Star Cursed (The Cahill Witch Chronicles #2)
Cate doesn't want to be a weapon, and she doesn't want to involve her friends and Finn in the Sisterhood's schemes. But when Maura and Tess join the Sisterhood, Maura makes it clear that she'll do whatever it takes to lead the witches to victory. Even if it means sacrifices. Even if it means overthrowing Cate. Even if it means all-out war.
In the highly anticipated sequel to "Born Wicked," the Cahill Witch Chronicles continue Cate, Maura and Tess's quest to find love, protect family, and explore their magic against all odds in an alternate history of New England.
For the most part, the pace was decent, but it did start to drag a few times. And when that happened, instead of easing into a new conflict, something would just happen. I don't mean in the way that "the ladies were having tea and then a giant ostrich burst through the sitting room window." It was more like something would be causally brought up out of the blue like it was nothing and all of a sudden it was something and everyone just pretends it was something all along.
For instance, I have a terrible memory, especially when it comes to book, so maybe I just don't recall Cora being sick from the first book. Either way, it was just casually brought up that she was dying and I was slightly confused when nobody in the book was freaking out. And there's the whole healing magic thing. It's just all "oh, yeah, Cate can do this thing" and then it becomes a huge Thing later. I just used "thing" way too many times.
It's been a while since I hated a character -- villain or not -- as much as I hated Maura in Star Cursed. Pardon my language, but she's a bitch. I know I'm probably supposed to see her side of things and try to sympathize, but I just can't. Her stubborn inability to see how much she was hurting everyone around her and the woe-is-me-nothing-ever-goes-my-way attitude seriously grated on my nerves. And the end scene had me rooting for Cate to shove her in front of a carriage. The worst part of it all, though, is that Maura never once shows remorse.
The Nutshell: Star Cursed is a good sequel to Born Wicked. The story dragged a few times for me, but the pacing was good overall. Towards the end I was starting to get annoyed with Cate's naivete, but she really proved herself to me in the last few pages. And then there's Maura. I don't really think she's supposed to be a villain, but I almost hated her more than the Brotherhood. I'm kind of hoping she gets what's coming to her in the next book (I know, I'm vindictive and terrible.)
To save her sisters, she requests for them to be brought to the sisterhood. Maura and Tess, both are delighted at being here, but both at greater risk with the new prophecy. The Brotherhood is cracking down harder than before, and with this desperate situation, tough choices are being made. The rivalry between Cate and Maura deepens and Sister Elez takes opportunity of this fact. Towards the end, a big change has been wrought that will change the future of the Sisterhood.
Now, about the characters – Cate is brilliant as usual – she is strong-willed, has a tender heart and is not swayed easily by Elez’s lures. Maura, on the other hand, just gets worse as she imagines herself to be the prophesized witch. She is so drunk on power that she is willing to get her sister out of the way. Tess grows in to a woman – she is no longer the timid, coddled one – she knows she has a tremendous burden to carry and has her head on her shoulders. Finn – is swoon-worthy as always – and I hate what Maura did to him. I would also add - Cate grows tremendously in this book. She doubts that she can lead the Sisterhood but she absolutely perfect for being the leader. It makes me really look forward to the next book as she has some very tough decisions ahead of her. Also, with the prophesy, I am worried about her and Maura.
Star Cursed was quite an engaging read. It’s all – will they be able to carry that out? Oh my gosh, will this one be caught? The entire book goes quite darker than Born Wicked and there is always an imminent danger hanging overhead. In fact, it was quite difficult for me to put down once I began with the third chapter; I continued on till the end of the book. Definite 5 stars from me.
I loved the dynamic between Cate and Finn. He is extremely supportive and loving and his desire to protect her is so admirable. He cares for her safety, but still trusts in her personal strength and doesn't try to hinder her independence.
I love Cate as a character. She is strong, brave, and worries for her sisters. She had been thrust a large amount of responsibility at such a young age, and has to make some difficult decisions that could possibly impact many lives. My other favorite character is Tess. She is the cute, kind, and extremely smart little sister anyone would love to have!
I feel like this book was a big turning point in the series. There are many revelations, and danger abounds around every corner. Harwood Asylum was especially well depicted, and definitely hit a 10 on the "creep" meter. Spotswood is a master of world and character building, but plot is the driving force in this one. You will be racing along, turning pages well into the night, because you NEED to know what happens next.
The romance in this story is absolutely swoon-worthy, but is also filled with betrayal, intrigue, and tons of magic!
I would recommend Born Wicked, and The Cahill Witch Chronicles as a whole to anyone who loves YA. There is definitely something for everyone here. I promise, if you pick this one up, you will not be dissapointed!