Book of Shadows (Sweep, 1) BOOKRING
16 journalers for this copy...
From the back cover:
Something is happening to me that I don't understand.
I see things, feel things in a new way. I can do things normal people can't do. Powerful things. Magickal things. It scares me.
I never chose to learn witchcraft. But I'm wondering if witchcraft is choosing me.
From Publishers Weekly
This delectably dark pair of novels, first in the Sweep series, brings a supernatural spin to classic teen issues: popularity, romance, alienation and the search for self. Narrator Morgan, a high school junior in upstate New York, feels plain and ordinary, especially next to her flirty, drop-dead-gorgeous friend Bree. When Cal, a remarkably poised and handsome senior, transfers to their school, Morgan likes him almost immediately, an attraction she hides when Bree announces that she plans to win him for herself. Cal makes no secret of his belief in Wicca, inviting most of the junior and senior classes to join him in a Wiccan celebration. The rituals powerfully affect Morgan: could it be that she, like Cal, is a "blood witch" (a descendant of one of the seven great witch clans)? But how could she be a blood witch when everyone else in her family is so clearly not "magickal"? While Tiernan's ingredients are familiar, she stirs the cauldron with engaging, even cinematic, prose and sharply individuates her characters. She introduces the Wiccan material with some depth as well as with a skillful degree of ambiguity; readers will not know immediately whether or not the series embraces Wicca. Both books end on cliffhangers, fanning what will surely be an already keen desire to learn the whole story.
Copyright 2000 Reed Business Information, Inc.
The ring is open as long as it's on the road, so pm me if you want in!
1. CheriePie (USA)
2. ladiibbug (USA)
3. explorer1118m (USA)
4. NeedSun (Canada)
5. Rianonne (Austria)
6. Amberkatze (Austria)
7. Morgaine77 (Switzerland)
8. Margih (Finland)
9. ritao (Finland)
10. 2012 (Finland)
11. Rowenne (USA)
12. KathyB (USA)
--> back to me
-Please keep books 1 & 2 together. The first book ends in a cliffhanger, so I want everyone to be able to start straight away with the second. ;)
-Please try to read the books within 4-6 weeks. They are very short and easy reads, so reading both books won't take much time.
-Journal the books when receiving them, and again after you have read them.
This book travels together with the second book in the series, The Coven.
I love teen books, and this was no exception. As the series progresses, the magical elements increase, but the first book is almost like any regular teen book, dealing with friendship and crushes on boys. I really liked the main character Morgan and her family. The athmosphere in the book is wonderful, and makes me want to visit Widow's Vale, the small, fictional town along Hudson River (2 hours from New York City) where the book is set.
The series is about a bunch of teens, who start to explore Wicca with a new student at their school, Cal, who is a blood witch. A blood witch is someone who belongs to one of the Seven Great Clans. The Clans are explained on page 121: "There were Seven Great Clans: The Woodbanes, who were considered evil, and the Rowanwands, who were considered good, and five other clans in between, who were various shades of good and evil."
What bothered me a little about this book were the inaccuracies about Wicca, although because this is fiction, I think I can forgive the author. The are of course no 7 clans of hereditary witches in real life (at least that I know of ;) ) and even though the view that Wicca predates Christianity is shared by some Wiccans, it isn't true. Sure, Wicca has it's roots in ancient pagan religions, but it hasn't been practised the way it's practised now before the 20th century.
I liked the quotations at the beginning of each chapter, even though they were fictional.
The way the author described the feelings and sensations involved in raising energy were fairly accurate though, and she describes the sensations quite well... I don't know that I could really ever put into words what it feels like, but she did a good job with it. And then, as Candy already pointed out, there was the way the author kept referring to Wicca as "the ancient religion" which predates Christianity and Judaism, and this is inaccurate. It's actually just a reincarnation of the original, ancient pagan religion; Wicca itself didn't come into existence until the 1950s or so, and yes it's based on the ancient Pagan religion, but Wicca itself is not ancient. I hate when authors spew this kind of misinformation!
But in today's world, the term Wicca seems to be more widely known. So when people ask me about my own religion, they often know Wicca, but not Pagan, so I'm just like, yeah whatever... for all intents and purposes, you can consider it the same thing since you're not dealing in specifics. Hospitals and other forms you fill out now have an option for Wiccan, while not one for Pagan, so I usually just choose that because like I said, it's sort of become a more well-known way of referring to many forms of Paganism and nature worship as they're practiced today.
Moving on, I was aggravated with many of the characters. For starters, I can't stand people who are so meek and afraid that they can't even tell their supposed best friend their true feelings, and friends who are so superficial and shallow that they have no concept of the true value of friendship. I'm glad Morgan finally developed a backbone and stood up to Bree in the end though.
