Saturday, September 25, 2010

Book review: Majix: Notes from a Serious Teen Witch by Douglas Rees

My summary:
Kestrel Murphy's name is really Susan, but she doesn't like anyone calling her that. Kestrel is a name with a meaning, it suits a witch. Kestrel's mum and dad shipped her off to live with her aunt in boring little Jurupa, Southern California, after Kestrel's dad had a heart attack. B.D.(big daddy) needs peace and quiet to recover. Kestrel doesn't know a thing about her aunt really because of family problems B.D. barely speaks to his sister. It turns out she is a famous white witch.

At first Kestrel finds Jurupa a boring place and she struggles with fitting in to the local school. Some of the kids there are pretty mean to her, unfortunately the school's principal blame Kestrel. It is not easy making friends in a small town when all the kids thinks your a witch practicing the dark arts.

My thoughts:
I must admit that I felt a bit fooled by the summary of this book, I thought this was a story about a teenage witch when really it isn't, at lest not the paranormal kind like I expected. There is some magic here but the kind of magic that's Kestrel stopping to listen to the universe, finding out what it wants her to do.

This is a author Douglas Rees has created a good story about coming to age with a witty main character. This is also a novel who reminds you to try to see people for who they really are behind their outer and protective shell, I liked that. Young people behaving badly has isn't necessary bad people but quite often they have problems but no one to turn to for help.

Kestrel, her mum and her dad loved each other but they were an dysfunctional family, the parents were never there for Kestrel. It was quite the change for Kestrel moving to her aunt Ariel, Ariel supported and guided Kestrel in the right direction whenever Kestrel needed her.

The entire story is written like a book in a book, Kestrel is writing a book about magic(or Majix as she calls it) for the coming generations - it's kind of a diary. I think the book would have worked out just fine with Kestrel just telling the story from her point of view without the "I write a book" part, it's getting a bit old because it is mentioned quite a few times.

Kestrel finally gains some new friends, well written supporting characters which I come to love. I would have liked to know each and everyone of them a bit better, but perhaps Rees will explores this characters further in another novel? If that happens I would love to read more about Kestrel, her family and friends.

The cover:
I think the cover is awesome, I love the afternoon sun shining through the trees and the crows flying in the background.

My rating of this book:
3 stars out of 5 - enjoyable.

Want to know more?
Visit Douglas Rees homepage

Full disclosure:Review copy from Harlequin via Netgalley.

Book published: July 1st. 2010

This book can be purchased from a number of local retailers and on-line book stores such as 
Amazon or The Book Depository(I'm not an affiliate of either). The latter store does by the way have free shipping to about 100 countries.