“The only true evil in this life is small-mindedness. That evil thrives, unchecked. If only it could be cut out, like eyes from a pumpkin.”
Witches of East End by Melissa De La Cruz (pub date 6/21/11)
Melissa De La Cruz is the author of the YA vampire series Blue Bloods. She is now venturing into adult fiction with Witches of East End, which is the first installment in a new saga surrounding the Beauchamp family.
Joanna Beauchamp and her daughters Ingrid and Freya are immortal witches, who have been “reborn” numerous times over the centuries and lived different lives all over the world. As a result of the innocent lives lost at the Salem Witch Trials, the Beauchamps have been forbidden by their Council to practice magic, for fear that if they are found out it will cause further suffering and destruction. Now situated in the fictional hamlet of North Hampton, Long Island, Ingrid is working as a librarian and Freya is a bartender and is also engaged to a member of the richest family in town. After centuries of living seemingly “normal” lives, the girls begin to feel tempted to use their magic again. Using only white magic to help people in need, Ingrid and Freya feel happy and alive again. Until a young woman goes missing and bad omens start appearing around them.
I give De La Cruz credit for her foray into adult fiction, but unfortunately the only thing that’s “adult” about this book is the sex. The supporting plotline features not one but two love triangles (a YA cliche), and the characters struck me as two-dimensional. The story seems contradictory at times. For 300 years the Beauchamps have been hiding the fact that they’re witches, then suddenly Ingrid invites people into the library so she can perform spells on them, and nobody seems bothered by this. The ending is rushed and a little confusing, with some basic Norse mythology thrown in to try and give more validity to the story.
All in all Witches of East End isn’t bad; it’s cute, but that’s about it. If you’re hoping for a mature story you’ll be disappointed. The book will surely be a best-seller because of De La Cruz’s popularity, but it would be great if she would take more chances with this series and create deeper characters and a more adult story. Maybe the series will improve with the second book, I’m just not sure right now if I’m going to read it.