care about what happens to her. I found myself asking why Ethan chose her out of all people. Better yet why did the authors make her the way she is. Ethan deserves so much more. I found Lena to be very whiny and completely out of control of her feelings. She, what 15, and she has no idea how to control her powers by now? What the hell was she doing for the last 15 years? She was also soo annoying about her claiming. All she did was whine about it and give up on herself. All she did was mope and say "Oh I'm going to go dark" or "when I go dark". When Ethan was trying to be positive and thinking of ways to keep her from going dark or thinking of ways to find out more about her claiming, Lena wasn't having any of it, instead preferring to wallow in her misery. I wanted to slap her and tell her to wake the f*** up and figure things out instead of just complaining and taking it. You can be damn sure that if that were me, I would leave no stone unturned and I would not stop until I found an answer or die trying. There would be no way that I was leaving my fate up to a curse. Lena, however seemed fine to do that. It was like she wasn't even looking for answers or how to choose her own fate until Ethan came alone. She was just a character to me and one that I don;t really care about, at least at this point in the series. Lena is not really a positive or a negative point of the story. Like I said I don't really care about her. I'm more interested in reading about Ethan's adventures in her world.
All in all a good read..just wished it was shorter
This review is also posted on Spantalian's Book Reviews