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THIS COVEN WON'T BREAK by Isabel Sterling


From the These Witches Don't Burn series, volume 2

by Isabel Sterling

Pub Date: May 19th, 2020
ISBN: 978-0-451-48035-4
Publisher: Razorbill/Penguin

All witches are now in danger in this magic-laced action/mystery sequel.

Hannah, from These Witches Don’t Burn (2019), is starting her senior year of high school, but that’s not what’s foremost on her mind. Instead, she’s concerned with the Witch Hunters who are attacking more frequently with a refined version of their “cure” that robs witches of their magic. After exposure to an earlier version of the drug, Hannah’s having trouble accessing her Elemental magic and wants to be part of the collective covens’ retaliation. She’s also committed to seeing her dad’s murderers brought to justice. When the witch Elders ask Hannah to recruit some key players to their counterattack plans, she’s all in even though the first recruit recently tried to kill her. Internally, Hannah is still dealing with grief and trauma as well. Thankfully, she can talk openly about her troubles with Gemma, her now-in-the-know nonmagical best friend. She also finds comfort with her girlfriend, Morgan, a Blood Witch whose abilities give Hannah’s stoppered powers some relief. Despite sweet, heartfelt romance and some emotionally genuine scenes for Hannah, the sensational roller coaster of a plot leaves these moments feeling disjointed rather than a natural part of the overall story. Apart from the white main characters, there are a few secondary characters of color; a trans secondary character; and a married, pregnant lesbian couple who are role models for Hannah.

Offers quality moments despite some weak links in the narrative chain.

(Paranormal. 13-18)