Cotton Mather’s umpty-great-granddaughters are back, this time with a Titanic mystery.
Following the events of How to Hang a Witch (2016), narrator Sam Mather is settling into life in Salem, Massachusetts. Her dad has recovered from his coma, her best friend, the town baker’s son, lives next door, and she’s found a community with the Descendants—young black-clad women descended from innocents accused of witchcraft during the Salem witch trials who, rather illogically, practice actual witchcraft. A school project on the Titanic triggers a new round of paranormal distress, and Sam finds herself pulled back in time to the doomed ship via her connection to a distant relative who was a survivor. BFF Jaxon suddenly starts acting distant, as if he’s bespelled, and her dad, concerned about the influence of witchcraft on Sam, suddenly threatens to move away from Salem. Elijah, the hot Puritan ghost Sam fell for in the previous book, has found a paranormal loophole and is now able to visit Sam again. And then there’s Matt, the new British student at school, whose cockney accent is reproduced with many distracting apostrophes. Author Mather’s ingredients make little sense, contrived in order to get Sam and readers onto the Titanic, but those who decide to hang their disbelief high will find that the scenes on the storied liner are effective in spite of the clumsy plotting. The primary cast is a white one.
A jumble. (Paranormal suspense. 12-16)