Wednesday 12 October 2011

Review: The Promise by Apryl Baker

The Promise (The Coven)The Promise by Apryl Baker

My rating: 3.5 of 5 stars

Synopsis from Goodreads:
Cassie Jayne Bishop grew up in the sleepy town of New Salem, NC, the only non-believer in the tradition and power of the town Coven. When a stranger comes to New Salem, everything she thought was normal about her life unravels around her. Ethan makes her question everything, even her sister’s death in a car crash years ago. As Cassie discovers the full truth about her heritage, and the clues start to pile up, she becomes determined to find out if the Coven was actually involved in her sister's death. What she uncovers terrifies her.

Her fate lies at the very heart of the secret the Coven protects. It’s the reason she was born. Now, betrayed on every side, can she find a way to survive or will she be the catalyst that triggers a centuries old act of vengeance.

Book 1 in the Coven series

Cassie-Jayne (CJ) lives in a small town called New Salem, a close-knit community of witches that has always kept the secret of their magic hidden from the rest of the world. But since the sudden death of her sister in a car accident 3 years ago CJ has completely withdrawn from the Coven and refuses to attend the meetings. But with whispers about a curse, pressure from all sides to attend the coven meetings, and then finding a desperate last diary entry from her sister, it is clear that SOMETHING unusual is going on. CJ has to gradually unravel the mystery surrounding the town and what it has to do with her and her upcoming eighteenth birthday. As clues start falling into place CJ also has to face the possibility that her sister was murdered by the coven that she had loved.

The idea of a magical coven masquerading as a normal town was cleverly woven seamlessly into the book, and all the magical elements of the story, the summoning of the 5 elements (Earth, Air, Fire, Water and Spirit) felt very believable. There is a back history in the book which links back to the Salem Witch Trials, and the legends that have persisted in New Salem tie back into the events of that time. CJ originally doesn't believe in all the tales of the magic, and although accepts it in others, refuses to believe it herself. CJ is a great heroine with a modern teen voice, who is obsessed with shoes and boys, a great mix of teen confidence, and a kind of naive vulnerability. I always found myself rooting for her and hoping that she would be okay. I also loved CJ's lifetime best friend Kay- someone you definitely wouldn't want to mess with, a toughnut who wouldn't hesitate to come after anyone who upset her BFF. (Like Jeff, who in kindergarten stole CJ's toy and Kay pushed him down and kicked him as hard as she could). I really liked Jeff, CJ's neighbour, who has a major crush on CJ, but who the girls avoid, and felt a little bit sorry for him! I always fall for the loyal and dependable guy! But then there is Ethan, the new boy in town, who CJ is drawn to, but she is just not sure if she can trust him.

Gripping, but dark in places, full of twists, turns and surprises, unexpected betrayals, and allies in unexpected places, The Promise is a great teen witchy novel. It's a gripping mystery story, with a slow unravelling of secrets, creeping tension, magic, and an endearing love story.

Tomorrow on the blog there will be an interview with author Apryl Baker, where she will be talking about writing The Promise, (what she calls her little post-it note idea of a book), and giving some clues about book 2 in the Coven series.

1 comment:

  1. Sounds like my kind of book! I will look out for this one :)


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