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Sunday, July 15, 2012

"Burn Mark" by Laura Powell ~ YA Fiction Witchy!

Publishers Weekly:   Secrets, lies, and crime go hand in hand with magic and mystery in this urban fantasy from Powell (The Game of Triumphs). In an alternate present-day England, witches are a small but present minority, licensed and regulated by the government, at risk of being burned alive if they’re caught misusing their powers. On the same day, two 15-year-olds come into their powers: Glory Wilde, part of a witch family entangled in crime, and Lucas Stearne, son of a High Inquisitor. When Lucas volunteers for an undercover assignment to prove his worth and offset the stigma of being a witch, he and Glory become uneasy allies, united as they discover a corrupt conspiracy involving the Inquisition that could spell disaster for witches everywhere. Twists and surprises abound in this fascinating drama. Although the story is a bit dense and slow-moving in places, Powell’s world-building is solid, her details are grounded, and the novel’s magic system is refreshingly logical.
Particulars of the Book :

Published by:  Bloomsbury
Pages:  403
Genre:  YA/Urban fantasy
Author:  Laura Powell
Find author:  http://www.laurapowellauthor.com

A Bit More About The Lovely Ms Powell :

I was born in London, but grew up in the Brecon Beacons. Our house looks across the valley to Carreg Cennen Castle, quite possibly the most romantic ruin in Wales (see the picture above!). It was a very old-fashioned country childhood, and I spent most of it with my nose in a book. I also devoted quite a lot of time plotting ways to escape school. I went to a girls’ boarding school from the age of eleven and absolutely hated it.
University was much better. I studied Classics at Bristol and Oxford, then spent five years working in the editorial departments of both adult and children’s publishers. I now live in West London. My desk is by the attic window so I can daydream over the rooftops - it's perfect for procrastination.

A You-Tube Trailer of "Burn Mark" :

The Bookish Dame's Review:

"Burn Mark" made me feel as if I'd stepped into another "Harry Potter" upon reading the first chapters.  I thoroughly enjoyed learning all about the blooming and awakening of the witchkind in both Glory, the female protagonist, and Lucas, the male protagonist.  Their passage from the ordinary to the extraordinary was one I thought swiftly and sweetly handled in light of this inspired alternative world where witches frequented and were tracked by the non-witches.  The rambling buildings both residences and businesses brought me back to Hogwarts and Potterish strange places, as well.  I wondered whether London and landscape were just spotted with these sorts of rickety old buildings that inspired such delightful stories.  I suppose so!!  In a word, then, those looking for a wholly engaging story of young witches, Potterish surroundings and fancy witchery will love this YA book.

As an adult, I feel madly in love with the sometimes freaky, sometimes delightful, and sometimes scary Auntie Angeline ~ A Starling Sister Witch ~ who tutored, monitored and tripped up dear Glory in her baby witch steps and her undercover work.  Undercover work which she partnered up with Lucas to provide for the State and Inquisition.  Auntie Angeline is just the sort of witch I think I'd be if I were one.  A bit scattered, but well-meaning! ...maybe!

The book had a sort of mafia overtone to it which I found odd at times.  Glory's uncle ran the business side of the coven vastly involved in the usual mobster things such as drugs, gambling and money shifting...  It was a bit mind twisting to me in the context.  I kept trying to get my head around the images I had of the modern mixed with the rickety rat-warrened buildings that Glory inhabited, and the places they visited.  And the ultra syfy testing skills of magic/witchery of the Inquisition in contrast to the rather old-fashioned hiking of concert tickets and thefts of microwaves seemed weird. This mix of the super modern world and the world the witches inhabited clashed for me sometimes.  But this could be my visualization as I read and not the fault of the book and author.

Despite this small twist of the imagination, I found myself thinking about "Burn Mark" when I was away from the book, and wanting to return to it time and again.  The book is very engaging.  The characters are wonderfully created and interesting.  I thought Ms Powell's  handling of how the witchery came upon the children was just perfect and so creative.  I loved that part in particular.

This is a book for young and old, alike.  I would recommend it for those who enjoy urban fantasy of the lighter kind.

4 stars




Love the book trailer!!!! Awesome review! If you love the characters, then I'll love them. I'll check this one out!

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