Witchcraft Is Her Family’s Business.
No One Quits The Family And Lives To Tell About It.
“Jax” Pherson has power, enough power to know her future will end in service to the dark coven her father controls. Unless she can stay hidden in a small community in the mountains of North Carolina. She must find a way to live without magic and deny the darkness she feels welling up inside her—the same dark power that fuels the covens around the world. All she wants is a normal life. A boyfriend. Friends. Some place to belong, but all too soon Jax’s barely begun new life hangs in the balance when she discovers that the boy she’s attracted to is sworn to kill her kind. He’s a hunter with good reason to kill everything that goes bump in the night. Even the most fleeting use of her power is tantamount to signing her death warrant and will bring both hunter and coven down on her. But can she walk away when her friends are threatened by an old evil? Something created by the magic of witches? Jax’s only hope of survival is to convince the boy she loves to forget everything he’s ever been taught and help her find a way to fight the covens. To believe there is some good in her.
Before I start, I have a question. What is it about fantasy that makes every author ever decide their protagonist can’t dye their hair? What is it about supernatural DNA that makes something supposedly dead resistant to dye? It’s dead! It’s not resistant to anything because it doesn’t need to be! I don’t pretend to be an expert on all the different variations of witch in YA, but really, this is a stupid inconvenience. Even if she’d been able to dye her hair, Jax is terrible at fitting in and “blending.” Guys want her, girls are jealous of her. She’s naturally stronger than most humans, she’s a great artist, and she’s beautiful. She’s even used to attracting boys wherever she goes. I like that last part. She’s used to male attention, so when she actually notices someone, it really matters. Case in point, the hunter, a guy named Keller. (Despite how it sounds, I liked the beginning of this book! Toni in particular is awesome.)
So the plot of this novel is basically “hope Jax’s family doesn’t find her,” which means we focus on the romance. And I kind of loved it to be honest. I like Keller, he seems loyal and reasonable while remaining cautious and levelheaded. He reacts in what I consider to be “the right way” when he finds out what Jax is. I like Jax too, maybe because she has managed to find female friends and doesn’t spend all her time calling other girls “sluts” (which is a change from a lot of YA, sadly). Despite Jax’s utter failure at being normal, I liked her a lot and really rooted for her and Keller. When the inevitable “conflict” happens, I think they both handle it well, even though Keller hurts Jax’s feelings. When they make up (and you know they do), it’s cute and natural. So, while I may have issues with the name Keller (Neil Kellerman comes to mind) (oh god, I really showed my age there, didn’t I?), I approve of their relationship. Maybe I should give up PNR for adults and stick solely to YA PNR. That way I’ll only ever have to visit one section of Barnes and Noble!
Unfortunately, there is a moment where another witch, Egan the Male Witch in fact, brings Jax something, a book that is thought to be lost, and it basically answers all her questions. I find it kind of unbelievable that some teenage witches can figure out all these secrets while the adult are just drooling (evilly) in the background. I don’t believe in a hive mind, so why is this one random teenager the only one not brainwashed? There’s too much disbelief to be suspended in my case. So, while there is an important page missing from the book, it’s sort of implied that everything will be fixed once they find the page. This annoyed me for about two seconds, but then I remembered how much I like this book! (Plus, they never find the page…)
Because you know what? This book does not end happily. People get hurt, both physically and in their hearts, and we don’t know what will happen next. This is a cliffhanger the likes of which I’ve hardly seen, so I assume it’s a series. That makes me super happy. This book is fast-paced and to the point, with characters that have believable (for the most part) personalities and emotions, an evil witch coven, and star-crossed romance. What’s not to love?