Winds of Salem, by Melissa de la Cruz (Witches of East End #3).
"Who is it? Who is making you do this? Who is trying to make you sign the devil's book, you poor child?" Reverend Parris asked.
Abby sat up, eyes wide, staring. Betty followed her lead.
"Do you not see her?" said Abby, pointing. "Why, there she stands!"
They all turned to me.
-Freya Beauchamp, June 1692
Winds of Salem is the third book in the Witches of East End series, the first being its namesake and the second being Serpent's Kiss (both of which I previously reviewed). I'm a big fan of de la Cruz's series' (Blue Bloods and others), and I was able to interview her back in October 2012 as well. Unsurprisingly, Winds of Salem is just as good as her other work, although it does something interesting: it jumps back and forth in time between the present-day Hamptons and Salem, 1692, which sometimes works and sometimes does not.
Freya Beauchamp is trapped in 1692, in Salem of all places, with no recollection of her past. A powerful enemy spell has sent her spiraling away so that she is separated by centuries from her mother, Joanna, and sister, Ingrid. This is not good news for a twenty-first-century witch. Not to mention the immediate threat she faces from the wealthy and influential Putnam family. When little Annie Putnam is one of the first to make accusations of witchcraft, her landowner father jumps at the opportunity to consolidate his power and expand his holdings in Puritan Salem Town. If Freya is caught using magic, she will be forced to relive the witch trials, and this time, even her immortality is in question.
Meanwhile, twenty-first-century North Hampton has its own snares. Joanna and Norm consult the Oracle for advice, and Freddie and his pixie allies search for a missing totem that could reopen the passages of time and help bring his sister home. When Ingrid bumps into an old flame, she finds that her new love for Detective Matt Noble is in doubt.
Moving between past and present, Winds of Salem's dizzying plot twists and page-turning suspense is sure to bewitch fans old and new.
I'm a huge history buff, and I found the Salem portions very interesting. de la Cruz has mentioned Salem before in this series - after all, the Beauchamp women are witches - but never in this much detail. At the same time, though, instead of rotating between the past and the present chapter-by-chapter, there are chunks of the book that are set in each place, so after a while you start to forget about either Salem or the present, which wasn't great.
Ingrid learns more about her mortal boyfriend, Matthew Noble, in this book too, and she runs into an old flame, Thor, now going by the name Troy, who tries to tempt her into being back with him, instead of with Matt.
I would recommend Winds of Salem, but make sure you read the other two books in the series first - it's okay as a stand-alone book, but it makes a lot more sense put into context, especially since it references events and people from the past two novels.
4 stars out of 5.
*Disclosure: I was given a copy of this book for reviewing purposes. The opinions expressed here, however, are my own.