Jarrod Thornton is mesmerizing,
but Kate Warren doesn't know why.
The moment the new guy walks into the room, Kate senses something strange and intense about him. Something supernatural. Her instincts are proven correct a few minutes later when, bullied by his classmates, Jarrod unknowingly conjures up a freak thunderstorm inside their classroom.
Jarrod doesn't believe in the paranormal. When Kate tries to convince him that he has extraordinary powers that need to be harnessed, he only puts up with her "hocus pocus" notions because he finds her captivating. However, the dangerous, uncontrolled strengthening of his gift finally convinces Jarrod that he must take Kate's theories seriously. Together, they embark on a remarkable journey -- one which will unravel the mystery that has haunted Jarrod's family for generations and pit the teens against immense forces in a battle to undo the past and reshape the future.
An appealingly witchy atmosphere combined with breathlessly over-the-top narration and a generous helping of high school intrigue go a long way toward camouflaging the slack plotting and clich�d characterizations of this first novel by an Australian writer. Witch-in-training Kate is smitten with Jarrod, the new boy at school. Numerous chapters which Kate and Jarrod take turns narrating chronicle in great detail Kate's efforts to convince the doubting Jarrod that, in addition to possessing a vast reservoir of untapped magical power, he is also the latest victim of a centuries-old family curse. On the social front, loner Kate must cope with her potential soulmate's adoption by the school elite and his apparent role as the chosen boyfriend of the most popular girl, a standard-issue nasty-but-gorgeous villainess. Eventually, Kate and Jarrod leave their tiny Australian mountain town and travel magically back in time, to a medieval-lite version of 13th-century England, where they try to stop the curse at its source. Not surprisingly, the curse is lifted by novel's end and equally important back in the contemporary world, Jarrod commits to taking Kate to a very important dance. More old hat than old magic, but fun nonetheless. Ages 12-up.
Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information, Inc.
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December 21, 2009
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