How to Hang a Witch by Adriana Mather is an atmospheric duology that I struggled to put down. Inspired by the author’s own family history, this series puts a modern spin on the Salem Witch Trials and the Titanic. The investigative elements in both books build suspense, and I found the main character easy to root for. I was especially impressed with the author’s skill in integrating the past and the present, making this a great series for fans of both contemporary and historical fiction.Title: How to Hang a Witch, The Haunting Deep
Series: How to Hang a Witch
Author: Adriana Mather
Publisher: Knopf Books for Young Readers
Genres: Fantasy, Historical Fiction, Mystery, Young Adult Fiction
Publication Date: July 26, 2016- Oct. 3, 2017
The more things change in Salem, the more they stay the same.
Salem, Massachusetts is the site of the infamous Witch Trials and the new home of Samantha Mather. Recently transplanted from New York City, Sam is not exactly welcomed with open arms. She is a descendant of Cotton Mather, one of the men responsible for those Trials—and almost immediately, she becomes the enemy of a group of girls who call themselves The Descendants. And guess who their ancestors were?
If dealing with that wasn’t enough, Sam finds herself face to face with a real, live (well, technically dead) ghost. A handsome, angry ghost who wants Sam to stop touching his stuff.
Soon Sam discovers she is at the center of a centuries-old curse affecting everyone with ties to the Trials. Sam must come to terms with the ghost and work with The Descendants to stop a deadly cycle that has been going on since the first alleged witch was hanged. If any town should have learned its lesson, it’s Salem. But history may be about to repeat itself.
Series Review: How to Hang a Witch by Adriana Mather
Having just moved to Salem from New York City, Sam, the descendant of one of the men responsible for the Salem Witch Trials, quickly finds herself the enemy of her high school’s group of popular girls, each of whom is a descendant of women who were hung at the Salem Witch Trials. Following Sam’s arrival, the relatives of each of The Descendants start falling ill, and she finds herself at the centre of a curse as her life begins to mirror the atmosphere of the late 1600s. As the effects of the curse grow even more dire, Sam must find a way to work with The Descendants, along with a (handsome) spirit, to put an end to the cycle and prevent history from repeating itself.
❀ Sam is Easy to Root for
I enjoyed Sam’s character, and she is easy to root for. She has a lot to deal with, from her classmates’ bullying to moving in with her stepmother after her father falls into a coma, but she stays strong and focused on finding a way to stop the curse. Because the curse affects the families of The Descendants, Sam is afraid of getting too close to people, but I loved her fierce desire to protect the people she loves.
As I was reading this series, I was especially struck by how well-written it is. Books that blend contemporary with historical fiction can be a hit or miss for me, but these ones are well-researched and smoothly integrate the past with the present. I was impressed by the way Sam’s own experiences parallel some of the events of the Salem Witch Trials in the first book, especially the theme of speaking out in order to break the cycles of bullying and hatred, and I found this a great way to connect the two contexts.
❀ A Compelling Series
How to Hang a Witch by Adriana Mather is a compelling fantasy series that combines contemporary with historical fiction. I enjoyed the investigative aspects as the main characters attempt to break a centuries-old curse, and the main character is so strong. Because this series is based on the author’s own family history, it feels authentic, and the integration of the past with the present is well-executed in both books. This is a great read for those who enjoy history, and for those who can’t resist a good witch story.
24 thoughts on “Series Review: How to Hang a Witch, Adriana Mather”
I read How to Hang a Witch a few years ago but it didn’t interest me enough to read the second book, sadly enough 🙁
Stephanie @ Bookfever recently posted…Cover Reveal: The Bachelor Betrayal by Maddison Michaels
Aww! I’m sorry that it wasn’t a good read for you! 😉
This isn’t exactly my normal read, but the blurb and your review have me wanting to read it. I think the ties to Salem and history are fascinating. Great review!
It has a lot of interesting aspects to it! 🙂
Oh, this series sounds really cool!
Yes! I am glad that I gave it a try! 🙂
You hit on what I found so compelling about this series , it being based on the author’s own history.
That is really fascinating! 🙂
This so sounds like one that I would love to read this winters season for sure.
I hope that you love it! 🙂
Glad that you’ve enjoyed this series so much! I always find stories about Salem to be fascinating, so I may pick this one up 🙂
claire @ clairefy
claire @ clairefy recently posted…My Top 5 Books of 2021
They really are! 🙂
Sounds like a great book in a great series for me and I will be checking these out! Thanks for sharing your review with me and have an awesome weekend!
I hope that you enjoy it! 🙂
Sounds really interesting!
This sounds like a great book.
new series to me
Sounds like an exciting read with a great twist on the Salem witch trials.
I love finding a new series to read! This looks so good!
This absolutely is my kind of book! Sounds great!
This sounds thrilling. I’d love to read!
I’ve only read the first one, but really liked it. I need to read the second one. Great review!
Lisa Mandina (Lisa Loves Literature) recently posted…ARC Review: The Woman Beyond the Attic – The V.C. Andrews Story by Andrew Neiderman
This book sounds very intriguing. I love the eerie cover.