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Double double, twins spell trouble… Hunter and Mercy Goode are twin witches, direct descendants of the founder of their town of Goodeville. As their ancestors have done before them, it is now time for the twins to learn what it means to be Gatekeepers–the protectors of the Gates to different underworlds, ancient portals between their world and realms where mythology rules a Double double, twins spell trouble… Hunter and Mercy Goode are twin witches, direct descendants of the founder of their town of Goodeville. As their ancestors have done before them, it is now time for the twins to learn what it means to be Gatekeepers–the protectors of the Gates to different underworlds, ancient portals between their world and realms where mythology rules and nightmares come to life. When their mother becomes the first victim in a string of murders, the devastated sisters vow to avenge her death. But it will take more than magic to rein in the ancient mythological monsters who’ve infected their peaceful town. Now Hunter and Mercy must come together and accept their destiny or risk being separated for good.


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Double double, twins spell trouble… Hunter and Mercy Goode are twin witches, direct descendants of the founder of their town of Goodeville. As their ancestors have done before them, it is now time for the twins to learn what it means to be Gatekeepers–the protectors of the Gates to different underworlds, ancient portals between their world and realms where mythology rules a Double double, twins spell trouble… Hunter and Mercy Goode are twin witches, direct descendants of the founder of their town of Goodeville. As their ancestors have done before them, it is now time for the twins to learn what it means to be Gatekeepers–the protectors of the Gates to different underworlds, ancient portals between their world and realms where mythology rules and nightmares come to life. When their mother becomes the first victim in a string of murders, the devastated sisters vow to avenge her death. But it will take more than magic to rein in the ancient mythological monsters who’ve infected their peaceful town. Now Hunter and Mercy must come together and accept their destiny or risk being separated for good.

30 review for Spells Trouble

  1. 5 out of 5

    Nilufer Ozmekik

    My favorite creators of House of Night series are back with a mind bending installment, an epic twin witch sisterhood saga, a wild, thrilling, action packed ride! Fast pacing, gripping with detailed, layered characterization! I loved Hunter and Mercy so much! Polar opposite sisters! Energetic, rebellious, straightforward, badass Mercy, introvert, emotional, queer, secret romance novel writer Hunter are so different from each other but their opposite traits never affect their deep bound, devotion My favorite creators of House of Night series are back with a mind bending installment, an epic twin witch sisterhood saga, a wild, thrilling, action packed ride! Fast pacing, gripping with detailed, layered characterization! I loved Hunter and Mercy so much! Polar opposite sisters! Energetic, rebellious, straightforward, badass Mercy, introvert, emotional, queer, secret romance novel writer Hunter are so different from each other but their opposite traits never affect their deep bound, devotion and friendship! They truly love each other! They respect each other! They complete each other! They are such a great, unique, loyal team! The story starts the era during Salem witch trials. We’re quickly introduced to Sarah Goode who is targeted as a witch, captured in a cell waiting for her execution but she finds her way to escape from the prison accompanied by her little daughter. After whirlwind, exciting prologue, the story moves forward to the present time to introduce us the direct descendants of Sarah Goode: Twin sisters Hunter and Mercy Goode prepare themselves for their sixteenth birthday which also means their initiation ceremony! The childhood era of their lives are over. They will be tasked with their new missions just like their gatekeeper descendants have been doing for centuries to protect the gates of underworlds. Of course their task needs a compelling and definitely demanding learning process which will be more challenging than they expected. And from the beginning your spin gets tingled during your read because you just directly feel the darkness watch each step the girls take. The darkness becomes their shadow and you may sense it at the each chapter. Something truly unexpected change both of the girls’ life and like falling dominoes, the incident sets so many other terrifying events into motion which forced twins to make grim decisions, changing their life paths. But tests they have to pass will force them to test their loyalties to each other, too. They are struggling with grief and burning with fury to avenge. Will they team up to fight against the struggles or will they separate to fight their own battles? Read and see! It’s fabulous, heart pounding, extremely riveting start to a new installment which deserved my entire five blazing, for the love of divine sisterhood and fantasy world stars! So many thanks to Netgalley and St. Martin’s Press / Wednesday Books for sharing this digital reviewer copy with me in exchange my honest thoughts. I loved it so much!

  2. 4 out of 5

    Debra

    This pains me as I love books about witches. The synopsis is so promising. I thought I was going to love this book. Instead, what I loved was the prologue. I would give the prologue 5 stars if I could. I thought it was brilliant. I wanted more of it. I wanted to know what happened to Sarah Goode and her daughter. I was instantly drawn in and captivated by her plight. But the book was not about Sarah Goode but her descendants - Hunter and Mercy Goode. Hunter and Mercy are twin witches who are lear This pains me as I love books about witches. The synopsis is so promising. I thought I was going to love this book. Instead, what I loved was the prologue. I would give the prologue 5 stars if I could. I thought it was brilliant. I wanted more of it. I wanted to know what happened to Sarah Goode and her daughter. I was instantly drawn in and captivated by her plight. But the book was not about Sarah Goode but her descendants - Hunter and Mercy Goode. Hunter and Mercy are twin witches who are learning what it means to be a gatekeeper to different underworlds and portals. Still with me? When their mother is murdered, it is only the beginning. But unlike the beginning of this book, their story did not shine. While I loved the writing in the prologue, I was not a fan of it here. This just did not work for me. It held my interest enough to keep me reading, but unfortunately it was not the book for me. I kept wondering the entire book, how could this book have such a strong prologue to then lose its way? I highlighted many sections but here is one where I just thought seriously: "Yes, your mother. We loved her. She was a, uh, a woman." Now, keep in mind, I am not giving the scene or backstory on who said this but even as a teen, if someone would have said this to me, I might have said "Are you kidding me?" Sadly, a book I had high hopes for but just did not work for me. Others are really enjoying this book and I encourage you to read those reviews as well. Thank you to St. Martin's Press - Wednesday Books and NetGalley who provided me with a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. All the thoughts and opinions are my own. Read more of my reviews at www.openbookposts.com

  3. 4 out of 5

    Kristin Cast

    It was so much fun to write the points of view of both Hunter and the antagonist. Some of the books I've written have taken a lot out of me and have been tough to finish, but Spells Trouble was different. Being in this world with Hunter and Mercy really healed me and brought me joy when I needed it most. I hope Spells Trouble brings you a little peace, too. Happy reading! It was so much fun to write the points of view of both Hunter and the antagonist. Some of the books I've written have taken a lot out of me and have been tough to finish, but Spells Trouble was different. Being in this world with Hunter and Mercy really healed me and brought me joy when I needed it most. I hope Spells Trouble brings you a little peace, too. Happy reading!

