I was quite excited about reading this book as I am getting sick of ordinary fantasy and wanted something with a little bit of bite. I came across this in the book store and was drawn in by the cover which is actually (in New Zealand) a picture of a girl close-up with the 'O' representing the O in 'OLD'. The book starts with the main character,
Kate, who meets a boy with extraordinary powers. Kate has a gift and is able to 'probe' minds but is blocked out by Jarrod's mind. The author Marianne Curley, tries unsuccessfully to draw you into this World. In saying this, there is little plot development, it is incredibly hard to read and the characters continually disappoint each other. In fact, after reading this book I'm not even sure that Marianne likes her characters.
Kate only has one friend in the book, Hannah, and she doesn't fit in at school. Jarrod starts school and tries to fit in with the 'in' crowd even though he is publicly humiliated by Pecs (one of the main kids in this circle). Jarrod, as a main character and love interest of Kate's is portrayed (by Kate) to be 'spineless, a coward and gutless' throughout the book. This makes it a tad bit difficult to even understand how Kate has any interest in him at all. Alternatively, Jarrod describes his love interest in Kate as 'too good for me, strange, 'uncool' and scary'. However, the story continues to 'unravel' and repeats the same garbage throughout the entire novel. Jarrod has the power to control the weather. Kate spends the whole time with him trying to convince him of his powers which Jarrod is resilient to accept even though he has caused; floods, earthquakes and certain objects to smash. Kate also performs some magic on Jarrod to try and break a curse she believes has been placed on him. Even after this, which occurs half-way through the book, Jarrod does not believe in magic. I struggled to even comprehend what draws both characters to each other given the internal monologue they have. Jarrod states that Kate is 'psychotic' and runs away from her three times throughout the novel. The only attraction they seem to have towards each other is physical and this description from the author may make up less than a paragraph.
I continued to read the book only to prove the predictability of the story which did not disappoint me. The plot only got interesting when I though Kate or Jarrod might be killed. At this point they had travelled back in time to try and reverse the curse that Kate thinks has been placed on Jarrod's family. At this point on page 163/317 Jarrod, even by travelling back in time, still does not believe in magic. In fact, I begin to wonder why an Earth the book is called 'Old Magic'. The most exciting character is introduced three quarters of the way through the book. Rhauk is a sorcerer who possess immense magic, is dark and mysterious. He also wishes to kill Jarrod and at this point in the novel I don't blame him. So far he has contributed nothing worthy either in plot development or as a likeable character.
I cannot believe this content was drawn out to 317 pages and would not recommend this novel to anyone.