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Saturday, July 7, 2012

Review: Burn Mark by Laura Powell

TITLE: Burn Mark                        AUTHOR: Laura Powell
PUB: Bloomsbury                         PUB DATE: 6/19/12
SOURCE: from pub for review

Glory is from a family of witches and lives beyond the law. She is desperate to develop her powers and become a witch herself. Lucas is the son of the Chief Prosecutor for the Inquisition—the witches’ mortal enemy—and his privileged life is very different to the forbidden world that he lives alongside.
And then on the same day, it hits them both. Glory and Lucas develop the Fae—the mark of the witch. In one fell stroke, their lives are inextricably bound together, whether they like it or not . . .

THREE WORDS: Original, Intriguing, Refreshing

MY REVIEW: I haven’t read too many YA books that focus on witches, so I was very intrigued by the premise of Laura Powell’s Burn Mark. And Powell has certainly crafted a highly original witch story.

Glory and Lucas live in a world that is like ours, except in their reality witches are real. Real and feared. Glory comes from a line of famous witches and hopes she’ll develop the Fae very soon, while Lucas, the son of Chief Prosecutor for the Inquisition, knows that if he develops the Fae it would mean the end of everything he’s always worked for. And to Glory’s joy and Lucas’ dismay, it hits them on the same day. When Lucas is used to infiltrate Glory’s coven, the two teens find themselves forced to work together to uncover a deadly plot.

Burn Mark offers readers an innovative story where the paranormal is considered normal. In the world Powell has created, witches are feared and treated as second class citizens, as their abilities and existence aren’t secret. In many books, the existence of the supernatural elements and beings isn’t common knowledge and I really like that the witches in this book aren’t forced to live or practice in secret. Another really original aspect that I like is how the covens are very gangster-like. These aren’t just groups of witches casting spells and growing herbs, these are powerful and dangerous groups who deal more in stolen goods and drugs then magic potions.

Powell crafts quite the thought-provoking story as well in the way she has developed the very fragile social structure in which both witches and non-witches alike must live. Both groups do bad things and treat each other with prejudice, and there are no real “good” or “bad” guys.

This is a longer read at over 400 pages and it did take a good 50-70 pages for the story to really pick up, and the story moved slower than I liked. But the mystery Glory and Lucas are trying to solve is written well and full of enough twists to keep readers firmly engaged in the story. There’s a lack of explosive action, which was a bit disappointing, but didn’t ruin the overall suspense.

The two main characters, Glory and Lucas are likeable, but not too memorable. I didn’t really connect with either of them; there’s nothing about them that I found annoying or unlikable, I just didn’t relate to them. I do like that there’s no cliché romance between the two (no “I hate you but I secretly love you!” or “We’re so different but we’re soulmates!”) and found this so refreshing. They do have a very believable friendship that grows organically, which I really appreciated.

The book concludes by wrapping up the mystery but leaving some things open-ended. There’s definitely room for a sequel and I would definitely read it.

MY FINAL THOUGHTS: Burn Mark may not have wowed me, but I did enjoy the original and refreshing story. Fan of witches and/or crime mysteries would certainly be captivated by this book. It’s definitely worth a read!

Find the author: Website / Goodreads / Twitter / Facebook
Purchase: Amazon / B&N / Book Depository
Laura Powell grew up in rural Wales and now lives in West London. She wrote her first book while studying Classics at Oxford and worked in publishing for five years before leaving to concentrate on her writing.

1 comment:

Molli @ Once Upon a Prologue said...

I just finished this one last night in preparation for my upcoming tour stop. I loved the gritty feel to it, and like you, I was really glad there was no sickly-sweet romance between Lucas and Glory to muddy the waters!