  4. 4 out of 5

    MissBecka Gee

    This is kind of stale for me. I'm about 40% into it and don't really wanna force the rest. I have so many really exciting books waiting for me that I would rather read. I may go back to it eventually, but for now I feel like it would only make things worse to continue. Thanks to NetGalley & St. Martin's Press for my DRC. This is kind of stale for me. I'm about 40% into it and don't really wanna force the rest. I have so many really exciting books waiting for me that I would rather read. I may go back to it eventually, but for now I feel like it would only make things worse to continue. Thanks to NetGalley & St. Martin's Press for my DRC.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Patty (IheartYA311)

    Spells Trouble by PC Cast and Kristen Cast ⭐⭐/5 Unfortunately this book was as flat as old soda. It read like a middle grade book (or a corny, silly, satirical movie) and then *bam* you get hit with a sex scene that doesn't help the progression of the plot at all. There were a lot of uneccessery details. The dialogue was bland and tedious. The writing style was boring and subpar. I definitely expected better from such experienced authors. I'm giving 2 stars instead of 1 due to the originality of t Spells Trouble by PC Cast and Kristen Cast ⭐⭐/5 Unfortunately this book was as flat as old soda. It read like a middle grade book (or a corny, silly, satirical movie) and then *bam* you get hit with a sex scene that doesn't help the progression of the plot at all. There were a lot of uneccessery details. The dialogue was bland and tedious. The writing style was boring and subpar. I definitely expected better from such experienced authors. I'm giving 2 stars instead of 1 due to the originality of the idea; it had potential but needed to be developed and written better. Thank you to NetGalley for granting a copy to review.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Carrie

    Spells Trouble by P.C. Cast, Kristin Cast is supposed to be the first book of a new young adult paranormal fantasy series featuring a set of sixteen year old twin witches. However, I’m using the word supposed there due to the fact that one of my biggest problems with this one is it didn’t seem to know what it really wanted to be. The series is about Hunter and Mercy Goode who are twin witches that are just celebrating their sixteenth birthday. These girls come from a long line of witches and thei Spells Trouble by P.C. Cast, Kristin Cast is supposed to be the first book of a new young adult paranormal fantasy series featuring a set of sixteen year old twin witches. However, I’m using the word supposed there due to the fact that one of my biggest problems with this one is it didn’t seem to know what it really wanted to be. The series is about Hunter and Mercy Goode who are twin witches that are just celebrating their sixteenth birthday. These girls come from a long line of witches and their mother is about to have them perform the ceremony for them to become protectors of the Gates to different underworlds. These ancient portals between their world other realms house all kinds of evil and when their mother becomes the first victim of the gates breaking down the girls must protect their world. Now, having read other books from these authors I have had my ups and downs with their series but my usual complaint was that the books would drag on and just be too lengthy for my taste. Seeing this new first book of the series was only around 300 pages I thought it should move faster so I took a chance. Well it did move at a better speed and the fantasy had huge potential but it still was a miss for me. Spells Trouble to me would often feel like more of a middle grade book than young adult but then you have instances where it felt like it went too far for even YA…most notably a sex scene tossed in. There were also too many times I thought let’s just get back to the magic and the bones of the story which at times had huge potential but it just didn’t feel like everything meshed together very well. Being a shorter read as I said it took three days for me to drag myself to the finish and for me being someone who when totally invested could read two books of this length in a not so busy day felt like a year. So unfortunately this won’t be one series I won’t be coming back to which is a shame as it could have been a lot of fun. I received an advance copy from the publisher via NetGalley. For more reviews please visit https://carriesbookreviews.com/

  7. 5 out of 5

    Cortney LaScola - The Bookworm Myrtle Beach

    I was so excited to receive an advance copy of Spells Trouble... not only was it a YA trilogy about witches, but it was two authors I've heard great things about for years but had yet to try. *cue the violins* but I was in for a lot of disappointment The writing felt really lazy to me. Whether they just phoned it in this time, or this is their typical way of writing, I don't know, but I'm probably not going to find out. There were glimmers of a good story in there, but I was honestly not impressed I was so excited to receive an advance copy of Spells Trouble... not only was it a YA trilogy about witches, but it was two authors I've heard great things about for years but had yet to try. *cue the violins* but I was in for a lot of disappointment The writing felt really lazy to me. Whether they just phoned it in this time, or this is their typical way of writing, I don't know, but I'm probably not going to find out. There were glimmers of a good story in there, but I was honestly not impressed. There were times I felt like I was in the middle of a series, there were times that I felt like I was reading middle grade, there were times I just skimmed because I wanted to be done with it. I'll say it again because I think it bears repeating, the bones were there for a good story, maybe even a great one, but it was just not executed/edited/or written to shine. I don't know what else to say. If you really want a great YA witchy trilogy, check out the Cahill Witch Chronicles

