106. Blood Moon, by Teri Harman
Willa has always known there was something different about her, starting with her weird, almost prophetic dreams and her best friend--who happens to be a ghost. But she doesn't think much of it, until she meets Simon, and they are immediately drawn together by a power that's more than just physical magnetism. Simon, too, has a secret: he has a powerful ability to heal living creatures. When Willa and Simon save a woman from being tortured in the basement of an abandoned house that belonged to one of the town's founders, they discover that they are both witches, and heir to a powerful legacy begun by the town's founders. It's not long before they are drawn into danger and have to make a decision--do they embrace who they are and fight this great evil, or walk away and hope to reclaim their former lives.
I really went back and forth on this book. I like the magic system here quite a bit. Harman has devised six different branches of witchcraft, and twelve witches (a man and woman from each branch) together are capable of forming a Covenant--a particularly powerful union of Covens. The story also flashes back to a catastrophe that happened decades earlier in the town, and I found myself increasingly intrigued by the historical figures. To be honest, sometimes I was more interested in what was happening to these minor characters (perhaps because there remained a big mystery about them) than I was with what was happening to Willa and Simon. While I liked Willa and Simon well enough as individual characters, I didn't love the fact that theirs was a kind of insta-love--the fact that they were drawn so powerfully to each other by magic seemed to rob their relationship of individual choice (and a lot of romantic tension). The writing style was a little uneven too: some of the descriptions, particularly, were lovely--well-written and vivid. But at other times the prose seemed almost over-written, as if it could have benefited from just a little more pruning. There were a few typos in the book, which I often don't notice (I read quickly), but were sometimes enough to pull me out of the story.