Author: Carolyn MacCullough
Publisher: Clarion Books (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt)
Released: September 14, 2009
Genre: YA Fantasy (Urban Fantasy)
Tamsin is the odd one out in her family, not for any quality she has but for one she doesn't have. All her family members are Talented, but Tamsin never displayed any Talent. So when someone mistakes her for her perfect older sister and asks for her help in finding something, Tamsin goes along if only to feel the admiration she never gets. But there is more to the search than Tamsin could have imagined, and soon she finds the fate of all her family in her hands as she discovers family secrets, travels back in time, and battles an old family enemy, along the way finding out startling things about herself.
I was hooked on this book from the very first page! The story started right away, no sliding into it, which I love. And the pacing of the whole book is amazing - never a dull moment, but things don't happen too quickly either. The sense of time throughout was great. Time sped up when Tamsin was trying to get somewhere, slowed down when big things were happening... It takes a genius to get all that so exactly right!
I love Tamsin. She's so deliciously immature at the beginning, and she doesn't grow up in one page - it's a process, which the reader can follow along with. Oh, and she's not fully grown up by the end of the book, either, in my opinion - which makes it that much realer. And sets up for the second book!
The magic of the story is really good, too. It all makes sense, all the rules following throughout, which is something I always look for in fantasy. And the time travel - I love the time travel bits. The book doesn't seem to be trying to answer any questions about time travel or explain how time travel in all its intricacies works, but there are some really amusing bits and pieces of what happens and what people say during and after the time travel. I like it.
I have the second book, Always a Witch, as an advance copy from NetGalley, and I plan on starting on that tonight, because I want to spend more time with Tamsin!