  8. 4 out of 5

    Leah

    P.C. and Kristen Cast must be stopped. For the good of humanity. I'll do my part by chucking this book into the recycling bin. Full review at A Book Shrew Thank you so much to Wednesday Books for the physical ARC, but please don't hate me because I'm about to be very honest with you all about how much I disliked this. I drafted this entire review when I was halfway through, and now that I've finished ... this is the kinder version. It's very concerning that I cannot tell either sister apart, and P.C. and Kristen Cast must be stopped. For the good of humanity. I'll do my part by chucking this book into the recycling bin. Full review at A Book Shrew Thank you so much to Wednesday Books for the physical ARC, but please don't hate me because I'm about to be very honest with you all about how much I disliked this. I drafted this entire review when I was halfway through, and now that I've finished ... this is the kinder version. It's very concerning that I cannot tell either sister apart, and that's not because they are twins. There is zero distinction between Hunter's and Mercy's voices, an issue not helped by the fact that the chapters do not tell you whose POV you are in. There is nothing to distinguish them from the other in tone, reaction or action. One is supposed to be more level-headed, the other more emotional, and I couldn't tell you who. It's surprising to me that they are so monotonous when two authors wrote this. Especially when they should be dealing with grief over their mother's death and worrying over their town falling apart from monsters. Instead we gloss over every actual moment of emotion and the one twin literally rips the other's grief out of her after a day for reasons I don't understand. The same goes for the other characters, who are more caricatures of tropes. The over enthusiastic best friend, the douchey boyfriend, the superior boy best friend. Among other reasons I will suggest below, I formed no connection to a single character as they are completely unmemorable. The writing itself was ... not good. My word, it was like being inside a painful 2000's satire teen movie. It's rather slow and uneventful because we need to dig into every single detail of the minutiae. The dialogue is so cringey because no one talks like that. The mother especially--it was painful to read these huge run-on paragraphs of 15 thoughts dropped without any sense of the character or emotion behind it. Worse is that there is so much tell versus show in the dialogue itself. The girls literally narrate so much of what they are doing, reminding themselves of the plot and events that happened. It makes it so unnatural and stiff to read. And please don't get me started on how they talk. Apparently teenagers still talk like valley girls with "hugsies" and "oh em gee, where is my pressie?" I'm disappointed that after 15 years, the Cast duo still writes with a style so childish and bland. A great disappointment for me was the magic. A story about witch sisters is what drew me to this, and I expected proper witchcraft with covens and such, and with how the world is set up the magic could have been so cool. There is the possibility to have creative new worlds and monsters, and instead it was just lazy. No wired, only tired. In a nutshell, there are five trees in Goodeville (even the name is unimaginative) that serve as the doors to five different underworlds: Greek, Norse, Japanese, Hindu and Egyptian. Guess what? That didn't sit well with me at all. Why on earth would the door to the Hindu underworld be in the middle of nowhere Illinois and protected by a couple of white girls? Make it make sense. There were also elements of indigenous peoples, and while I'm not sure of the authors' identities, Hunter and Mercy are not indigenous, so reading about them using things like Apache Tears for spells felt uncomfy. Finally, I want to take one minute to say that I am all for sex-positive YA. Teens have sex and there is no reason to make it taboo ... but this was not it. Never ever ever again do I want to read a teenager describe their bra-less mom's breasts as ample yet perky. Nor do I want to read about that mother assume the size of her daughter's boyfriend's d*ck from a ring size, ask about her daughter's cl*toris, and say you're welcome for the familial trait of multiple org*sms. All in one page. And that was just the START of the WRONG in this book. Out of nowhere there is an explicit gratuitous sex scene multiple pages long between two sixteen-year-olds involving a blow-job and hand stimulation. It is the most uncomfortable and unneeded part of the entire book and the exact part where it lost any chance at redemption. The fact that a mother-daughter duo wrote this makes me want to claw my eyes out. It genuinely floors me that this was published. In my opinion, I believe this to be a story that was picked up by the publisher because of the name attached to it rather than the quality of the story, and I'm sorry I wasted my time with it. The House of Night series was atrocious when I read it in high school and the problematic themes have clearly continued in their newer works. Now, please excuse me while I go bleach my eyeballs.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Sara L.

    Plot Mercy and Hunter Goode are witches but not just any witches, they're twin witches. It's their birthday and as all their ancestors previously did, they need to be Gatekeepers which are the protectors of some gates to other worlds. It's now time to celebrate their birthday with their mom and they go through a ritual they always do but this time something happens. When they lose their mom, the twins (still grieving), decide to take up the case for themselves and help solve the string of murders Plot Mercy and Hunter Goode are witches but not just any witches, they're twin witches. It's their birthday and as all their ancestors previously did, they need to be Gatekeepers which are the protectors of some gates to other worlds. It's now time to celebrate their birthday with their mom and they go through a ritual they always do but this time something happens. When they lose their mom, the twins (still grieving), decide to take up the case for themselves and help solve the string of murders that have been happening all around town as well as their moms. But to solve this case it will take more than magic. It will take courage, love, and what we come to learn as acceptance. The twins dive straight into the case and start doing research when they learn about Mythological ancient monsters. And turns out a creature has been roaming their town disguised as a person, whom they know very well as the Sheriff. Now Hunter and Mercy fight together with friends and enemies to bring back their peaceful town. Hunter She's my favorite character by far! I connected with her so much and loved that she was gay. I also loved how she tries so much to be strong for her sister and even if she doesn't show it a lot, is grieving! ❤️❤️ Mercy I dislike her very much. Mercy is not very good to her sister. As much as she loves her sister Hunter is usually the one always looking out for her, Mercy does nothing in return! She didn't even acknowledge that Hunter was probably grieving in her own way, she let Hunter take away all the pain for her but she did nothing to help her in return! Instead, she goes ahead and tells her how her god is causing all this trouble and reflects all that negativity on Hunter's sexuality!!! The ending of this book made me dislike Mercy even more. She's just so selfish and self-indulgent! Jax I love how he was so supportive of Hunter and cared for so much! I truly believe that in all this chaos and all the things that are going on he was more of a friend than her own sister ever was. We just need more strong friendships with no romance, you know? And he really made that happen! But I still can't shake the feeling that he might like her? Maybe it's all the your-best-friend-loves-you trope's I've read so much about in almost every book (the hunger games, city of bones, e.t.c) Emily She was an awesome friend and I loved how she took care of her family and loved them so very much but was also there for her friends. Even when she was also going through the death of her own father she really did it come out as a strong loving character :) Overall I had a really high expectations going into this because I love witches and Salem, and if you're going to name a book series The Sisters of Salem you better make sure that book is good! Thankfully this book was really fun and enjoyable and I loved it. Even though my expectations were off the roof this was a really enjoyable read. I loved the LGBTQ aspect of this book and how it all came together with the grief and mystery. This book was really one of wide genres and I loved that it also contained Greek / Roman mythology and connected to the witches to it! So I really loved the overall World building and the characters (not Mercy) I also really enjoyed that this book showed me side of the villain as well, even as I was disgusted by what he was doing I really enjoyed him. Let's be honest, who doesn't love a bad guy with a sad backstory? A special thanks to the publishers and Netgalley for sending me an arc for an honest review!! ~Till Next Time! 📚 Ꮢҽαԃ σ⨍⨍ ɾҽαԃҽɾട! 📚

  10. 4 out of 5

    Madison Vessels

    This book and its characters are absolutely stunning! The back story of this book is a subject that has always fascinated me. The Salem Witch Trials. After she and her daughter escaped, Sarah Good set up her new life in Illinois. Present day, the Good twins Mercy and Hunter, are about to have their 16th birthdays. The twins are complete opposites but are also extremely close. They are also absolutely witches. I was worried at first when it jumped that it would be a book where they didnt know the This book and its characters are absolutely stunning! The back story of this book is a subject that has always fascinated me. The Salem Witch Trials. After she and her daughter escaped, Sarah Good set up her new life in Illinois. Present day, the Good twins Mercy and Hunter, are about to have their 16th birthdays. The twins are complete opposites but are also extremely close. They are also absolutely witches. I was worried at first when it jumped that it would be a book where they didnt know their lineage and had to discover their powers but instead, they were witches descended from witches and they were about to come into their full powers after they chose their god or goddess. It starts off with the twins losing their mother on their big night, midnight on their birthday. Their cat then turns human and becomes their guardians so at least they dont have to leave town. Overall, I really enjoyed it. I enjoyed the differences between the twins and their interactions with their friends and others in the town. I also loved the darker side of the books. There are a ton of murders that happen and the twins are racing to stop them. The ending was something I was slightly expecting. .not the exact end but rather, an obvious set up for another book. I love that it continues and that I get to read more.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Jenn

