“Mortals. I envy you. You think you can change things. Stop the universe. Undo what was done long before you came along. You are such beautiful creatures.”
I don’t usually include quotes in my reviews, but those lines give me chills. Said by a character who obviously is not mortal, it really resonates with how we find it so hard to accept the things we cannot change. I think that’s one of the things I enjoyed about this book so much. It says a lot about destiny and accepting the path that has been chosen for us, but it also makes it clear that sometimes, even if you can’t change things, you at least have to try.
This is the story of Ethan, a boy growing up in a small town in South Carolina. It’s your basic boy-meets-girl story, only with a lot of twists and turns. A new girl named Lena comes to town. She is very different from the other girls, which immediately makes her both the most talked about girl in school, and a social outcast. It doesn’t help that she is the niece of the town recluse. When Ethan sees her, he feels drawn to her and is fairly certain that she is the girl he has been dreaming about for months. As Ethan gets to know Lena, he finds out that she is a caster, basically a witch (although a bit different). She is counting down to her sixteenth birthday because on that day, she will be changed either into a Light Caster or a Dark Caster. Everyone around her is hopeful that she will be claimed for Light, but Lena knows that her mother was Dark, and that there’s a good chance she will be too.
One thing I really liked about this story is that it’s told from a male protagonist’s perspective. Most of these stories (a mortal falling in love with a supernatural being, whether it’s a vampire, a werewolf, or a witch) is told from the girl’s perspective, with the girl being the mortal. This story was the opposite of that, which was refreshing. Ethan and Lena’s relationship is sweet, but tragic at the same time, since Lena is so certain that things will change once she is claimed. She is determined to have a normal teenage life and to enjoy the time she has left with Ethan, but there is always the undercurrent that things won’t last. Add to that visions that show how Ethan and Lena’s ancestors may have been in love back during the Civil War, which leads Ethan to believe that they belong together, regardless of whether Lena is claimed for Dark or for Light.
It’s a really beautiful love story, with a really interesting magic system and mythology. While it’s not a completely original idea, there were some twists and turns that I hadn’t seen before, which made the story really come alive and kept me turning pages. This is definitely a series that I will try to finish.
If anyone is interested, the podcast I co-host, Bibliophiles Anonymous, did an episode on this book. You can find a link to it here. Also, speaking of the podcast, we’re doing a giveaway this month! Details can be found at this post. Entering is easy and the prize is pretty cool! Check it out!