Something wicked this way comes…
I was granted eARC access to Omens Bite by P.C. Cast & Kristin Cast by the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. Thank you! My thoughts are my own and my review is honest.
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About the Book
Sisters of Salem Book Two
by P.C. Cast, Kristin Cast
Publishing 5 April 2022
Genre: YA Urban Fantasy, Paranormal Mystery
Page Count: 320
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Something wicked this way comes…
Twin sisters, Mercy and Hunter are witches, descendants of the Goode family of witches. After the murder of their mother at the hands of a foul demon, they have become the protectors of the Gates to different underworlds–ancient portals between their world and realms where mythology rules and the darkest of creatures exist.
The problem is that the Goode sisters have split from each other. Grief and anger have torn them apart, driving Mercy to save the cursed Gates on her own and Hunter into the arms of a dangerous goddess. And when Mercy shifts her focus to the Egyptian Gate and Khenti, the guardian of its Underworld, little does she know that her connection to him will land her in the kind of trouble that only Hunter can save her from.
When it comes to breaking the curse, Mercy and Hunter’s bonds are put to the ultimate test.
My Rating: 3 Stars
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I’ll start by saying that I did read and review the first book in this series, Spells Trouble, and I enjoyed it. I also used to adore the House of Night series, an older YA Urban Fantasy series by the same author pair, so I consider myself quite familiar with how they write and what sort of plots to expect. With that said, I was disappointed by Omens Bite.
I thought the previous book, Spells Trouble, was pretty good and rated it 3.5 out of 5 stars. It was a little dry here, and little clunky there, but ultimately set up a fascinating concept and what promised to be a great series. A little bit of the magic (pun intended) that I loved in the House of Night series has been lost here in this series simply by placing the teenaged protagonists in a perfectly ordinary US city high school full of mundane human kids. Everything magical happens outside of school hours.
I was really hoping that the sisters would come together to do whatever big villain-vanquishing sort of things needed doing in this one, but it appears they’re not done being hurt and giving each other the cold shoulder. I don’t know if this will be more relatable to actual teen readers, but as a woman in my 30s, I didn’t have the patience for it. Neither sister really grabbed me and made me love her in the first book, so now that they’re further driving a wedge between themselves, I didn’t feel that emotion, and I didn’t care about the conflict.
I did enjoy all of the further world-building and god-meeting we got to do in this instalment, and as always, cat aunt Xena is hilariously bad at remembering not to be catlike when she’s being human. Seriously, all the being called out for licking… doesn’t it taste bad to her human tongue? We’ve established that her human stomach handles cheese while her cat stomach does not, so the transformation is not just an optical illusion…
So what do I think of this one overall? It’s not bad. The authors are skilled and experienced and that does show. A greener author/team trying to tell the same story would not have won a publishing contract. I think this book will appeal more to the intended teen audience than it does to older women like me, which is both a good thing and a shame. It’s good in that I don’t think it’ll be equally unappreciated across the board, but a shame in that I still love YA and I’m always disappointed to come across a YA title that doesn’t feel accessible to an older reader. To specifically address the plot itself and how this book played out, if we’re comparing to House of Night, I’m surprised I didn’t love the plot. House of Night took much more than two books to start feeling like it was fizzling. Hopefully this is just a second book slump and the series will come back with a powerful third book! Will I read it? Maybe. Depends how busy I am when it’s time to request the ARC.
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