Saturday, June 9, 2012

Burn Mark by Laura Powell

Book:  Burn Mark
Author:  Laura Powell
Publisher:  Bloomsbury
Date:  June 19, 2012
Source:  Publisher via Netgalley
My grade:  A

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 . . . (picture and description from

Initial reaction
So, Harry Potter and Nancy Drew had a party and invited The Sopranos........

Title and Cover
This cover is gorgeous!  I love the flames against the black background and it’s very fitting for the story, since they’re still burning witches.  I like the title, but I’m not sure how it fit into the story exactly.  I mean, I get the burning part, but no one really had burn marks.  Yes, I realize that is nitpicky.  Oh well…….

The plot, the characters, etc.
This book was crazy good!  I have read some not so great reviews of this one, but I really liked it.  But here’s the deal:  the writing is VERY British.  I mean, the publisher of Harry Potter went through and Americanized all of it before it was published here.  This book has not had this done.  I liked that, but it also meant that I had to acclimate to different sayings and different cadences in the language, not to mention different slang terms and even cultural differences.  This didn’t bother me, but I think that might be why some people are having difficulty getting into the story.  What I DID find to be true is that I couldn’t just read and still deal with the distractions around me.  I had to finally just find a quiet place to sit down and read after my kids and husband had gone to bed.  That made it so much easier to pull myself into the world.

This plot was unbelievable.  It really did remind me some of Nancy Drew and Harry Potter.  There’s a lot of sleuthing going on here.  But the coolest part is that the witch world has become like the Mafia!  That was such an interesting twist to the whole “underworld” theme.  And it worked!  The whole book worked, in fact.  It was interesting to think about what would happen if the Inquisition and witch burnings were brought into modern day society.

I loved the 2 main characters.  They were so different, yet so much the same.  It was interesting to read from both of their POVs.  Both Glory and Lucas become witches on the same day, but under totally different circumstances, so it was nice to see the differences.  I have to say that at first I thought that Lucas was a bit of a pompous ass, so it was fun to see him get brought down a notch or two.  By the same token, Glory is very rough around the edges, so it was interesting to watch her development across the events of the book.  The secondary characters were all intriguing and I still am not sure who to trust and who not to trust.  I am hoping and praying that this book has a sequel.  The book ended with a resolution of sorts, but there were a lot of questions left that I want answers to.

Witch burning theme songs

There are some really awesome songs about witches out there, but I especially liked these 3 with this novel.

Bloc Party—Hunting for Witches

The Church—Witch Hunt

Queens of the Stone Age—Burn the Witch

The final grade
My grade for this book was an A.  I thought it had an intriguing plot with some unique things that I haven’t really seen a lot of in YA paranormal.  Find yourself a quiet little place to read so that you’re not distracted by the Britishisms in the book and I think that you will find yourself pulled into this world.  I especially recommend this for fans of the new Holly Black White Cat series, since it also deals with paranormal and organized crime.  I loved this book and I hope that there is a sequel in the works.

Thanks to Bloomsbury and Netgalley for allowing me to read and review this book.  I received no compensation for this review, but I could recommend that they send out a s’mores kit to go with the ARC.  It would go well with the fires and burning theme.

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