    I am a sucker for mythology. When I heard about this book - a mixture of multiple mythologies - I knew I had to read it. And honestly, it was fun. Twins Hunter and Mercy Goode come from a long line of witches who have been tasked with protecting the Gates to other worlds and underworlds. On the birthday where they were begin their training, their mother was murdered by some ancient being that came through one of the gates. This event is just the beginning as more and more strange happenings star I am a sucker for mythology. When I heard about this book - a mixture of multiple mythologies - I knew I had to read it. And honestly, it was fun. Twins Hunter and Mercy Goode come from a long line of witches who have been tasked with protecting the Gates to other worlds and underworlds. On the birthday where they were begin their training, their mother was murdered by some ancient being that came through one of the gates. This event is just the beginning as more and more strange happenings start occurring. But one thing is for certain, the trees are sick and it's up to the twins to figure out what's going on. Let's talk characters. I liked that it was easy to tell the twins apart from each other. They both had such distinct personalities that I never confused the two. I also really liked their support system from their guardian cat to their best friends. They had people who believed in them and more importantly, just straight believed them. But I will admit that there were times their characteristics became repetitive. We kept being told how different they were over and over instead of really delving into their mannerisms. Any emotion out of the norm needed to be magically fixed instead of actually dealt with which I thought did a disservice. This is a book about sisterhood, friendship and loss but most of it was just barely talked about. There were so many plot points that I just wanted more from and that I felt were honestly explored. This book could have been a little longer to add more depth and it would have benefited greatly. I am really excited to see what comes next though as this book opened up so many interesting worlds that I hope we get to explore them.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Lindsi (Do You Dog-ear?)

    I received an ARC from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. My thoughts and opinions are my own. Any quotes I use are from an unpublished copy and may not reflect the finished product. Spells Trouble was just a tad too unbelievable for me. I don't want to have to suspend my disbelief that much for a story to work. I'm all for authors writing progressive female characters, but the twin's mother was annoyingly sweet and supportive. Her comments were a little too endearing and nonjudgment I received an ARC from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. My thoughts and opinions are my own. Any quotes I use are from an unpublished copy and may not reflect the finished product. Spells Trouble was just a tad too unbelievable for me. I don't want to have to suspend my disbelief that much for a story to work. I'm all for authors writing progressive female characters, but the twin's mother was annoyingly sweet and supportive. Her comments were a little too endearing and nonjudgmental, which I found off-putting. She felt more like an eccentric aunt than the girl's mother. It didn't help that they called her Abigail instead of Mom, which we get no explanation for. Right of the bat she's talking to Mercy about safe sex, condoms (making sure they make it onto her new boyfriend's penis), her clitoris (and how she's been blessed with multiple orgasms), and even discussing the ring size (Mercy's boyfriend gave her his ring) and insinuating that it means her boyfriend has a large dick. None of this felt like appropriate "Mom talk," because of how their mother chose to address these topics. She made it creepy and gross, not educational and informative. I enjoyed the prologue, but everything that happened in the present felt over-the-top and forced. It was like jamming two puzzle pieces together because you're convinced they fit, only to realize your mistake later on. This book had a lot of pieces that felt forced together, which really hurt the story's believability. There was also a lot of telling and very little showing. The chapter with Dearborn? WHAT? That whole debacle was very poorly explained, and then his behavior later on was incredibly offensive (it honestly felt like he was a completely different person). He should not have been talking to the girls about their dead mother (it's in the synopsis, lower your pitchforks) so casually. Where was his sensitivity to their loss? The other officer just kept apologizing for his behavior, but it wasn't even remotely acceptable. I don't care if he's been through an "ordeal," he can't be callous and insensitive. He also can't discuss another investigation with two teenage girls. It was just too unrealistic for me to continue reading this one. Stopped around 24%. (★★☆☆☆) Narration: I started listening to an ARC of the audiobook and seriously considered switching to my physical ARC after a few chapters. The voice really didn't work for me, and I thought it made the characters sound ditzy and immature. Even their mother's voice had a childlike quality to it, which made it hard for me to take anyone seriously. Blog | Instagram | Twitter | Bloglovin' | Amazon | Pinterest

  13. 4 out of 5

    Graciella Delgado

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. *Thank you to NetGalley and St. Martin's Press for an e-ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review* In a promising plot description following twin sisters, Mercy and Hunter Goode, as they fight as powerful descendents from a long line of witches against unknown forces in their small town that took the life of their mother, this was an incredibly disappointing story. The prologue felt to be the most grounded and well-written section of the entire story and should have been the central focus. *Thank you to NetGalley and St. Martin's Press for an e-ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review* In a promising plot description following twin sisters, Mercy and Hunter Goode, as they fight as powerful descendents from a long line of witches against unknown forces in their small town that took the life of their mother, this was an incredibly disappointing story. The prologue felt to be the most grounded and well-written section of the entire story and should have been the central focus. This is a Teen/Young Adult labeled book with a middle grade writing style and dialogue approach with an all too explicit sex scene that lasts pages between literal children. I don't know what the author wants this book to be and neither do they, apparently. The slang and language used by the 16 year olds are outdated and filled with the most awkward hashtags and "yaaaassss, bestie" moments that made me cringe. The use of the word "bestie" both in narration and dialogue was overwhelming. There was no emotion from the twins despite the story being told from their alternating perspectives. They never grieve the death of their mother and just say they're affected by her murder briefly before snapping back and moving on. There's no life in the characters or writing and I'm concerned with the frequent Indigenous references to these white characters' witchcraft practices. I do not practice witchcraft, so I cannot speak to the accuracy of its depiction in this story. Overall, this was an incredibly uncomfortable read for all the wrong reasons.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Brittney

    I'm sorry to say I didn't enjoy his book very much. It wasn't written badly or anything, but it's very much a female YA offering. If that's your kind of thing, I'm sure you'll really enjoy this book. Thank you to NetGalley for letting me tag and review this ARC. All opinions are my own. I'm sorry to say I didn't enjoy his book very much. It wasn't written badly or anything, but it's very much a female YA offering. If that's your kind of thing, I'm sure you'll really enjoy this book. Thank you to NetGalley for letting me tag and review this ARC. All opinions are my own.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Anik-MamaBearsBookshelf

