Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Witches of East End ~ Melissa de la Cruz (arc) review

Witches of East End (Beauchamp Family #1)
June 21, 2011
288 pages

Witches of East End is author Melissa de la Cruz's first novel for adults, following her best-selling young adult Blue Bloods series. Joanna Beauchamp and her two daughters Freya and Ingrid and witches living in North Hampton on Long Island . . . witches that have gone centuries without being allowed to practice their magic.

Joanna can't bring people back from the dead or heal them, Ingrid is banned from predicting the future and weaving her knots, and Freya is unable to make her charms and potions.

After centuries, though, these women, who the town doesn't know are witches, each find themselves in a situation where they decide to try using their magic again. Soon they're each practicing again and all is well until a woman goes missing.

The Beauchamp women know it's time to uncover who and what is working against them.

During the first part of the book I wasn't sure if I was already supposed to know these characters, if they had been introduced somewhere else (be it a Blue Bloods book or somewhere else). I felt like the reader just wasn't quite getting the whole story. It felt like we started in the middle of something (and I don't mean the prologue) and went forward without the past explained at all until nearly the end. I think that may have been the plan, though, as this is a series, to slowly reveal the family's history and story and it was just a little too slowly to really engage me (or something).

Witches can be either be an older YA book (with, it should be noted, more than a fair amount of graphic sex) or an adult book. I'm not sure how much the story or the characters overlap with the Blue Bloods series - it was what appealed to me at first, I like the Blue Bloods series, but I"m behind in it - but a few of the characters do appear.

Blue Bloods readers should note however that Witches is more grown up and aimed at a more adult audience than the YA series.

Non Blue Bloods readers or fans don't have to despair, though, the character appearance was small, it was explained who they were and I didn't remember much at all of the Blue Bloods story and did just fine.

The relationship between Ingrid and Freya was nice in this first book, though, given how long they've been sisters/around, I do hope some more of it is developed in the next novels.

This is the first in the series and we now know what everyone can do, the basic gist of how they got to North Hampton, what they're doing now, and the side characters. We still don't know some of the back story and probably the bigger events in their lives (or the finer points of those events) so I hope some of that shows up in future books along with more exploration of interpersonal relationships.


(won from LibraryThing's Early Reviewers)


  1. Sounds interesting, I wanted to read this one after I heard it had some overlapping with Blue Bloods. Good to hear it doesn't have too much but I still really want to read it! :)

  2. Maria -

    It was enough overlapping to give a little extra to BB readers but not so much that non-readers get lost . . . though it could have been more and I just missed it, being as behind on BB series as I am.

    Thanks so much for the comment (even if I'm ages behind on replies!!).

  3. I have never read the Blue Bloods series, but it has been on my list. I have seen Witches several times at the library, but I wasn't sure how I would feel about it. It sounds like a pretty decent read, and being 30, I am a good target for older YA. Thanks for the review!


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