Foreword Firsts 2013 Book Awards Finalist. When high school senior Jay Bonifacio finds her grandmother brutally murdered in their small-town home, the scar left by the death of her parents years earlier is ripped open. She is devastated, but she is not nearly as terrified as she should be. Jay is a Strega. Like her mother and grandmother, she is a descendant of the original Strega of ancient Etruria—gifted women of the woods bestowed with godly power, and the world’s first witches. With the truth withheld from her all her life, Jay is blindsided when her power is unbound. Demons are coming for her. They killed the people she loved most to get to her, and they won’t rest until she is dead. Forced to embrace her identity if only to survive, Jay uncovers a past life when her ruthless enemy’s hatred for her was born, and she rediscovers an eternal love that has burned throughout lifetimes. Fighting for her life, she is drawn back into an ancient battle between the virtuous and the wicked that threatens to destroy her and all of humankind.
***I received the ebook free as a review copy from the author/publisher in exchange for an honest review***
You know those “feedback sandwiches” where you give a positive point followed by criticism and concluded with another positive? That’s how I’m going to be doing my review of Strega because (and it might be that fact I’m writing this so late at night) there seems to be no other way of writing it after struggling to express my opinion coherently – even a week later.
Now, the best thing about this book was the writing: hands down. Beautifully thought out yet still so effortless (much unlike this review) it captured my attention and carried me along the journey. Everything from feelings to atmosphere to setting was described well and proved an absolute joy to read. The flashbacks so intricately included also provided some much needed insight to characters backgrounds, as well as adding something interesting.
The only parts it fell flat for me were points of revelation, which I had already worked out long before, so it missed the element of surprise which after a lot of suspense, I would have wanted. All the major twists were evident to the reader from the get-go and when the main character was taking so long to get their head around it; frustration grew and led to a couple disappointments I’ll admit.
Nevertheless, Strega was an incredibly enjoyable book that opened my eyes to a whole new side of witchcraft. I can’t wait for the next instalment… particularly after that ending! I can’t believe I didn’t mention it earlier because *deep breath* that was a shock to the system. I know I already mentioned predictability so while the ending was expected, there’s one decision the main character Ray made which has me on the edge of my seat waiting for a sequel, and I can only imagine what will happen next…
“Most people in this world are good,” she said. “But it’s naïve to think that everyone is. That’s just not reality. I wish it was, but it’s not.”
“The darkness I’d always tried to escape surrounded me. And for the first time, I wanted to stop running from it. I wanted to stand still and face it.”
“An evil as old as the universe haunts the world. Find the truth. Protect yourself.”