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Review: Haunting the Deep by Adriana Mather (How to Hang a Witch #2)

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Haunting the Deep by Adriana Mather // VBC ReviewHaunting the Deep (How to Hang a Witch #2)
Adriana Mather
Published: Oct. 3, 2017 (Knopf Books for Young Readers)
Purchase: Book Depository or Amazon
Review Source: copy provided by publisher in exchange for an honest review 

Reviewed by: Beth

Rating (out of 5): 3.5 stars

Note: While this review is spoiler free, it does assume you’re familiar with the first book. If you aren’t, please check out VBC’s review of How to Hang a Witch.

After the events of How to Hang a Witch, Samantha is recovering—though slowly. Trying to move on with her life and forget what happened and her connection to it all is causing her to distance herself from those who care about her. Then, without warning, Sam begins to dream of the Titanic—finding herself actually on board in those dreams, as well as seeing other signs when awake. Now Sam has to try and make it up to her friends and family, because she will need them all in the coming days as she tries to stop herself from actually dying on board the ship—and in real life.

As with How to Hang a Witch, Haunting the Deep is set in current-day Salem, Mass. However, a decent amount of the book takes place on and/or in relation to the Titanic. So it was quite interesting to read the descriptions and to see it through Sam’s eyes. The characters were mostly the same here as well, though there were a couple of new additions—and one surprise return. Sam’s back in school after the events of the summer, so a fair amount of what takes place is centered around high school life such as the dance that brings the Titanic theme into real life while Sam is suffering it at night.

Similar to the first book, this one starts out a bit slow, and then builds steam until it’s pretty much non-stop toward the end. In some ways, this is a good thing, as it allows a bit of exploration about how Sam, her family, and her friends all are dealing with the aftermath of the first book. And yes, it will be helpful to have read the first book going into this one, because there are a lot of references that may not make sense otherwise. There was one plot hole that sort of bothered me, that being the return of one particular character. Without spoilers (I hope!), it sort of seemed like the ending was an easy way out on that one. It will be interesting to see how things progress in the next book, if there should be one.

Haunting the Deep was a worthy follow-up to How to Hang a Witch, particularly with the Titanic tie-in. I wouldn’t say I enjoyed it as much as the first (see: plot hole above), but it was a decent, quick read. I will be curious to see where Mather might go next, in terms of ghostly topics, should she decide to continue this series.

Sexual Content: None

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