Spells Trouble (Sisters of Salem, #1)

Spells Trouble (Sisters of Salem, #1)
Age Range
Release Date
May 25, 2021
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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 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.

Editor review

1 review
engaging YA fantasy
Overall rating
Writing Style
SPELLS TROUBLE is a thrilling YA fantasy that takes the reader from Salem during the witch trials to the midwest in the modern day. Descendants of an actual witch accused during the trials, twins Hunter and Mercy Goode are learning the practice from their mother in Goodeville. They are tasked with the important job of maintaining five trees that are actually gates to the underworlds. These gates are all that keeps the paranormal evil out of our world.

During the annual ceremony to restore the trees, something begins going terribly awry. Their mother dies in the ritual when a monster breaks through. As the twins are grieving, they must also figure out what has happened and stop it before the world is destroyed - without their mother's invaluable guidance.

What I loved: Mercy and Hunter felt very real with teenage problems and concerns, while also dealing with this very big and supernatural problem. Mercy has a very popular jock boyfriend, and she is getting pretty serious about him, even though the people around her do not approve. Hunter is teased and rejected by much of their town, in part for her LGBT identity. They must work together even more than they have in their lives thus far to have any hope of stopping the evil working its way into their town, and this presents its own challenges as they deal with their grief and the life things creating cracks in their twinship.

I found their journey to be really engaging, and it's a story I am eager to continue. I have my own theories about why things are going wrong, but I love that there are no easy answers, and that the reader learns alongside the twins. There are other characters I am eager to learn more about as well, and I really enjoyed Xena and look forward to learning more about their BFFs, who I think will have bigger roles to play in the future. The magic was also really interesting, and I appreciated all the scenes where they work it.

What left me wanting more: As a very small point, the plot felt like it dragged a bit in the middle and I wanted it to move a bit faster, and there are a few frustrating scenes.

Final verdict: Filled with magic and the bonds of sisterhood, SPELLS TROUBLE is an engaging YA fantasy that I am eager to continue. Highly recommend for fans of MOTHERLAND: FORT SALEM, BEAUTIFUL CREATURES, and THE HAZEL WOOD.
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