Blackheath – Gabriella Lepore

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Blackheath, an old mansion that is barely standing, and abandoned by the family that inhabited it. Of course the family is an all-powerful family of witches which has come home to train its Chosen One as the other witch families begin recruitment. Maggie, the protagonist, goes to school with the Chosen One’s younger brother, Joe.

The novel begins with an interview between Maggie and a police officer which sets a supernatural/thriller feeling to the novel. I hoped that this would be something that was kept up as a YA novel that dips into the thriller genre is not something that I have come across. Unfortunately this didn’t happen. The thriller aspect was lost in the next chapter as we delved into Maggie’s and Joe’s lives. Whilst the insights we gained into their lives were extremely well written and showed different aspects of teenage life opposed to “must date”, “need to find my love”, “school sucks”. Okay, the last one was in there but, I enjoyed reading about Joe’s life more than Maggie’s. Trying to bring up his younger brothers whilst dealing with the reappearance of his father and disappearance of this mother; Joe is a character that brings life to the page with his struggles and thoughts.

That is not to say that Maggie is not a good character, she is, however, I didn’t quite “gel” with Maggie like I did with Joe. Their relationship to one another is that of very distant friends who, over the years, have simply grown apart due to age. Now with Maggie being told she is cursed, she turns to Joe, her old witch friend for help. I admire Maggie for her acceptance of Joe’s life and her perseverance for finding a way to cure her.

Despite this the book was okay. The ending was predictable with the information that was supplied and the same for the character development. While they may not have had an insta-love, they had something that was built years ago and only just comes to life when Maggie’s life is threatened. Also, the “curse” (I won’t reveal it unless you wish to read the book) was corny and unrealistic considering Maggie and Joe have barely talked in years. The ending was lack luster and I think something more could have been done with the rivalry between the witch families. I hope this will be explored in further books.

I won’t tell anyone to not read the book. It’s readable and I’m sure many people will enjoy it. I was simply hoping for much more.

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