Review: Devil’s Playground by Heather Eagar


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synSixteen-year-old Elizabeth Winters may be a witch, but she doesn’t know the first thing about magic.

Her father, a wizard himself, has forbidden the use of her powers for her own protection. But when accusations of witchcraft start flying through Salem Village, Elizabeth wishes she was more prepared.

Despite her lack of magical knowledge, Elizabeth appoints herself to save innocent women from the untimely demise the village has in store for them. Elizabeth finds, however, that she is not the hero Salem needs her to be. When Elizabeth is betrayed by someone she trusts, she loses control of her emotions and unintentionally curses the village with the ten plagues of Egypt. Now, Elizabeth must figure out how to break the curse before the morning of the tenth plague—the plague of death.

If she fails, Salem will cease to exist.

review3/5 Stars

***I received this ebook as a gift in exchange for an honest review via the author 

PROS:

  • The story reads like historical fiction with a paranormal twist. This time we know for sure that witches exist, which adds a whole new level to the fear and accusations. When people are falsely accused, the rage and sense of injustice is amped to the extreme. You’ll want to shake those lying girls and make them see the reality-that their lies have deadly consequences. The mass manipulation and powerful belief system is like a heavy shadow constantly following and haunting every inhabitant. 
  • I LOVED that Elizabeth was clumsy and made mistakes. She is hot-tempered, but kind-hearted. Her morals are strong and she tries to be the best she can, but sometimes the prejudice of the towns people and her magic get the best of her. She makes blunders of epic proportions. Insanely bad luck. Like the worst. If you’ve ever seen The Worst Witch, Elizabeth is that character but with even worse luck. Elizabeth is brave. She risks her life and safety to save the towns people would condemn her with death if they caught her. She’s compassionate, but quick to anger and recognizes her fault. She never lets it break her though. Even in her darkest hours, she fights. 
  • The ten plagues of Egypt. This was a perfect companion to merge the Puritanical Christian belief system with the very paranormal they fear and wish to eradicate. It fit surprisingly well together. 
  • Romance is subtle and NOT plot-centric. It was secondary in light of all the other perils and allowed for further development. Elizabeth grew as the story progressed. 

CONS:

  • I’m not a huge fan of the cover. It makes it look campy and more juvenile than it actually is. Plus, it doesn’t look like the main character, Elizabeth. 
  • If you’ve read The Crucible or know anything at all about the Salem Witch Trials, some parts of the story are fairly predictable and may bore you a little. The first half of the plot is pretty predictable and a bit slow, but that atmosphere of paranoia and suspicion, the hysteria of the towns folk, and dark, desperate mood is potent. 
  • Secondary characters were so-so. They flitted in and out and didn’t really leave any lasting impressions. Even Elizabeth’s sister Anna, though you could feel the love between them, was hardly around. 

If you like any of the following, you’ll enjoy this:

Magical reading, 

Jordan

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