Thursday, November 14, 2013

The Initiation

Title:  The Secret Circle: The Initiation

Author: L.J. Smith

Genre: YA/Fantasy

Release Date: Sometime during 1992

Source: Amazon

My Rating: 3/5

Forced to move from sunny California to gloomy New England, Cassie longs for old life. Even so, she feels a strange kinship to a terrifying group of teens who seem to rule her school.

 Initiated into the coven of witches that controls New Salem for hundreds of years, she's drawn into the Secret Circle, a thrill that's both intoxicating and deadly. But when she falls for the mysterious and intriguing Adam, Cassie must choose whether to resist temptation or risk dark forces to get what she wants - even if it means that one wrong move could ultimately destroy her.
                                                          - Goodreads


So I actually read this a while ago, and have been meaning to do it for ages now, so let's get to it!

Cassie, this girl who, at the start, seems nothing more than one of those sidekicks to the typical mean girl is on holidays with her Mum. One that she was greatly looking forward to ending. Turns out the place isn't what she expected, and the people, namely Portia her one 'friend' there aren't exactly the nicest. Anyway she meets this boy on the beach, has a strange encounter, and meets him again a little ways down the road, when he's being chased and she offers a hiding place. He gives her the chalcedony rose stone, that is pretty important later on in the story, and she feels something connecting the two of them.
Anyway, instead of going back to California like she'd hoped, Cassie's mum brings her to New Salem, because her grand-mum needs helping around the house and whatnot. After going through hell and back for two weeks in her new school, having no one to talk to, stay with, she meets Diana, who we learn is the temporary leader of the coven, and she then introduces Cassie to other friends. When soon to be member Kori, is killed, Cassie winds up joining the coven. It's just her luck, though, that when she joins, the worst things start to happen

Some parts of this books really impressed me, surprisingly, but I was also kinda annoyed by others. I am and will always be interested in anything magical, so this book was a great pick on my behalf. I loved that the way magic and its use it unique to this book, or series, and the whole concept of the coven of male and female witches. I just find it so interesting, and it also helped that I was in love with the television adaptation of the novels. It's possible I may have been slightly biased, but the story was well written and the characters were intricately fleshed out, a particular favorite of mine. The way every character was solely their own person, unique in every way, really amplified my enjoyment of the book.

There were a couple of things that just didn't go well with me, however. Like, for example, the pacing of the first half, I think, of the book was incredibly slow. I don't know if it was because I wanted some action, but I just felt the first couple of chapters really dragged in. The next level up on my irritable scale, was the way the book was predominantly based on romance. Now don't get me wrong, I'm a sucker for romances, but when I chose a book, craving some magical action, and instead get slapped in the face by pages of lustful kisses, I tend to get a bit disappointed. 
The last thing that really annoyed me, and brought the book down to a three star rating, which is still pretty good, was the main character. I wanted so much to love her, I really did, but at the end I just could just tolerate her. Female protagonists are getting more and more popular nowadays, but unlike Katniss of the Hunger Games, or Tris of Divergent, all Cassie seemed to want was to kiss Adam. In all fairness, she didn't find out that he was Diana's boyfriend until later on, and she does have redeeming qualities like fierce loyalty, but it just really let me down. 

Overall 'The Initiation' gets a three out of five because though the concept and characters lifted the story, it was simple things that proved its flaws.

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