And Morgan's mother hit on one of my biggest pet peeves of all: narrow-minded people! Morgan's mom is so closed-minded as to not even allow her child to explore alternate religions, and immediately jumps to the conclusion that all Pagan religions are a form of devil worship! Christian brainwashing at it's finest! I mean, I've come to realize that there are still a few people in the world like this, maybe in the bible belt areas and such, but I can't help that it pisses me off to no end. It almost made me want to throw the book aside and not finish it because I was getting so angry!
Fortunately it's a short book, and I'm often determined to finish what I start. Plus I wanted to see if Morgan finally developed a backbone and stood up to the people holding her back, both her parents and Bree, as well as her own fears and going after what she wants. I'd hate to walk away thinking she's a wishy washy wimp, and then have her make a 360 and come into her own.
I'm also betting she's adopted or something and maybe her family's background makes her a true blood witch, which I'm relating to what we actually call a hereditary witch. But since that wasn't revealed in book one, and Candy says this is like a cliffhanger ending, I'm hoping that subject is resolved in the second book. So I will read the second book, hoping that with the establishment of the coven, and Morgan's standing up to Bree, some additional action will happen, and the focus won't be on so much of the stuff that pisses me off.
In summation, though this book made me quite angry in many respects, it redeemed itself somewhat in the beautiful descriptions of the sensations involved in raising energy in circle, and thus I'll give it a 5, the half way mark. :)
I'll hang onto this until I finish the second book and another book I have reserved for ladiibug, which I'm going to read in between these two. I'm not sure I could take two in a row...
UPDATE 5-NOV-2006: Mailed to ladiibbug along with book 2 and another owed book on 6-Nov-2006 via Media Mail.
Keeping in mind that the main characters are teens, who are still in the process of forming their identities and personalities, I understand Morgan's inability to stand up to her stronger best friend.
It was all I could do to turn the light out at the end of book 1 and get to sleep - so tempted to begin book 2 right away!
Thanks so much for sharing these books, CandyDarling! I will be on the hunt for the rest of the series :-)
Mailing to Explorer1118m with book 2 - TRAVELING
*Counts in the Keep Them Moving 2006 Challenge*
I am almost finished the second book and have Rianonne's address so I expect these will be in the mail this weekend sometime.
Thanks for sharing. I definitely love these and would love to read more.
There are 2 1/2 BookRings infront of this one, but I will squeeze them in as I can't read them one after another anyways.
And I was wrong I can read book 2 right away :)
Here book 1 and 2 take different roads because Amberkatze was squeezed in ;)
I already read book 2 a month or so ago...I picked it up at a cheap bookstore and didn't know it was part of a series. Now I am really interested to see how things started off!
I know it is for teenages but sometimes it is nice to have a nice easy read ;)
I have to say that I preferred book 2 to this one...I wonder if I would think the same if I had read them in the right order though.
I am interested to see how this series progresses and have to say a huge thank you to CandyDarling for ringing the series!
I already have Morgaine77 address so I will post this out sometime next week.
I liked this book a lot, I think it was a great introduction to this series and I'm very much looking forward to the second book now to see what's gonna happen.
I'll hang on to this book until I read Book 2 and will pass them on together to Margih.
Thanks so much for sharing!
WILD RELEASE NOTES:
On its way to the next reader. Enjoy!
I loved these two books! A teen book is fast to read and the story is so fascinating. A young girl who doesn´t know her abilities and is a bit lost when she finds out the possibilities after meeting the new guy in the school...
Will send the both books out this week to the next reader.
I've read many teen books resembling these ones (in terms of the "high school" plot, not the witchy parts) when I was a bit younger, but none of those have been as educational Wicca-wise as these are. The information on the religion is what really kept me tuned to the book, as I've always been kinda interested on the subject. I used to read everything I found concerning Wicca when I was a teenager (which wasn't very much in a Finnish semi-small town), but I haven't had time to explore it further lately - until I got these books.
So thanks, CandyDarling, for reminding me of my interest in Wicca!
Contacting the next person on the list immediately to keep the ring going.
And to Rowenne this book goes...
Gave this book as a RABCK to Niksu. I hope you enjoy it!
The book is also on lottuli's wishlist so will offer this to her when I'm finished.
Thank you CandyDarling, for this kind RABCK!
CONTROLLED RELEASE NOTES:
To lottuli today.
I somehow can really well imagine Morgan and I really look forward to read the rest of story.
I read the Coven also, I will keep these two books together and RABCK these to someone who I think would love to read these two.
In to post to go to a winner of Happy Smile Day raffle.
Sorry it took me so long to post you a book; but now you'll get two instead of just one :D
Thanks for sharing this book with me. I'll make sure that it stays together with its companion.
CONTROLLED RELEASE NOTES:
Given to christina82
This is just the sort of book my cousin Lene would like and since she is always on the look-out for new books, I will pass it on to her.
(Maybe I can even get her to join Bookcrossing after this!!!??)
I read the book and oh my god, i loved it. I couldn stop reading, it was so exciting and i can't wait to read the next books :)