December 13, 2013

Holiday Gift Guide 2013: Witches of East End Books 1-3

Witches of East End
By Melissa de la Cruz
Publisher: Hyperion
Pub. Date: June 21, 2011
Pages: 288

Serpent's Kiss
By Melissa de la Cruz
Publisher: Hyperion
Pub. Date: June 12, 2012
ISBN: 978-1401323967
Pages: 336

Winds of Salem
By Melissa de la Cruz
Publisher: Hyperion
Pub. Date: August 13, 2013
ISBN: 978-1401324704
Pages: 320

Purchase Links:
Witches Of East End - Hardback, Paperback, Kindle
Serpent's Kiss - Hardback, Paperback, Kindle
Winds of Salem - Hardback, Paperback, Kindle

Billy's Review:

I seldom ever watch the cable channel LIFETIME, but after reading a fellow blogger's post on the new series Witches of East End, I tuned in to watch the series premiere starring Julia Ormond, M├Ądchen Amick, Jenna Dewan-Tatum and Rachel Boston. After a couple of episodes, I became hooked on the series and I wanted to read the books it was based on.

Released back in 2011, Witches of East End centers on Johanna Beauchamp and her two daughters, Freya and Ingrid, who all happen to be immortal witches. Due to their involvement in the Salem Witch Trials, they are cursed to live forever without using their powers or casting spells. The family have been living a simple spell-free life that is until Freya becomes engaged to Bran Gardiner. Then Freya become entangled with Bran's estranged brother Killian. What starts out as one spell, turns into dozens of spells. When a strange silvery substance is found in the local waters, their magical powers will be needed.

Once the centuries-old restriction from practicing magic was finally lifted, the Beauchamp women returned casting spells and mixing potions in the sequel Serpent's Kiss. Freya's long-lost twin, Freddie, who was thought to be in limbo, suddenly returns and starts up trouble, accusing Killian of committing a crime long ago. Johanna is being a haunted by a spirit from the 1600s and needs her help to undo a terrible wrong. Meanwhile, Ingrid's romance with the cop, Matt Noble, blossoms, but may be in jeopardy due to her lack of experience in relationships.

Winds of Salem picks up shortly after Serpent's Kiss with Freya being sent back in time to the Salem Witch Trials, where Loki is waiting for her, waiting to get his revenge. Being thrown back to 1692 is extremely dangerous, as Freya can't be caught using her magic. Meanwhile back in the current timeline, Johanna and Freddie must consult an Oracle and pixie pals in order to find a way to open up a time portal to retrieve Freya. Where is Ingrid when all of this is going on? She is once again having boyfriend troubles.

Just like other book-to-screen adaptions, the Witches of East End is a lot different than the LIFETIME series. In the series, Johanna has been cursed to watch her daughters die before the age of 30, but then she becomes pregnant with them all over again. The cycle continued throughout the years, until she decided to hide the fact that the girls are witches, but of course they find out about their heritage in the pilot episode. In the book the girls are more than aware that they are witches, actually they embrace it. The book uses the Norse mythology as the character's backgrounds, which it looks like TV series going that route too. Serpent's Kiss is a little dull, but it does add the new character, Freddie, and he adds a little conflict to the plot. The best part of the book is ending, when Freya is zapped back in time setting up for the third book, Winds of Salem, which takes on an interesting look into the Salem Witch Trials. Witches of East End books 1-3 are full of mystery, supernatural and romance, though the books aren't flawless, I was still instantly hooked into the Beauchamp family drama. The author has done a wonderful job creating a mythology for witches unlike any other that has appeared in literature before. Fans of the TV series should read the books, if they haven't already. The books were a page-turner for me; I read them back-to-back. I highly recommend the Witches of East End, Serpent's Kiss and Winds of Salem!

*Disclaimer - I received a complimentary copies in exchange for my honest review. All opinions are my own.

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