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Book Review: Star Cursed by Jessica Spotswood

Star Cursed by Jessica Spotswood was a sequel I anxiously anticipated for 2013. For me, this second foray in the Cahill sisters lives and the dark Brothers’ plans didn’t live up to my expectations.

Book Review: Star Cursed by Jessica Spotswood

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Title & Author: Star Cursed: The Cahill Witch Chronicles, Book Two by Jessica Spotswood

Genre: YA Fantasy – Witches, Magic

Release Date: June 18, 2013

Series: #2 The Cahill Witch Chronicles

Publisher: Putnam Juvenille

How I Got the Book: Bought


“With the Brotherhood persecuting witches like never before, a divided Sisterhood desperately needs Cate to come into her Prophesied powers. And after Cate’s friend Sachi is arrested for using magic, a war-thirsty Sister offers to help her find answers—if Cate is willing to endanger everyone she loves.

Cate doesn’t want to be a weapon, and she doesn’t want to involve her friends and Finn in the Sisterhood’s schemes. But when Maura and Tess join the Sisterhood, Maura makes it clear that she’ll do whatever it takes to lead the witches to victory. Even if it means sacrifices. Even if it means overthrowing Cate. Even if it means all-out war.

In the highly anticipated sequel to Born Wicked, the Cahill Witch Chronicles continue Cate, Maura and Tess’s quest to find love, protect family, and explore their magic against all odds in an alternate history of New England.”

Witches & What the Heck Moments

Strangely, I am in the minority on another hotly-anticipated sequel this year. Star Cursed was not everything I hoped and dreamed.

Let’s start from the beginning, Cate has succumb to the wishes of the Sisterhood and joined the ranks of other witches in the New England. In order to protect her sisters and her beloved Finn, she’s joined a group of women her mother never trusted.

Things pick up right where they were left in Born Wicked, which I loved and included in my top books of 2012 list.

So what’s the deal with Star Cursed? I’ll start with the things I did like. First off, Spotswood puts readers out of their misery with the love triangle. THANK GOD. Sometimes my heart just cannot take the constant back and forth of some of these relationships. It’s confusing knowing how indecisive these girls can be!!

So, thank you, Jessica Spotswood for saving me the heartbreak. Second, I loved seeing more of Tess in Star Cursed. She’s 12, loves to read Gothic romances and still sleeps with a stuffed animal (I can so relate not understand that).

On the flip side, we have Maura. She is the stereotypical hot-tempered redhead with an extra dash of attitude and flair. Ugh…but I digress.

Lastly, I loved the strong, female mentors in the book. They weren’t perfect but they helped Cate make big decisions and understand how important she was in the Sisterhood.

Felt Like a Sequel

Star Cursed ties together some loose threads from Born Wicked (makes sense), but it definitely has that in-between feel of “Ok, this is not the exciting, first book but not the startling conclusion, so what shall we make happen.”

There is certainly action and romance and betrayal and mourning, but it wasn’t enough. What I loved about Born Wicked was the excitement of the Cahill sisters using their magic and understanding their limits.

To me, Star Cursed lost a lot of that joy. When magic is used Cate feels the burden of her power and none of the happiness. Which could totally be the point, but…sad day, right? I mean even Harry Potter had fun casting spells on Slytherin even though he would eventually do battle with freaking Voldemort.

And, the impending showdown of the Cahill sisters left me feeling anxious (not in the good way), especially because it seems pretty obvious who will be doing the harm. Although, I bet Spotswood is planning to surprise us all with some sneaky twists.

With so many readers loving Star Cursed, I may be alone in feeling a tad underwhelmed. I’ll certainly own up to the fact that my expectations were high and that I might have caused my own disappointment with this book.

Second Opinions:

  • YA-Sisterhood said: “Overall, this was a great sequel, even though it did, at times, fall into the 2nd book slump. But the bang of an ending makes up for it, and I am so ready for their world to implode. “
  • Ravenous Reader said: “Star Cursed by Jessica Spotswood is the perfect second book in a trilogy. Fast paced and full of plot twists and turns that left me gripping my book for dear life.”
  • YA Love Blog said: ” I tend to worry about books in the middle of a series/trilogy because sometimes they fall flat, but thankfully Star Cursed does not suffer from that. It’s just as fun and suspenseful to read as Born Wicked.”


Although the lush setting of The Cahill Witch Chronicles is still interesting and exciting, this second book in the series fell flat. The magic had no spark and the impending prophecy for the Cahill sisters left things dark and lacking a hopeful resolution. Even though Star Cursed was just ok for me, I know I’ll be keeping my eyes peeled for the final book to see how things turn out for the Cahill girls.

About Lisa Parkin

I'm a hardcore lover of young adult fiction and have been reviewing books since 2011. Other interests include Downton Abbey, heat lightning storms, Harry Potter land and (begrudingly) one orange tabby.
  • Linda P

    I have Star Cursed in my library loot Pile. Thank you for your honest review. I still anxious to read it and see what I think.