To save the people of Captive’s Sound, Nadia bound herself as apprentice to 400-year-old witch Elizabeth Pike; now Nadia’s friends seek to free her and to stop Elizabeth’s master, the One Beneath, from entering the world.
Nadia is acutely aware of how Elizabeth’s dark magic has begun to change her. Mateo—contrary to the conventional wisdom that all witches are female—has powers of his own, but ensnared by the Cabot Curse, he’s not only unable to help, his efforts bind him to evil, too. Demon Asa remains free to work against Elizabeth, but he must obey their infernal master and, if ordered, destroy Nadia, Mateo or even Verlaine, the girl he loves. The trilogy’s swift-moving conclusion features gripping suspense and clever plotting. Conflict is the engine of fiction, and that gives evil an inherent advantage over goodness—in maintaining readers’ interest at least. By reversing their traditional attributes, Gray redresses this imbalance. While the teens struggle against jealousy, anger and fear, Elizabeth offers the One Beneath unswerving, selfless and single-minded devotion. The teens’ work ethic is puny compared to hers. Free of any doubts or influences from outside that could deter her, serenely ignoring her derelict house and body now falling apart, Elizabeth’s a genuinely horrifying creation.
Entertaining and substantial, satisfying and subversive—either way, it’s a treat. (Paranormal suspense. 13-17)