It's not stated, but this novel -- a teenage supernatural romance, for lack of a better description -- is set in Australia, though I don't know which part. Doesn't make any difference, except that vague sense that there should be a difference, a sense of place that's lacking. Perhaps that's because Old Magic focusses almost claustrophobically on Ash Mountain, home of Kate and her grandmother Jillian. They're witches: well, Jillian is a witch, and Kate's learning.
There's a new boy in class, Jarrod, and Kate can tell at once that there's something special, different, about him. He denies it, of course -- and he's soon made plenty of new friends who're all keen to tell him what a weirdo Kate it. Yet there's a connection between them, and when Weird Stuff starts happening -- localised earthquakes, winds out of nowhere, et cetera et cetera -- it's Kate who can help.
There's a curse. They deal with it. The ending is not unqualified happiness, but suitably positive.
I wanted to like this book more than I did. The writing is adequate, but nothing special. There are a couple of errors that should have been picked up by any decent editor ("We glance alarmingly at our hands thinking they must somehow give us away" ... alarmingly? And, er, first-person present tense throughout: not my favourite narrative voice. Also, horses do not snigger. Although I suppose the ones in this novel might.)
Some nice ideas but a bland read.
reposted here from LJ in order to keep all my reviews in one place