Spells Trouble, winner of the Book of the Month title on Cyn’s Workshop, brings to life twin sister witches as they struggle to save the gates of the underworld from crumbling.
Something Wicked This Way Comes
Spells Trouble follows Hunter and Mercy Goode, twin witches descendent of the founder of the town of Goodeville. They are witches; everyone knows they practice the craft. However, what no one seems to realize is that they are magical witches.
On the night of their sixteenth birthday, when both girls invoke their chosen gods, the Norse tree gate opens, killing their mother, sending their life into a tailspin.
Spells Trouble is a good story. There is terrific tension within the plot that builds up the rising tension between the characters. What is also interesting to see are the different mythologies that come to life. Each gate is represented by a tree that leads to a different Underworld. The Norse Tree, the Hindu Banyan Tree, the Japanese Cherry Blossom, the Greek Olive Tree, and the Egyptian Doum Palm are gates to their culture’s underworld. It is fantastic to see different mythologies brought to life, especially the tale of Polyphemus, the cyclops from The Odessey.
The take on Greek Mythology and how the authors weave that into Wiccan beliefs gives the story dimension. It also highlights the authors’ respect for Wiccan beliefs. Spells Trouble follows the rules of what it means to be a practicing Wiccan while also incorporating the fantastical, giving the story a nice edge.
Spells Trouble has excellent pacing and story development, making this a quick read, but the characterization pulls everything together.
Hunter and Mercy may be twins, but they also could not be more different. This works for building up their characterization. Hunter is the introvert, a Cosmic Witch, with a male deity as her chosen protector, Hunter also happens to be a lesbian. In their small town, she grew up bullied for her sexuality, both physically and emotionally. This makes her relatable to the reader. The authors did a fantastic job capturing her anxieties and pain to develop the story because they ground Hunter in the narrative. The reader sees her pain and sadness and understands her more than they could Mercy.
And there is Mercy. I did not like Mercy. She is the extrovert of twins, dating the quarterback, a Green Witch like many before her, with Freya as her chosen deity. Mercy is standoffish, and she does not know how to read people. She is dating the quarterback, thinking that he is just the sweetest despite everyone saying no; he is a jerk. And he is! Furthermore, when their mother dies guarding the Norse gate, she allows herself to drown in her guilt, insulting her sister for being the stronger of the two.
Mercy was just not likable. She tends to undermine and underestimate her sister, thinking and acting like she is better because she is a Green Witch like many before her and because she chose a Goddess and not a God.
The way she treats her sister is callous at times, and instead of trying to understand her sister, she continues to act better than her.
However, this works for their characterization, but this wedge rising between them gives the rising tension of the story more risk, seeing the direction the story is pulling these sisters.
Spells Trouble is an engaging read. Fast-paced and tension-driven, the story will leave the readers hungry for more.
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|Pub Date: May 25, 2021||Page Count: 320pp||Age Range: 12 & Over|
|ISBN: 978-1-2507-6563-5||Publisher: Wednesday Books||List Price: $18.99|