The babies were born as the clock struck twelve. A bat fell from the air mid-flight. A silver salmon floated dead to the surface of the river. Snails withered in their shells, moths turned to dust on the night breeze and an owl ate its young. The spell had been cast.
Poppy Hooper has managed to deceive her father into believing that there is nothing mysterious or unnatural about her. He ignores the cats that find her wherever she goes, the spiders that weave beautiful lacy patterns for her, even her eyes – one blue, one green with an extra black dot orbiting the pupil.
Ember Hawkweed is a pitiful excuse for a witch. When the other girls in her coven brew vile potions, Ember makes soap and perfume. Fair and pretty, Ember is more like a chaff than a witch. One of the Hawkweeds will be queen of the witches – but everyone knows it won’t be Ember.
When the two girls meet, Poppy discovers her powers, and finds out the truth. Bound by their unlikely friendship and the boy they both love, the girls try and find their place in the world. But the time of the prophecy draws nearer – and the witches won’t give up the throne without a fight.
I received a signed copy of this book in a giveaway, and I was determined to read it around Halloween, because the synopsis made me think this would be an edgy, creepy read, and have strong values of friendship. Unfortunately, life got in the way, and I didn’t get the chance to read this until the end of November, start of December. However, looking back, that wasn’t that unfortunate: for me, this book lacked a whole lot of punch.
What I was expecting was much more than I got, which is always disappointing. But, alas, I’ve never actually had a good experience with a witch novel, so I guess I was setting myself up for disappointment, anyway.
At first, I thought this book was slow-burning – everything was being set up at the start for an action packed second half. I was wrong. This book was just slow. Though it was sweet, it was boring, and there was nothing particularly great about it, nothing pulling me back to it each day.
That’s not to say it was poorly written. Actually, I really like Irena’s writing style, and I thought the premise of The Hawkweed Prophecy was a really good idea, and a really good opportunity to showcase a strong female friendship novel, with strong, independent female protagonists. In actuality, this book showcased an iffy friendship, and kept coming back to an awful love triangle.
I got nice writing. I got female leads. But I wanted more depth, I wanted more humour, and I wanted more emotion.
A lot of the time, I felt disconnected to the action. Things were just happening now and again, and then a character would talk about life for a while. There was nothing substantial happening, nothing emotionally charged, or emotionally influenced. Things just were. Things just happened, and there was little reasoning behind much of it.
I especially felt this towards out antagonist, Raven. I felt that the majority of her actions were unjustified, frankly based purely on jealousy. The majority of the time, I could only compare Raven to a competetive mother at sports competitions, cheating to make sure her angel won a medal. It was tedious, and infantile, and I got sick of the whole ordeal very quickly.
I was also quite detached from the relationship between Poppy and Ember. Frankly, it felt like the friendship version of insta-love, and I hated how selfish both of them were a lot of the time.