Spells Trouble is the first in a new series, The Sisters of Salem. The prologue begins long in the past when the village of Goodeville is founded by a survivor of the Salem Witch Trials, one who was sentenced to die, but she escaped with the help of her feline familiar. While founding the village, she planted five trees that function as gates keeping the monsters and gods of other world, or other mythologies, locked away where they belong.
In the present day where the rest of the story takes place, twins Hunter and Mercy Goode turn sixteen and go with their mother as she performs the annual ritual that protects the trees and shores up the gates. Something goes wrong and a creature escapes, killing their mother. The rest of the story is about processing their grief and figuring out how to heal the trees and the gates. Meanwhile, it seems there is a murderer on the loose.
I liked Spells Trouble. The pace was fast and the characters were complicated enough to make me care about them. I liked that the secondary characters were also well-developed. The twins’ aunt who appeared to provide adult supervision is hilarious. The twins were smart enough to be lead characters and while they were emotionally immature, that is how it should be with two sixteen-year-olds who just lost their mother.