Born Wicked Jessica Spotswood Audiobook Review

Yo, I swear Jessica Spotswood must have read my brain or something, because you guys alternate fantasy history about the Salem Witch Trials is EXACTLY the sort of book I want to read and what is delivered by Born Wicked — Spotswood’s debut novel and the first of a trilogy —The Cahill Witch Chronicles.

Born Wicked Jessica Spotswood Audiobook Cover

Born Wicked

When Cate Cahill’s mother dies, she swears to protect her sisters. You see, Cate and her sisters Tess and Maura are witches. Being a witch is outlawed by the patriarchal society in which they live which is run by a powerful  group of religious men known as The Brotherhood. Not to mention, Cate has to choose between marriage and joining the Sisterhood by her birthday which is in six months. Girl can’t catch a break.

OMG. YOU GUYS. YOU GUYS. I just want to wave my arms around and yell about all of the cool things involved in Jessica Spotswood’s world building within Born Wicked. The alternate history is legit. I mean, I’m the kid that perked up in history class. So I just love Born Wicked’s re-imagining of the past. I loved how Spotswood shows the issue of patriarchy and how it totally sucks to be subjugated by men who are scared of women.

And yo, I fricken LOVED Cate Cahill. I loved how she always has her sisters’ backs. How she tries desperately to do the right thing. How she sacrifices for her sisters, even though Maura is too much of a brat to appreciate it. ALSO Cate’s feelings for the wrong boy — Finn Belastra? SWOON CITY!! Seriously slow burn is going on here. And you guys we get my favorite thing to read — seeing Cate’s feelings evolve and change for Finn, when she notices she has a crush and just a touch on the arm is electrifying. Meltypants. That is all. Meltypants.

I had the pleasure of listening to Born Wicked by Jessica Spotswood on audiobook. It is produced by Penguin Audio and is narrated by Nicole Sudhaus and is 8 hours and 55 minutes unabridged. Nicole Sudhaus has a very feminine, soft voice which I wasn’t in love with at first. HOWEVER, it actually really works for the story and sounds like you’d expect a proper young lady from early American history recounting her story to sound.

Disclosure: Received for review from the publisher.

Other reviews of Born Wicked by Jessica Spotswood:

YA Bibliophile
Tales Of A Ravenous Reader
The Reading Date
Forever Young Adult

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April is in her 30s and created Good Books And Good Wine. She works for a non-profit. April always has a book on hand. In her free time she can be found binge watching The Office with her husband and toddler, spending way too much time on Pinterest or exploring her neighborhood.
About April (Books&Wine)

April is in her 30s and created Good Books And Good Wine. She works for a non-profit. April always has a book on hand. In her free time she can be found binge watching The Office with her husband and toddler, spending way too much time on Pinterest or exploring her neighborhood.


  1. LOVED this book. Finn!!! *swoon* He was one of the…swooniest (not a word…but I don’t care) guys I’ve read in awhile. I adored the alternate history too.

  2. This book has been on my tbr list for awhile now. I’m even more excited to read it now!

  3. I’d like a one-way ticket to this Swoon Cit you speak of, please & thank you. FINN! I mean, c’mon, the guy is gonna inherit a bookstore — dream life!!!

  4. I can’t WAIT to read this! It sounds so interesting and right up my alley. Great review!

  5. This one is sitting on my nightstand, eager to be read. I’m getting on it ASAP. Alternate history PLUS witches sounds SO like an Amy book, I can’t even tell you. Because I perked up in history class, too. Even minored in it in college. NERD ALERT. But seriously. I’ve been looking forward to Born Wicked for a long time, and I can’t wait to dive in. 🙂

  6. SOLD! I can’t wait to read this, I’m so glad the alternate history is legit.

    Plus, can’t have you waving your arms around like a crazy person without giving in.

  7. I loved how Cate always had her sisters’ backs too – the family aspect was nicely done in BW!

    Great review, April! 🙂

    • Thank you!

      I think the way Spotswood portrays the sister-loyalty was fantastic, because sure there’s some sibling rivalry, but at the end of the day Cate has her sisters’ backs.

  8. Realistic alt-history is the best. Thanks for sharing – added to my TBR pile!

  9. This sounds fantastic, I really want to read this book! I’ve never listened to an audio book… I should give it a go, I know.

  10. The narrator’s voice is a great match for Cate – very feminine and appropriate for the time frame as you said. From the alternate history to the romance I just loved Born Wicked too. Your enthusiasm is infectious – it makes me want to read it again 🙂

  11. Meltypants? Are you saying I should schedule in a cold shower after this book and/or have a change of clothes on hand? Sound advice! I’m sitting on the wait list for this one at the moment, and the only thing keeping me from getting uppity and impatient is my massive to read pile. Glad you loved it!

  12. I absolutely cannot wait to read this book! I picked it up on the Breathless Reads tour and Jessica Spotswood is SO sweet.

  13. Oh my gracious. I’m reading this soon and I’m dying over it now. Slow burn, yes please. NOW.

  14. I’ve been debating buying this one – well, not buying it. I know I’m going to. But do I want audio or paper? I think you’ve sold me on audio! I love when the narrator is just perfect for the book 🙂

  15. I so wanted to read this before we went to the signing, but I didn’t get to it.. I will be reading it soon though. I love witch stuff.

    I remember back when my Mother went through her drunken witch phase. She would light scented tea lites and pretend to pray to her goddess. I had contemplated telling her that real witches didn’t use scented candles, but I figured I would be wasting my breath. So I would just sit there and nod my head like I did the times she told me she was abducted by aliens as a small girl, and how she had an affair with my Fathers brother.

    That’s all true btw, I can’t even make that shit up. lol

    But yeah, so looking foward to the slow burn.. slow burn love is the best. <3

    And LOL at meltypants. Maybe I should wear a pair of Aubreys night time undies while I read this.

    • For realz, your life is INSANE. I do like your stories though. Like, how nuts do you have to be to think you were abducted by aliens.

      Slow burn love is absolutely my favorite to read about!

  16. “I’m the kid that perked up in history class”

    Me too, April. Me too! I’m SOOOOOOO glad to hear that you liked this one. I’ve been crazy excited about it since I first heard about it, and while I’ve been reading mostly good reviews of it, I also tend to be kind of nit-picky, so I’ve been kind of scared that it would end up being a “meh” read for me. The fact that you really enjoyed it gives me a lot of hope though! 🙂

  17. I’ve read a couple review of Born Wicked that pushed me to add it to my TBR pile, but after reading your review I’m wondering if it might work for my Young Adult Lit II class. It’s going to focus on different genres in Y.A., so I’m going to read this one sooner rather than later. Thanks for the review, April!

  18. Hee! Meltypants! That made me giggle so much.

    And, yo! I totes loved this book, too and you having loved it makes me so happy! We can do the Happy Dance of Shared Book Love! *dances*

    Most def want more of this trilogy (I think it’s a trilogy, right?) and want it stat.

  19. Really looking forward to reading this book! So encouraged that you loved it!


  1. […] “I fricken LOVED Cate Cahill” – April @ Good Books and Good Wine […]

  2. […] Spotswood’s latest novel and also the best way to describe all of her other books like Born Wicked and A Tyranny of Petticoats — but in different […]