    This book was just meh. Nothing special. The only things I enjoyed were the witchy parts. but other than that it was a pretty flat story and for the younger crowd. I didn't really like the characters. I much more enjoyed the House of night books from the mother-daughter duo. I really wanted to like this one but it's a no-go for me it didn't live up to the expectations I like the cover it's pretty. The dialogue was a little strange with the back and forth and reactions were awkward. Thank you Netg This book was just meh. Nothing special. The only things I enjoyed were the witchy parts. but other than that it was a pretty flat story and for the younger crowd. I didn't really like the characters. I much more enjoyed the House of night books from the mother-daughter duo. I really wanted to like this one but it's a no-go for me it didn't live up to the expectations I like the cover it's pretty. The dialogue was a little strange with the back and forth and reactions were awkward. Thank you Netgalley, St.Martin's Press, and Wednesday Books for the advanced copy.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Kristin Sledge

    Thank you to the publisher and NetGalley for an eARC in exchange for an honest review. Hunter and Mercy Goode are not your everyday witches. They are gatekeepers to five gates that lead to different underworlds. A Norse underworld, a Greek underworld, a Egyptian underworld, a Japanese underworld and a Hindu underworld; all marked by trees that relate to each culture. When the gates become sick with rot and murders begin in their town, can Mercy and Hunter find the courage and strength to mend the Thank you to the publisher and NetGalley for an eARC in exchange for an honest review. Hunter and Mercy Goode are not your everyday witches. They are gatekeepers to five gates that lead to different underworlds. A Norse underworld, a Greek underworld, a Egyptian underworld, a Japanese underworld and a Hindu underworld; all marked by trees that relate to each culture. When the gates become sick with rot and murders begin in their town, can Mercy and Hunter find the courage and strength to mend the gates or will all manners of creatures break through and tear the mortal world to shreds? Guys, I really want to give moments of this book a 7 star rating, and other parts a one to two star. Overall, it gets three from me but also comes heavily recommended. I grew up reading P.C. and Kristin's House of Night series. I really enjoyed the circle/elemental casting as well as the new take on vampires. Now that I am older(and hopefully wiser) revisiting the House of Night is cringeworthy. So when this little morsel started off MUCH like the House of Night I began wondering if these authors were one trick ponies. Man, did I ever eat crow! The mythological moments in this book are exceptional, and the characters from the gates are epically written. What falls short to me are the Goode twins....mostly Mercy. For being a twin, Mercy sure doesn't know anything about not being selfish. I would delve deeper into this, but it would involve heavy spoilers and I'm not about that. Hunter is great and made me want to leap through the pages to give her a big hug. Their friends are excellent and their cat Xena is to die for. Overall, this book has great qualities but I wish we had gotten more with our monsters as they were the true stars of this story for me. I highly recommend this book to anyone 16+ as there is graphic sexual content that is absolutely NOT suitable for younger readers. I look forward to a sequel and am hardcore Team Hunter!

  17. 5 out of 5

    Jennifer

    Spells Trouble is the first book in the YA paranormal Sisters of Salem trilogy. This is the first book in a new series by P.C. and Kristin Cast (House of Night series). The book focuses on 16 year old twin witches Hunter and Mercy Goode. They are the main narrators. We get chapters from each sister (3rd person POVs). The story takes place in Goodville, Illinois in Salem County. When deaths start occurring in their town the twin sisters need to use their magic. The twins are the Gatekeepers of their Spells Trouble is the first book in the YA paranormal Sisters of Salem trilogy. This is the first book in a new series by P.C. and Kristin Cast (House of Night series). The book focuses on 16 year old twin witches Hunter and Mercy Goode. They are the main narrators. We get chapters from each sister (3rd person POVs). The story takes place in Goodville, Illinois in Salem County. When deaths start occurring in their town the twin sisters need to use their magic. The twins are the Gatekeepers of their town. They protect various Gates around town that could lead to different underworlds. The book features a lot of high school drama. And each sister has a best friend (Emily is Mercy's bff and Jax is Hunter's best friend). I really enjoyed these relationships immensely. Mercy has a boyfriend Kirk (star quarterback). I do think that this added an interesting element to the story. However there was some sexual content, which I don't think was necessary. I didn't really enjoy the monster/underworlds aspect of the story. But I did really enjoy the spells and the witch aspect. Overall this was a cute YA story. Thanks to netgalley and St. Martin's Press/Wednesday books for allowing me to read this book.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Darcy

    I'm so so on this one. There were parts that I liked, the magic and how the trees were protecting the town and the cat aunt, parts I didn't like, the twins and how it seemed like they were at odds, especially didn't like Mercy who seemed to need things to be her way or no way. Mercy didn't seem to want to listen to Hunter at all, from her douchebag boyfriend to making Hunter turn away from the god she picked. You just know that is going to come back and bite them all in the ass. Mercy also misus I'm so so on this one. There were parts that I liked, the magic and how the trees were protecting the town and the cat aunt, parts I didn't like, the twins and how it seemed like they were at odds, especially didn't like Mercy who seemed to need things to be her way or no way. Mercy didn't seem to want to listen to Hunter at all, from her douchebag boyfriend to making Hunter turn away from the god she picked. You just know that is going to come back and bite them all in the ass. Mercy also misused her magic when dealing with Kurt and found out just what she didn't want, yet using her magic that way didn't seem to bother her, even when she knew it was wrong. I might check out the next book in this series if I see it on my library's website, but it will also depend on my mood that day.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Alex

    Thanks to the publisher for providing an eARC of Spells Trouble in exchange for an honest review. My favourite niche trend in YA right now is sapphic witch stories so when I heard that Spells Trouble follows 2 witches (one of whom is queer!) I was really excited but unfortunately, I was ultimately let down. This is neither author's first book which meant I was really surprised by how exposition-y this was. The first few chapters are a lot of heavy-handed dialogue where characters remind themselve Thanks to the publisher for providing an eARC of Spells Trouble in exchange for an honest review. My favourite niche trend in YA right now is sapphic witch stories so when I heard that Spells Trouble follows 2 witches (one of whom is queer!) I was really excited but unfortunately, I was ultimately let down. This is neither author's first book which meant I was really surprised by how exposition-y this was. The first few chapters are a lot of heavy-handed dialogue where characters remind themselves of the plot, their relationships, and goals and while that phases out as the plot progresses, it sets up a very younger-middle-grade story telling style. Unfortunately, this book also includes swears, slurs, and sex scenes so it's definitely not good for that audience either. There are elements of goodness here, but it exists in this weird in-between of maturity that really doesn't lend itself to any solid audience.

  20. 5 out of 5

    TheFrenchReadingGirl

    I was expecting so much from this book because of how much I loved the House of Night series. I was disapointed. The characters were flat and unreliable. The plot wasn't interesting and was dragging for most of the book... I was expecting so much from this book because of how much I loved the House of Night series. I was disapointed. The characters were flat and unreliable. The plot wasn't interesting and was dragging for most of the book...

