Elizabeth is sixteen, and she and her family have been hiding the fact that she’s a witch her entire life. There’s a good reason: they live in Salem, and it’s the late 1600’s. Theocracy rules, and any citizen who stands out seems not only peculiar but suspicious. The town is religiously extreme, isolated, and one false accusation of witchcraft away from mass hysteria, which is where DEVIL’S PLAYGROUND opens.
Ever wonder what would’ve happened during the Salem Witch Trials if there actually WERE a witch in town? I know I did. DEVIL’S PLAYGROUND serves up some well-imagined supernatural justice without destroying the emotionally unsettling mob-mentality phenomenon in 17th century Salem Village. With all of the historically accurate figures playing their role, Eagar injects into the town an actual witch, whose most “supernatural” facet at times is ironically, her reason.
There were exactly two moments in the story, when I wished Elizabeth would would’ve shown more compassion for the gravity of injustice that was happening. To me, it seemed as if she’d too quickly dismissed her horror at the looming executions. Other than those two moments, I found the characters perfectly lovable or hateable and even more perfectly developed as the story progressed. The writing suited me. The dialogue was genuine. And the ending left just enough mystery. My skim factor was low.
With a touch of romance, plenty of action, and more than one heart-rending betrayal, DEVIL’S PLAYGROUND is a great supernatural YA read that had me glued to the pages.
For me, DEVIL’S PLAYGROUND fixed something emotional that THE CRUCIBLE had broken. 5 stars.
*I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.