Before new witch Jessie Ralle can get the hang of the parallel-world–hopping double life introduced in Witch World (2012), she’s tossed into a paranormal version of The Hunger Games.
In the normal world, Jessie prepares to start her freshman year at UCLA, while in the witch world, she deals with witch politics following her defeat of Syn. The mysterious Alchemist leads Jessie to believe Syn might not be as dead as presumed. Also strange is Jessie’s connection to a handsome, young jewel thief named Marc—she dreams of his heists. Suddenly, she’s abducted in the real world and taken to the Field, an ancient testing ground on which six selected witches lead teams in a sole-survivor-wins contest—and Marc’s on her team. While her real-world days are spent battling opponents and making alliances to keep her team alive, during the reprieves offered by her witch-world days, she trains for the Field and seeks answers about it. Many questions are left unanswered to lure readers toward the inevitable third book that the ending sets up. Jessie’s so unlikable (especially in her treatment of her boyfriend) and foolish (she constantly holds back from finishing off opponents who are trying to kill her, enabling them to regroup and try again) that readers will be baffled that so many characters instantly love her.
Those overlooking its heroine will enjoy the plot’s new spin on the familiar tropes. (Paranormal romance. 14 & up)