Review Detail

Young Adult Fiction 1930
A Disappointing Sequel
Overall rating 
 
3.0
Plot 
 
3.0
Characters 
 
3.0
Writing Style 
 
3.0
This review can also be found at http://fortheloveofbooksreviews.blogspot.ca/2016/12/the-coven-by-cate-tiernan.html

Morgan is a blood witch with strong magickal powers and a personal tie to witchcraft. After Samhain, she and Cal become a couple and, as a result, she finds herself targeted by her former friend, Bree. Aside from all the drama between current and former coven members, Morgan has to deal with a startling revelation, a revelation that may change her life forever: she's adopted. But who were her biological parents? And are the ex-coven members planning something against her and Cal?

I can confidently say that this book was a disappointment. I enjoyed the first book so much, but all of the things that I liked from the first book weren't enough to redeem the second. Unfortunately, I won't be continuing the series.

Any previous connection I felt to the characters was gone. Instead of seeing Morgan as curious, brave and likeable, I found her rather irritating. Her narration seemed almost whiny at times, and I was always counting the pages left until I could finish the book. Cal seemed empty, like a shadow as opposed to an actual character. I lost any sense of who Cal was as a person. Also, all this drama with Bree being angry that Cal went out with Morgan....Couldn't Cal have stood up for Morgan? He really didn't do much to help the situation, while as the whole reason for the issue between the two girls in the first place, he probably could've done a lot.

My hatred for Morgan's parents grew. I didn't like that they kept her past from her, that they continued being stuck-up and close minded to Morgan's beliefs and that they almost seemed to play the victim at times. The author seems to try to redeem them near the end of the book, where they explain all to Morgan and try to convey why they kept secrets from her, but I couldn't feel any positivity towards them. I just hate them, plain and simple. As with Morgan, they irritated me, just in a different way.

I also feel like this book was super slow compared to the first one. I feel like this was less of a novel and more of an introduction to a larger book. It seemed incomplete. Of course, as part of a series, cliffhangers, questions, and other things are to be expected. But the way that The Coven was written seemed less like an installment in a series and more like a group of chapters plucked out of a larger book.

I did enjoy a few things about this book. Firstly, there is the more "realistic" portrayal of magic. Unlike the fantasy magic of other books, this one contains more of a contemporary witchcraft, as the characters are Wiccan witches as opposed to creatures living alongside vampires and werewolves and any other number of paranormal beings found in young adult witch stories. However, this installment of the Sweep series did take on a bit more of a fantasy element than the first book.

I did like the discussion of religious intolerance, that is, people who judge religious minorities or don't allow others around them to practice their religious beliefs freely. As somebody who has personal experience with this issue, I greatly appreciated that this subject was approached.

While I liked the idea of the book overall, I really do think that it could have been better. I don't feel the need to continue the series, so, as mentioned, I probably won't be.

Those who like non-fantasy portrayals of witchcraft in fiction may enjoy this novel. Readers looking for books which explore issues such as religious intolerance, friendship and romance, and adoption might want to give this one a try.
Good Points
Explores themes of religious intolerance and adoption
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