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Book of Shadows: Sweep #1    by Cate Tiernan order for
Book of Shadows
by Cate Tiernan
Order:  USA  Can
Puffin, 2001 (2001)

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* * *   Reviewed by Kathryn Sundiang

The first book in the author's Sweep series brings a supernatural spin to classic teen issues - love, alienation, the search for who you are, and just trying to fit in. Morgan, the main character, is a high school junior in upstate New York. She feels plain compared to her flirty, gorgeous sister and her best friend Bree.

Soon Cal, a handsome senior, transfers to their school. It's love at first sight for Morgan, but she hides her emotions when she learns that Bree has a plan to win Cal's heart. It is no secret that Cal believes in Wicca. After a party, he invites many members of the senior and junior classes to join in a Wicca celebration. The circle (ritual) affects Morgan in ways that she cannot explain. Could it be that she is a 'blood witch' (a descendant of one of the seven great witch clans) just like Cal? But she wonders how this could be when none of the rest of her family is magical in any way.

While Tiernan's elements are familiar, she stirs the cauldron with charming, even cinematic, text and sharply individuates her characters. She introduces the Wiccan material with intensity as well as a skillful degree of ambiguity; readers will not immediately know whether or not the series embraces Wicca. All I know is that at the end of reading this book you will want to read the remaining episodes, all of which end in cliffhangers. You will want to read them over and over again, so hold on to them.

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