Daughter of Chaos (Red Magic #1)
by Jen McConnel
Published March 25th 2014 by Month9Books
There comes a time in every witch's life when she must choose her path. Darlena's friends have already chosen, so why is it so hard for her to make up her mind? Now, Darlena is out of time. Under pressure from Hecate, the Queen of all witches, Darlena makes a rash decision to choose Red magic, a path no witch in her right mind would dare take. As a Red witch, she will be responsible for chaos and mayhem, drawing her deep into darkness. Will the power of Red magic prove too much for Darlena, or will she learn to control it before it's too late?
DAUGHTER OF CHAOS is the first in the RED MAGIC paranormal YA trilogy
This is the first installment in a new series, that is centered around witches.
We meet our main character Darlena, a 16 year old witch. She is basically a regular teenager -- She does goto a school where there are other witches she is not alone in her struggles, and she has good friends, and loving parents. In the witch community, at 16 they have to decide which path of magic to continue forward and become an expert in -- White, Black, or Green (i.e. kinda like choosing your degree). All of Darlena's friends have chosen and there is an enormous of pressure of Darlena to choose her path. Unfortunately for Darlena she is equally good at all three paths and therefore can't and doesn't want to choose. In a rash moment during a confrontation with Hecate, the Queen of all witches Darlena chooses RED. (this is one point I was confused on as where did RED come from...it didn't seem like a choice --my assumption is that the choice came from somewhere in Darlena's subconscious -- but I didn't feel it was explained well enough for me -- I moved past this pretty quickly b/c in the grand scheme of things -- it was not important)
I really liked Darlena's personality -- she was kind hearted, feisty, strong, and stood up for what she believed in.
Another key item I liked -- was Darlena's relationship with her parents (especially her mom) -- a quality I think we should see more often in YA books. It was refreshing and sets a good example for the kids out there today. Darlena and her parents had a fierce love and support for each-other.
The plot was very well executed, the book moved at a good pace and kept my attention. I happen to love Mythology and Jen did a great job of blending that into the witches culture which I really liked - to me that was a fairly new concept (the combo) and one that I really enjoyed. I loved how she introduces us to all different Gods and Goddess's (and not just Greek ones). The were different kinds of magic, each having their own strengths and those who yield them having different personalities. Darlena choice - RED is essentially the control or lack of control of chaos. There is a romance element but instead of two people coming together for the first time. The book kicks off with the couple already broken up. This is different that what we normally see in books so I thought it was fresh, different and I welcomed it.
Lastly I can say that I am NOT a book cover person. I personally read everything on the kindle now so I think the covers lose something for me now than when I used to goto the book store trying to find my next read. But I really liked the cover of Jen's book. I found it that it really grabbed my attention!
I think this is a great start the series, and I am looking forward to seeing where Darlena’s path takes her next.
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About the Author:
Jen McConnel first began writing poetry as a child. Since then, her words have appeared in a variety of magazines and journals, including Sagewoman, PanGaia, and The Storyteller (where she won the people’s choice 3rd place award for her poem, “Luna”). She is also a former reviewer for Voices of Youth Advocates (VOYA), and proud member of SCBWI, NCWN, and SCWW. A Michigander by birth, she now lives and writes in the beautiful state of North Carolina. A graduate of Western Michigan University, she also holds a MS in Library Science from Clarion University of Pennsylvania. When she isn't crafting worlds of fiction, she teaches college writing composition and yoga. Once upon a time, she was a middle school teacher, a librarian, and a bookseller, but those are stories for another time. - See more at: http://www.jenmcconnel.com/p/about-author.html#sthash.ql3qrl89.dpuf