Monday, September 26, 2011

Review: Wayward by Ashley Girardi

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Wayward (The Witch Wars Saga, #1)

Ashley Girardi
First published March 27th, 2011

Born without magic, seventeen-year-old Helena “Hex” Wayward is an embarrassment to her power-hungry relatives.

As the weakest member of the world’s most deadly magical family, Hex learns early how to avoid confrontation. There’s no defending herself against an errant curse or the pit-demon that her cousins like to summon during family reunions.

When the dark magic inside of her — magic that she never dreamt even existed — erupts in a violent display, it kills a member of a rival family. Now, Hex’s family hopes to use her magic for their own sinister purposes and their enemies just want her dead. Abandoning her magic will leave Hex defenseless but she’s seen how quickly power corrupts even the best intentions.

She has to make a choice:

Save her life or save her soul.

Ah man, up until at least three quarters through I was really enjoying this. But there are too many flaws in this book for me to justify giving more than 2 stars. I say three quarters through because I thought maybe those flaws would be explained or fixed during the story, but they weren’t. It just wasn’t all that exciting.

In of itself, the story is interesting. It’s about witches, the most powerful witch – Wayward – to be exact, who doesn’t agree to use her powers at all, never mind for evil. However, she’s being forced into it by a deal she can’t refuse. I love witches, them and necromancers are probably my favourite supernatural beings, but I found this one fell a bit flat and had a lot of inconsistencies.

For starters, I didn’t understand why Wayward refused to use her powers, especially when it came to defending herself in a fight. Would someone know if she used them? Then why would she use magic to make a girl choke just cause she didn’t like her? I didn’t understand. Then there was her family – her siblings. Why was she so afraid of them? What was Marco planning to do to Sam? She was saying “eat her”… was that literal? Is he a witch or a vampire? Huh!!? o_O

The most prominent factor that I’ll call a flaw, is that the villain wasn’t very villainy. I wasn’t afraid of him – or understood why Wayward was either. We’re told he runs the Blooded – powerful beings that kill witches who tell humans about the magic – but we’re never really made to be afraid of the Blooded, so why am I supposed to be afraid of Valentine again? I thought he was fairly sweet at the beginning. It also wasn’t made clear if she hated him or secretly loved him.

Those were the biggest issues I had with the book. I did like the protagonist, Wayward, and the romance in the story. Wayward is a really likeable character. She wasn’t full of herself or dumb. She knew what was going on and she didn’t let anyone walk all over her. For the romance, I liked how it was realistic. It wasn’t love at first sight or perfect from the get-go. It was normal, awkward high school romance; cute and sweet.

It wasn’t horrible, it just never really captivated me. I was also let down by the ending and lack of deep plot development. If you really enjoy witches, you may still want to give it a try. You never know. 

2/5 hot espressos
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Canadian blogger, wife, mother, coffee lover, and sarcastic at heart! She has had a love for all things bookish since before Amazon and eReaders existed *le gasp*. You can also find her organizing tours and other fun things at Xpresso Book Tours.

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8 Responses to “Review: Wayward by Ashley Girardi”

  1. Novels On The Run

    Hi there,

    I have read Wayward and I should have written my review, but I spoke to author about all the things I thought needed some work. I liked the way this book started, it has great potential but needs editing. Marcus..Marco?? he was the guy I thought felt the most dangerous.


  2. Giselle

    Oh is his name Marco? Oops. I’ll edit that haha. He did feel more like the villain than Valentine. It’s a shame he didn’t do much of anything. But good that you spoke to the author. She does have talent and I agree that it did have huge potential. I think her next book(s) may be worth reading.

  3. Andrea

    I haven’t heard of this book before. You make a lot of good points. I don’t like when the author has a character do things, but gives no motivation. Very good review!

  4. Lauren M

    Two stars? Yikes! I’m glad the romance and protagonist were likable, but it’s a bummer that almost everything else didn’t quite hit the mark. Thanks for sharing your thoughts!

  5. Zoey Talbon

    Huh. I’ve never seen this before, but it sounds like something I’d check out 😮 I don’t like books with so many problems, (then again, who does?) but I kinda want to read about this awkward romance O.o