Wednesday, October 18, 2006

#58 Book of Shadows (Sweep #1) by Cate Tiernan

My Rating: 5 out of 10 stars

I'm not quite sure how I felt about this book. On the one hand, there wasn't much to the story itself: just a couple of teens, their interest in Wicca, and the dynamics of best friends, boyfriends, etc. which kinda made me yawn. I can see how the specifics of being in circle might be fascinating to teenagers just beginning to explore the subject, or others who aren't familiar with the religion, but having been there many times myself, it's nothing new to me and thus I was waiting for something extra to happen there.

The way the author described the feelings and sensations involved in raising energy were fairly accurate though, and she describes the sensations quite well... I don't know that I could really ever put into words what it feels like, but she did a good job with it. And then, as Candy already pointed out, there was the way the author kept referring to Wicca as "the ancient religion" which predates Christianity and Judaism, and this is inaccurate. It's actually just a reincarnation of the original, ancient pagan religion; Wicca itself didn't come into existence until the 1950s or so, and yes it's based on the ancient Pagan religion, but Wicca itself is not ancient. I hate when authors spew this kind of misinformation!

But in today's world, the term Wicca seems to be more widely known. So when people ask me about my own religion, they often know Wicca, but not Pagan, so I'm just like, yeah whatever... for all intents and purposes, you can consider it the same thing since you're not dealing in specifics. Hospitals and other forms you fill out now have an option for Wiccan, while not one for Pagan, so I usually just choose that because like I said, it's sort of become a more well-known way of referring to many forms of Paganism and nature worship as they're practiced today.

Moving on, I was aggravated with many of the characters. For starters, I can't stand people who are so meek and afraid that they can't even tell their supposed best friend their true feelings, and friends who are so superficial and shallow that they have no concept of the true value of friendship. I'm glad Morgan finally developed a backbone and stood up to Bree in the end though.

And Morgan's mother hit on one of my biggest pet peeves of all: narrow-minded people! Morgan's mom is so closed-minded as to not even allow her child to explore alternate religions, and immediately jumps to the conclusion that all Pagan religions are a form of devil worship! Christian brainwashing at it's finest! I mean, I've come to realize that there are still a few people in the world like this, maybe in the bible belt areas and such, but I can't help that it pisses me off to no end. It almost made me want to throw the book aside and not finish it because I was getting so angry!

Fortunately it's a short book, and I'm often determined to finish what I start. Plus I wanted to see if Morgan finally developed a backbone and stood up to the people holding her back, both her parents and Bree, as well as her own fears and going after what she wants. I'd hate to walk away thinking she's a wishy washy wimp, and then have her make a 360 and come into her own.

I'm also betting she's adopted or something and maybe her family's background makes her a true blood witch, which I'm relating to what we actually call a hereditary witch. But since that wasn't revealed in book one, and Candy says this is like a cliffhanger ending, I'm hoping that subject is resolved in the second book. So I will read the second book, hoping that with the establishment of the coven, and Morgan's standing up to Bree, some additional action will happen, and the focus won't be on so much of the stuff that pisses me off.

In summation, though this book made me quite angry in many respects, it redeemed itself somewhat in the beautiful descriptions of the sensations involved in raising energy in circle, and thus I'll give it a 5, the half way mark. :)

See the BookCrossing journal page for this book for more reviews and information.


Anonymous said...

as a christian, I don't think wiccans and pagans intentionally worship the devil. you're not satanists. but the bible says that if you don't choose God, you're automatically on the devil's side. so it doenst really matter what religion you have or if you're an atheist. the idea is that you cannot be neutral. if you haven't made a choice consciously than you're still on evils side. I hope this explains what christians believe a bit more for you.

Anonymous said...

Interesting how someone immediately says "the Bible says..."
If we haven't chosen a Christian God, then we are with the side of evil. No, that just goes to show I do not follow blindly, and I have chosen, I have chosen what is kind and good for me. Just because its different, doesn't mean its bad or evil or the devil.
There is no one True Religion, I hope this explains a bit more to you, Mel.


As far as Sweep goes, I am bound to this series for life. It got to me in a way a lot of books hadn't. I needed this series at a very important time in my life, it helped me through.