  21. 4 out of 5

    Meaghan - H&WR

    DISCLAIMER: I received an eARC from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. EXPECTED MAY 25TH, 2021 1 STAR What should be a celebration turns rapidly into a tragedy for Hunter and Mercy Goode. The night of their sixteenth birthday, they pledge themselves to their patron gods, preparing to become full witches in their own right. But even as they reach this monumental milestone, something goes horribly awry, killing their mother and weakening the gates of Goodeville in the proces DISCLAIMER: I received an eARC from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. EXPECTED MAY 25TH, 2021 1 STAR What should be a celebration turns rapidly into a tragedy for Hunter and Mercy Goode. The night of their sixteenth birthday, they pledge themselves to their patron gods, preparing to become full witches in their own right. But even as they reach this monumental milestone, something goes horribly awry, killing their mother and weakening the gates of Goodeville in the process. Now, overrun by grief and fear, without their beloved mother’s guidance, the twins must discover the source of the evil seeping into their town if they hope to protect their loved ones who remain. That’s easier said than done, though, and along the way, Hunter and Mercy must come to understand one another, too. Conceptually, this could have been exciting. In practice, though, Spells Trouble is an exercise in futility. Frankly, the only reason I didn’t DNF this book was my own stubborn nature, and the faint hope that maybe it would improve by the end. Obviously, seeing as I gave it only a single star, it very much did not, and this is due to its constant failure to accomplish anything of note. You would think that portals to various underworlds would elicit a great sense of urgency, even with grief weighing on the twins. Yet the pacing and tone is all over the place, sometimes leaning almost towards a younger YA voice and focusing on blips of character bonding that don’t advance the plot, and sometimes launching into a full on sex scene between sixteen year old kids that also does very little for the plot. (I would have had less of an issue with the sex scene if it wasn’t so…detailed? I get that teens sometimes have sex, and I think it’s reasonable for YA authors to include that. But when your sex scene is written with such an emphasis on the sexy? In YA? Yeah, that’s pretty uncomfortable.) Really, most of the issues stem from this failure to advance the plot. Over the course of the entire book, the Goode twins alternate between mourning their mother and fumbling through possible ways to protect the trees that serve as underworld gates, only to end the book knowing they failed after all their hard work. What, then, was the point of all those attempts? What was the point of all that tense research and the drawing of boundaries between characters? It ultimately feels like a waste of 320 pages to place our characters essentially where they started, except more distrustful of one another than before. But Spells Trouble doesn’t just flounder in its plot. It’s careless in its representation and approaches. This section of my review could easily go on forever, but I’ll try to keep it concise. The short version? Certain fragments of representation were handed out as if to score brownie points. Certain personality traits were slapped onto characters to make them less dull, only to make them feel even flatter. It’s overall a train wreck, dripping with a carelessness that has me rolling my eyes so hard I can see the back of my skull. The personality trait issue is the far less serious of the two I’ve mentioned, and takes a little less time to cover. For some reason, the authors make sure to highlight that Hunter is an aspiring author, only to give that hobby minimal depth beyond a single notebook and her inability to put the words on the page. It barely shapes her character otherwise. Meanwhile, Mercy sometimes uses British slang for absolutely no reason at all. She doesn’t have anyone in her life from England, and hasn’t spent any time there at all. It’s entirely inexplicable, and while I’m sure there are kids out there who play around with slang and accents for minimal reason, it only serves here to make Mercy irritating, as well as a collection of eccentricities pasted on top of an otherwise boring character. Complexity and nuance who? But easily most frustrating are matters of attempted representation. The most obvious issue is the way Hunter is treated. She is a lesbian, but the matter only surfaces when discussing childhood bullying she faced (complete with gratuitous slurs!), or when she feels isolated and not like other folks in Goodeville. Here I was, all excited about a book that might have a sapphic witch, and all I got was this lousy case of dogpiling and misery. And while we’re at it, let’s talk about how the authors handle race and culture, because they’re terrible at it. Turns out, the underworld gates in Spells Trouble are linked to mythologies across the world, including underworlds from Japanese, Hindu, and Egyptian mythology. And these gates? They were founded by a white woman, who conveniently found the solution to holding mythological underworlds at bay when the indigenous populations could not. (It’s no surprise that this indigenous population is said to be gone now, and that SURPRISE, one of the supporting characters is half Native American! Not that you would know unless it was mentioned, since there are absolutely zero indicators otherwise. And naming which group of indigenous people he’s part of? Gee whiz, that must have been too much work.) Overall, it makes Spells Trouble clumsy, frustrating, and disrespectful, even if that wasn’t the authors’ intent. After all, you can intend to do right by someone or something and still cause harm instead. Or, as it often feels in this case, you can try to score your brownie points but just not really, truly care. In full honesty, I cannot recommend this book. I regret not DNFing it, to be frank. And I can’t even come up with a sort of reader who might enjoy it. When I finished reading, I felt like I’d wasted the last three hours of my life. You probably know as well as I do that’s never a good feeling. Save your three-odd hours for another book, one that’s actually enjoyable. Or go for a walk. Maybe play a video game. Simply anything else is probably more rewarding than Spells Trouble. CW: animal death, underage drinking, violence, gore (including eye gore), graphic injury, loss of a loved one, homophobia (including slurs), sex scene, drug use

