Title: Wicked: Witch & Curse
Author: Nancy Holder
First published September 9, 2008
672 pages, Paperback
ISBN: 9780760783207 (ISBN10: 0760783209)
Get ready to be immersed in the world of witches and magic with Nancy Holder’s newest release, Wicked: Witch & Curse. Holly Cathers is forced to leave her home in San Francisco and move to Seattle with her aunt and twin cousins after a tragic accident takes her parents away.
As she tries to come to terms with her grief, Holly realizes that strange things are happening around her. Her whispered wishes to her cat come true, and a friend is attacked by a vicious bird.
To make matters worse, she feels an intense attraction to a boy she barely knows. Holly, Amanda, and Nicole are about to discover their legacy as witches, and will have to navigate through dangerous alliances to fulfill their shared destiny.
With ancient magics at play, the girls will quickly realize that the world of witches is not for the faint of heart. Get ready for a thrilling ride through the dark and mystical world of Wicked: Witch & Curse.
About the Author
Nancy Holder, a renowned author known for her WICKED series, has collaborated with Debbie Viguie to bring forth a new vampire series called CRUSADE. The first book of the series has been published recently, and her last book of the Possession series is scheduled to release in March 2011.
Nancy was born in Los Altos, California, and her family moved around quite a bit due to her father’s job as a teacher. They even lived in Japan for three years.
At sixteen, Nancy left high school to pursue her dream of becoming a ballet dancer in Cologne, Germany, and later moved to Frankfurt Am Main.
After returning to California, she completed her degree in Communications from the University of California at San Diego. Her first book sale was a young adult romance novel titled Teach Me to Love.
Nancy has won the Bram Stoker Award four times and has been recognized by several other organizations, including the American Library Association, American Reading Association, New York Public Library, and Romantic Times. She has also sold numerous novels and book projects set in the Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Angel, Saving Grace, Hellboy, and Smallville universes.
In addition to her writing career, Nancy teaches in the Stonecoast MFA in Creative Writing Program at the University of Southern Maine. She lives in San Diego with her daughter, two Corgis, and two cats, and stays active in Girl Scouts and dog obedience training.
In Wicked: Witch & Curse, Nancy Holder immerses us in a dark, magical world of Oz that is both familiar and ominous. The second installment in the Wicked series, this book offers a fresh perspective on the classic story, exploring the motivations and struggles of its iconic characters in new and daring ways.
Holder is a prolific writer of horror, fantasy, and young adult fiction, and she brings her signature blend of mystery, romance, and suspense to this book. Her prose is vivid and evocative, capturing the eerie beauty of Oz and the complex emotions of its inhabitants.
Holder is also adept at weaving together different storylines and perspectives, creating a multi-layered narrative that keeps the readers engaged. The book begins where the previous one left off, with Elphaba, the Wicked Witch of the West, alive and well, but facing new challenges and dangers.
Along with her companions, Glinda and Galinda, Elphaba ventures into the unknown territories of Oz, battling enemies and uncovering secrets along the way. The stakes are high, as Elphaba’s fate is intertwined with the fate of Oz itself.
One of the strengths of this book is its character development. Holder delves deep into each character’s psyche, exploring their fears, hopes, and regrets.
Elphaba, in particular, is a complex and fascinating character, torn between her loyalty to her cause and her growing doubts about her own abilities. Glinda and Galinda are also given more depth, as we see them grappling with their own demons and struggling to find their place in the world.
The setting of the book is also notable, as it expands on the original Oz mythos and introduces new locations and creatures. Holder’s Oz is a dangerous and unpredictable place, full of treacherous forests, haunted mansions, and ancient ruins.
The book also touches on themes of power, identity, and prejudice, making it a timely and relevant read. However, there are some weaknesses to the book as well.
The pacing can be uneven at times, with some sections dragging on while others feel rushed. The plot can also be convoluted, with too many subplots and twists that can be hard to follow.
Some readers may also find the dark and violent themes of the book disturbing, as it explores topics such as torture, rape, and murder. Overall, Wicked: Witch & Curse is a well-crafted and entertaining read that will appeal to fans of fantasy, fairy tales, and horror.
Holder’s unique take on the Oz mythos is refreshing and engaging, and her characters are memorable and complex. Although it has some flaws, the book is a strong addition to the genre and shows Holder’s talent as a writer.
For readers who enjoy dark, twisty tales with a supernatural twist, Wicked: Witch & Curse is a must-read. It offers new perspectives on beloved characters and pushes the boundaries of the original story in exciting and unexpected ways.
However, those who are sensitive to violence or disturbing themes may want to approach this book with caution. Overall rating: 8/10