In a vastly different and darker Philadelphia of 1844, steam power has been repressed, war threatens from deep, dark waters, and one young lady of high social standing is expecting a surprise at her seventeenth birthday party–but certainly not the one she gets!
Jordan Astraea, who has lived out all of her life in Philadelphia’s most exclusive neighborhood, is preparing to celebrate her birthday with friends, family and all the extravagance they might muster. The young man who is most often her dashing companion, Rowen Burchette, has told her a surprise awaits her and her best friend, Catrina Hollindale, wouldn’t miss this night for all the world!
But storm clouds are gathering and threatening to do far more than dampen her party plans because someone in the Astraea household has committed the greatest of social sins by Harboring a Weather Witch.
ABSOLUTELY LOVED IT
Jordan is almost seventeen and at her birthday, her biggest worry is how she will look at her party. Her best friend, Catrina has been helping her prepare and as they gossip about the boys who will be there, Jordan only has eyes for her childhood sweetheart, Rowen. Even though Rowen is a few steps under her social status, he would still make an acceptable marriage for her. In this alternative world of Philadelphia, the only thing in life that matter is where you are on the social ladder. The higher up the hill, the safer you are from the Merrow creatures in the water that cause havoc and death to any unfortunate to come close. This world is powered by witches who can harness the weather and energy around them. To be a witch is to be of the lowest class. So when the Council shows up at Jordan's birthday party, they are certain to find a witch among the attendees. When it turns out Jordan is the one they seek, her whole world falls apart.
Jordan is immediately carted off to Holgate, a place where people are pretty much tortured to transform them into witches that control the weather and conduct their magical power into electricity. When she meets the Maker, Bran, she declares over and over that she is not a witch. Finding inner strength that she didn't know she had, she makes friends with her prisoner roommates while she waits for Rowen to save her. As time goes on, she realizes that she is the only who can save her. Bran has his own dark, secret past that I can wait to get more detail about his background. The story switches back from these characters points of view and really adds to the story.
The story is full of intrigue, evil versus good, and the wonderful possibility of romance all built around magical elements with a bit of steampunk delicately woven in. I finished this rather quickly and there was no way I could put it down until I was finished. It left me breathless and wanting more. I haven't read anything this compelling in a long time! Now, the long wait for the next installment. If you enjoy Cassandra Clare, Jana Oliver, JK Rowling, you are going to adore this new series. Parents: This is pretty safe for even the youngest of teens and I bet even mature middle grade students would enjoy it.
About the Author
Shannon Delany's newest novel, WEATHER WITCH (St. Martin's Press) is already available for pre-order (which both stuns and delights Delany)!
Shannon Delany has written stories since she was a child. She began writing in earnest when her grandmother fell unexpectedly ill during a family vacation. In 2008 her greatly abbreviated version of 13 to Life (written in just five weeks) won the grand prize in the first-ever cell phone novel contest in the western world through Textnovel.com .
Shannon was thrilled when St. Martin’s Press offered her a contract for a series about her 13 to Life characters. She expanded on the cell phone novel version, adding the subplots and characters she didn’t have time to during the contest. As paranormal as werewolves seem, the grief Shannon used to build Jess’s character is something she personally experienced with the loss of her own mother. Focusing on Jess and Pietr’s story of loss, love and dramatic and dangerous changes, Shannon came to better grips with her own struggle. The resulting novel has earned her blurbs from authors she respects most.
The first novel in Shannon’s YA paranormal series, 13 to Life, debuted June 22, 2010, and was followed by Secrets and Shadows, Bargains and Betrayals, Destiny and Deception, and the Rivals and Retribution (August 2012).
Disclosure I received this book from the publisher at no charge and in no way influenced my review. If you are considering purchasing this book or anything else from Amazon, please use my link above since I earn a very small percentage of the sale which helps pay for shipping my giveaways!