  22. 4 out of 5

    Permanently_Booked

    I highly enjoyed the House of Night series by this duo and couldn’t resist getting into a new witchy series tinged with a bit of mythology. I have a mixed bag of feelings after spending some time with the Goode twins. Right off the bat, I loved where the plot was going: Gates to underworlds, being gatekeepers, coming of age into witchy powers all intertwined with an underlying layer of being true to yourself and standing firm in your beliefs and decisions. I also enjoyed the addition of LGBTQ re I highly enjoyed the House of Night series by this duo and couldn’t resist getting into a new witchy series tinged with a bit of mythology. I have a mixed bag of feelings after spending some time with the Goode twins. Right off the bat, I loved where the plot was going: Gates to underworlds, being gatekeepers, coming of age into witchy powers all intertwined with an underlying layer of being true to yourself and standing firm in your beliefs and decisions. I also enjoyed the addition of LGBTQ representation and small-town biases. Sounds awesome right! Unfortunately, I had some cons that kept popping up in the middle of my enjoyment. My drawback surrounds a few things. The characters read younger than their age. Yes, I know this is YA. Yes, I know I am an adult, and I may be slightly out of touch with the persona of the young and wild… but I really did feel like I was reading about middle grade characters a lot more than expected. The sex scene stopped me in my tracks too. I love a good smutty read but this felt thrown in; honestly, the whole relationship aspect between Mercy and her boyfriend, Kirk, could have been left out. The multiple-orgasm chat between daughter and mom (among other things), the over the top and unrealistic police portions and the way characters discuss the deceased just made me cringe a bit. With that noted I do think the idea of the plot was captivating. The epilogue really set the stage and though it veers drastically from that starting point the authors made the mythological cyclops and underworld portions pretty entertaining. I adored the unique takes on different mythological elements and even found a soft spot for some of the not-so-great characters at points. These aspects lifted the novel back up for me. It truly was a rollercoaster of ups and downs. Speaking of ups and downs I also had the opportunity to listen to the ALC (read by Cassandra Campbell) when I couldn’t read the ARC. I did enjoy the audio, though I would’ve liked a little more differentiation between voices for some of the female characters. I do think Hunter was captured well overall and let’s be honest, she is kind of a fave right now. I am leaning more towards the physical act of reading overall. The narration took a little away with lack of inflection and sometimes emotion. Another up and down area for me. Knowing me, I plan to read the next book. The ending left me with tons of ideas on where this will go next and kind of hoping for a darker turn with more Hunter focus and less Mercy. This is a fast paced and easy to read YA fantasy novel. There is explicit sexual content not suitable for the younger side of this genre. Thank you to Macmillan audio and Wednesday Books for the ability to fully immerse myself in the gifted audio and physical copies. All aside, I am looking forward to what happens next. I think our duo has more instore for their readers.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Allison

    This book was a goner for me at 16% but I held on until the end to make sure I could write a comprehensive review with aaaaaaall the warnings. This witchy YA fantasy is a contemporary tale following twin sisters who must help close the gates to the underworld(s) after a disaster ushers in their 16th birthday. Even before I took offense at the whole story, I have to say this one has a weird take on teenagers. The dialogue is clunky, and the drama definitely invokes a 2000s teen tv drama, but not i This book was a goner for me at 16% but I held on until the end to make sure I could write a comprehensive review with aaaaaaall the warnings. This witchy YA fantasy is a contemporary tale following twin sisters who must help close the gates to the underworld(s) after a disaster ushers in their 16th birthday. Even before I took offense at the whole story, I have to say this one has a weird take on teenagers. The dialogue is clunky, and the drama definitely invokes a 2000s teen tv drama, but not in a fun, nostalgic type way. Literally, one twin's boyfriend is a quarterback named Kirk who wears Abercrombie & Fitch cologne (check that overly specific preppy white boy product placement).  It ends up coming off shallow, and though I love to mock my students for their dating foibles, they are complex, wonderful humans, and this book flattens all that. Now, let's get serious. The Goode family traces their roots back to Salem. In the relating of the family lore, the book kept digging itself into a deeper hole. First, matriarch Sarah Goode flees the witch trials out west. I was already on high alert for "westward expansion" aka Colonialist Bullshit to enter the picture. And boy, did it. Sarah finds her way to an unoccupied area that the characters note Indigenous populations were "super smart" too avoid because it holds 5 entrances to the underworld. But guess what?? Sarah is SO smart and cool that she is able to shut the gates and build a utopia or whatever, and even the Indigenous peoples decide it's safe to live there now. There's an attempt by the authors/characters to recognize Native wise women later in the book, but it reads like token representation when the white main cast still runs around at the center of everything, and the story is ultimately about their heroics and cleverness, etc. Plus, it's a bad look when they actually high-five each other for having the most basic thought about it. Let's assume you're already appalled. But we've got to keep digging that hole because the 5 gates to the underworld represent different pantheons: Norse, Greek, Egyptian, Japanese, and Hindu. So I guess now this is the part where we appropriate from living religions to make our magic seem fun and cool and global? Aka colonialism part II. Yeah, so... would not recommend.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Jesse Ruth (I need all the book boyfriends please)

    Thank you Netgalley and Wednesday Books for this arc! I loved this book! Centering on twins that are turning 16 in a small town. Hunter and Mercy may look alike but that is where their similarities mostly end. Hunter is an aspiring writer and quite introverted while her sister, Mercy, is the life of the party and always outspoken. Both, however, do have one thing in common: they are witches! Turning 16 is always important for any teenager, but for a witch it can be defining. Mercy, Hunter and thei Thank you Netgalley and Wednesday Books for this arc! I loved this book! Centering on twins that are turning 16 in a small town. Hunter and Mercy may look alike but that is where their similarities mostly end. Hunter is an aspiring writer and quite introverted while her sister, Mercy, is the life of the party and always outspoken. Both, however, do have one thing in common: they are witches! Turning 16 is always important for any teenager, but for a witch it can be defining. Mercy, Hunter and their mother, Abigail, have generations of witchy history to uphold and the twins 16th birthday is part of that. However, things are not what they seem and the ancient trees that hold the five gates to different worlds closed while also serving as points of power for this magical family may be falling apart already when the Goode family gathers on this cataclysmic night. Overall, I really enjoyed this story. I loved the feelings of love and magic that simply radiated from these characters. Also, the connection of sisterhood and friendship mixed in with spells, tarot decks, ley lines and an action-packed story made me keep reading till the end! And I cannot wait for book 2!

  25. 4 out of 5

    Trisha

    I'm not sure what went wrong for me with this one. The intro was really good - escaping the jail and getting away with her daughter. I could have definitely read a whole book about it. But the story was about twins Mercy and Hunter. This book had a tough time deciding what it was - at times, the story felt middle grade with huge info dumps disguised as history lessons, other times it felt New Adult (most notably with a very detailed sexual encounter that felt completely randomly thrown in). The g I'm not sure what went wrong for me with this one. The intro was really good - escaping the jail and getting away with her daughter. I could have definitely read a whole book about it. But the story was about twins Mercy and Hunter. This book had a tough time deciding what it was - at times, the story felt middle grade with huge info dumps disguised as history lessons, other times it felt New Adult (most notably with a very detailed sexual encounter that felt completely randomly thrown in). The girls felt very young at times but, again, were drinking and making other interesting choices. I think if this had been aimed for older, there could have been more details and emotions given into the story and really flushed it out. Or if it had been younger, the odd sex stuff, drinking and other odd discussions would have not been there and then the lighter take on magic would have fit well for the younger age. But this book didn't seem to do either well and I just never felt pulled in or interested in the story. A huge thank you to the author and publisher for providing an e-ARC via Netgalley. This does not affect my opinion regarding the book.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Alaina

