Most helpful critical review
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on 15 August 2010
Kate is 15 and a trainee witch. Raised by her grandmother, Jillian, who is a true user of 'Old Magic', she can do small things like sensing peoples moods and moving objects, but not a lot else.
Jarrod is also 15 and is new at school, and Kate immediately knows that there is something different about him when she tries to look inside his head and he feels her there and blocks her out. Then, when his temper gets out of hand and storms start spontaneously from nothing, and glass begins to shatter, she realises that Jarrod too has a gift, if only he would acknowledge that it was real.
Making contact with Jarrod, Kate introduces him to her grandmother, and tries to convince him that he has a gift, but he tells her she's wrong, and instead aligns himself with the people at school who make fun of Kate.
Jarrod's family however seem to have had a run of misfortunes - they're always breaking bones, his dad is disabled from an accident in their garage, and they have lost both homes and businesses to gas explosions and flash floods. When Kate hears of this, she seems convinced that Jarrod's family must be under some sort of curse, but it is only when his younger brother almost dies in a freak fishing accident that Jarrod begins to listen to her.
Reading from an ancient book of her grandmother's, Kate discovers that some powerful curses can last generations, with every 7th born son being affected, and when Jarrod learns that his parents had 6 other babies before him who all died within days of being born, he understands that this must be what has happened to his family.
After a failed cleansing ritual, and his father's attempted suicide, Jarrod realises that it's time for drastic action to try and save his family from this curse, and Jillian comes up with the idea of sending Jarrod and Kate back in time to when the spell was cast, in hopes of stopping it from ever happening.
Now, flown years back in time hundreds of years, Jarrod and Kate must find and stop the spell-caster, in hopes of saving Jarrod's family from this awful curse.
I think this book is aimed at a young-adult audience, but it's not so simple and baby-ish that it can't appeal to adults too. The story is a little dull in parts, but this is made up for in the end. The story is told from both Kate and Jarrod's perspectives alternately, which I found a little confusing at times, but overall worked out okay
Overall, a fairly decent story, but sure to appeal more to a teenage rather than an adult audience.