Adriana Mather’s sequel to How to Hang a Witch is just as riveting as its predecessor, taking place in modern day Salem, while combining history, mystery, suspense, paranormal elements, and magic. Mather’s sequel, Haunting the Deep, takes place months after the events of the first novel where the protagonist, Samantha Mather, is trying to avoid magic and is closing herself off from the world. Her problem is that she is seeing spirits again, such as the drowned man and a girl with a pink dress, and the Descendants are adamant about her joining their witch circle because of a mysterious reading they did that explained someone was coming for them. Samantha soon finds herself immersed in the history of the Titanic at school, which is also the theme for the spring dance and the Titanic even haunts her dreams. These dreams are as real as another life and Samantha must work together with the Descendants to figure out why she is being drawn to the ship and how to escape its pull.

[alert variation=”alert-info”]Publisher: Knopf Books for Young Readers
Formats: Hardcover, Paperback, eBook, Kindle, Audible
Purchase: Powell’s | Amazon | iBooks[/alert]

This story is told through first person point of view and it depicts Samantha’s difficulty with going back to casting spells and magic due to the past deadly events that had occurred. Her fear is soon replaced with determination as she joins the Descendants’ circle in hopes to help others, demonstrating her strength. This novel focuses on Samantha’s developing friendship with the Descendants and the strength of their bond holds throughout the novel. Samantha can count on the Descendants and as they work together, Samantha starts to realize her own unique and special skills with magic.

The history elements add to the mystery of the novel as well as Samantha’s dream setting. Mather uses descriptive imagery and history to transport Samantha to another time in her dreams. These narrative dreams add to the historical and mystery contexts of the story because in Samantha’s dreams, she is living life as a privileged passenger on the Titanic would. The dreams add more realism to the story as the reader is able to learn more about how life could have been on the ship as well as the stories of some of its passengers.

The theme of this story focuses on social status, which is still relevant today. Since the privileged were prioritized for the limited space in the lifeboats, many people of lower class status as well as immigrants were not able to escape the sinking ship. Through the characters in the story, Mather is able to show this injustice as well as have her protagonist, Samantha, learn from past history.

Haunting the Deep is a thrilling novel embedded with history, paranormal elements, magic, mystery, complex characters, a green dress that is magically tied to the Titanic, mysterious deliveries from relatives that Samantha and her father have never met, suspense, and humor. People who enjoy exciting tales of history, mystery, and magic will greatly appreciate this well-written tale that is full of inner-strength.

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