    I have received this ARC from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. I'll admit that I was pretty excited to dive into Spells Trouble. So it pretty much kills me inside to say that I didn't really like this one. I had so many expectations and they ended up being way too high to begin with. So that's on me, unfortunately. In it, you will meet Hunter and Mercy. They are twin witches which was pretty cool to me. That's pretty much the only thing I liked about these two if I'm being honest. I tr I have received this ARC from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. I'll admit that I was pretty excited to dive into Spells Trouble. So it pretty much kills me inside to say that I didn't really like this one. I had so many expectations and they ended up being way too high to begin with. So that's on me, unfortunately. In it, you will meet Hunter and Mercy. They are twin witches which was pretty cool to me. That's pretty much the only thing I liked about these two if I'm being honest. I tried to find something else but they just really frustrated me throughout the entire book. Then when we dove into little revenge/avenge moments, I was thinking 'yay - it's finally getting interesting' but then that feeling went away pretty quickly. I think my favorite part was the epilogue. Mostly because it gave me hope that the sequel could be better. Or maybe even redeem this entire book for me. Not a whole lot of hope.. just a teeny tiny bit. In the end, I was excited to dive into something that just left me completely disappointed. Maybe the next one will be a good one. Maybe not. I'm willing to find that out for myself.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Nikita Afsar

    2.75 maybe??? I'm not sure yet lol. Full review to come 2.75 maybe??? I'm not sure yet lol. Full review to come

  28. 5 out of 5

    Jay G

    Want to see more bookish things from me? Check out my Youtube channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCfer... *I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for my honest review* Twin witches, Hunter and Mercy Goode are direct descendants of the founder of Goodeville. Their mother, Abigail is a well-known kitchen witch who is murdered during their birthday ritual to become Gatekeepers of the 5 realms. As the murders begin to pile up, the twins need to work together with the help Want to see more bookish things from me? Check out my Youtube channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCfer... *I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for my honest review* Twin witches, Hunter and Mercy Goode are direct descendants of the founder of Goodeville. Their mother, Abigail is a well-known kitchen witch who is murdered during their birthday ritual to become Gatekeepers of the 5 realms. As the murders begin to pile up, the twins need to work together with the help of their friends and loveable cat Xena, to discover who is behind the killing and how to put a stop to them once and for all. I was initially very excited for this because I absolutely love witchy books... and I thought it would be even better with twin witches! The book started off pretty strong with the prologue, and I thought it was going to be really interesting! Unfortunately, I was really disappointed with this one...It felt very young in its writing style, which I wasn't expecting. I didn't like either of these main characters, they were both so self-absorbed and annoying. I hated the dialogue between all of the characters, a lot of it was awkward and stilted... and it became repetitive and irritating very quickly. I did like Xena, but even she kind of annoyed me at times. I ended up giving it 2 stars instead of one because I do think the story was unique, I just think it could have been executed SO MUCH better.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Jovana

    Full review to come. Well, this was disappointing. I really should have DNF-ed this book when I knew I wasn't going to like it, but it had witchy magic (which I love!), so I had to give it a chance. And it was complete torture. The way the characters were talking to one another was weird and unnatural. I hated it. Also, a lot of the things they were saying were really cringy. And there were so many scenes that could have been cut out easily. Just boring conversation that added nothing to the story Full review to come. Well, this was disappointing. I really should have DNF-ed this book when I knew I wasn't going to like it, but it had witchy magic (which I love!), so I had to give it a chance. And it was complete torture. The way the characters were talking to one another was weird and unnatural. I hated it. Also, a lot of the things they were saying were really cringy. And there were so many scenes that could have been cut out easily. Just boring conversation that added nothing to the story. Mercy was also really annoying. What a disappointing read this was. Thank you NetGalley and publisher for the e-ARC in exchange for an honest review.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Inkslinger

    ARC provided by Wednesday Books/St. Martin's Press, P.C. Cast, and Kristin Cast. All opinions are mine and freely given. Blog | Instagram | TikTok | Twitter | Facebook | BookBub 05-24: 'Spells Trouble' by P.C. Cast and Kristin Cast is book one in the Sisters of Salem series. After centuries as the Gatekeepers to five ancient underworlds, descendants of the founder of Goodeville face a challenge none of their kind have ever seen before. The integrity of the portals is weakening and if they fail, all ARC provided by Wednesday Books/St. Martin's Press, P.C. Cast, and Kristin Cast. All opinions are mine and freely given. Blog | Instagram | TikTok | Twitter | Facebook | BookBub 05-24: 'Spells Trouble' by P.C. Cast and Kristin Cast is book one in the Sisters of Salem series. After centuries as the Gatekeepers to five ancient underworlds, descendants of the founder of Goodeville face a challenge none of their kind have ever seen before. The integrity of the portals is weakening and if they fail, all manner of walking nightmares would come through. On the night of their birthday, Hunter and Mercy Goode lose their mother. The first in a string of deaths that the twins must understand before they can find a way to heal the Gates and put a stop to the inevitable. If they don't, their world will not survive. This book is kind of a welcome surprise. Though the premise sounded interesting, when I first started reading it.. I thought it seemed very light-hearted, which is fine. The girls are high schoolers, one is stereotypically popular and the other is stereotypically shunned, but their twin bond is tight and the love at home with their mom is warm and welcoming. Initially, I genuinely didn't take any of it too seriously. There's a mention within the book of Sabrina and of course, some of the vibe is definitely similar. But like Sabrina, there's also a surprising darkness kind of strewn throughout. For me, the difference is that the darkness never feels campy. I'm not disparaging Sabrina, I was surprised to find I enjoyed that too, but even with the dark tones.. it's sort of tongue-in-cheek at times. And this can be, but again.. not really in the campy way. Though.. Xena. Very fun. Mixed into this high school romp through spell casting, are some distinctively Stephen King-esque textures, some Stranger Things adventure horror, and a fascinating dash of mythology. Now, if you don't know much about mythology, don't worry. The part it plays is all clearly explained, as are any connections of importance. The characters, are all well done. Some I liked and some I didn't, but as was fitting with the story. Hunter and Jax are probably my favorites, as the latter is a really lovely friend, and the former is the more reasonable of the two MCs. But Mercy is cool too, if a bit misguided at times. They do really love each other and try to look out for each other. As for the magic system, though it's kind of dressed up and modernized a bit, it's also rooted in a couple of traditional ritual styles.. giving it a sense of believability even in fantasy use. Admittedly, I really loved the choices that were made as to the mythological connections. I especially enjoyed what little we were shown in relation to the underworlds and the ways and reasons each of the Gates were different. I definitely added book two in my Goodreads list as soon as I finished reading this one. So, if you like witchy stories with a lot of interesting elements that aren't too atmospheric, give this a try! PURCHASE LINKS: AMAZON | BARNES & NOBLE | BLACKWELL'S | BOOK DEPOSITORY | BOOKSAMILLION | GOOGLEPLAY BOOKS | INDIEBOUND | INDIGO | KOBO

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