My rating: 4 of 5 stars
I read both books in the Witch series consecutively as part of book-tube-a-thon 2014 and I did not end up regretting my decision. Always a Witch picks up after the happenings of Once a Witch, but the background story of what happened in the first novel is explained quite thoroughly, which makes this second book easily perceivable as a standalone. However, I think both books as a series are stronger than when viewed as two separate books.
The main character Tamsin now fully fits into her family of witches after the discovery of her Talent, and while the entire family is now focused on her older sister Rowena’s wedding, the problems that arose in the previous book can’t stop spooking through Tamsin’s mind. She may have stopped Alistair from claiming the life of her sister, but she has also learned that he will go back in time to once again try to make his family all powerful. The only possible outcome? Tamsin has to travel back in time to where Alistair is headed to stop him in the past.
I ended up liking this book more than the first, though both were definitely quite good reads. My guess is that I preferred this second book because it was set in a completely different time, namely the 1800s and because Tamsin was surrounded by completely new characters that we got to meet. I loved meeting La Spider, Liam and Jessica, but I also really enjoyed reading about Rosie, whose history was touched upon briefly but never really further got explained. Then again, she was a side character and mostly irrelevant to the progression of the plot, so I’m not surprised she was left mostly to the side.
I preferred reading about the Knights more than I did about the Greene’s, perhaps that has something to do with the fact that I tend to be more interested in bad guys than good guys because I’m always interested to learn about motivation. We got to see more of the Knights because Tamsin posed as a maid and stayed with them for quite a bit of time, so in that regard it’s only normal that I felt more for the Knights than for the Greene’s seeing as they were not present for the whole novel.
The writing style was once again pleasant to read, even on point in the ‘old speak’ of the 1800s, which was very nice. MacCullough seems to have a nice way of describing things in such a way that it is easy to imagine, which makes the read a lot more fun. I’m happy to report that in this novel I finally did get a moment of ‘shippy’ feels, which is when Gabriel timetraveled and showed up as Jessica’s piano instructor. Come on– a guy timetravels for you, and not only that, but it could possibly kill him. Commence shippy feels!
I enjoyed this duology a lot and I’m happy to have both books on my shelves. Again, you can view these books as two separate novels, but I feel they are stronger together and in my opinion, Always a Witch is a perfect ending to the series.