Journey to New Salem by Mark Rosendorf

Rating: 3.5 out of 5.

Pages: 294

Series: The Witches of Vegas, Book 2

Genres: Paranormal; Witches; Urban Fantasy; Young Adult

Publication date: March 29, 2021

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The Witches of Vegas are back, and their lives will never be the same again.

 A year has passed since The Witches of Vegas saved the city from the evil Wiccan vampire, Valeria. Since then, the show has hit an all-time high. So has the romance between teen witch Isis Rivera and teenage magician, Zack Galloway. 

Things couldn’t be any better for them until Isis develops seizures that cause her power to spiral out of control. Fires and earthquakes are just the beginning of the chaos caused by the misfired witchcraft. Unable to find a cure, Isis’ family journeys to New Salem, a fabled village of witches which may or may not even exist. Meanwhile, Zack ends up face to face with the only being who may have a cure…Valeria. But does he dare pay her price?

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Isis’ brown eyes connected with Zack’s. “You’re my soulmate, Zack Galloway. I want to be with you until the end of time. I’ve known that since the day we met.”

Zack’s lips stretched into a slight grin. “The day we met we were under a love spell by a legit wicked witch.”

Chapter Two

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I received a copy of this story in exchange for an honest review.

I absolutely adored the first book in this series, so it’s no surprise that I had to dive right in as soon as I could. Sure it might have taken me about a month to get this review out, but I can promise you that I read this story almost right away. And I enjoyed it immensely.

Isis and her coven underwent some crazy events in this story. While the base storyline of this story was simple and straightforward, the secondary plot lines took some turns that I didn’t see coming. I enjoy a story that can surprise me.

The characters were still fascinating and badass – especially Isis and Zack. Selena and Sacha showed that they were more powerful than even Isis thought, Sebastian even more dedicated to his family. The decisions they were able to make showed maturity and and bravery most people (myself included) can only reach through reading about other peoples’ bravery and maturity.

While I enjoyed the first book more than this one, I still enjoyed every second I was in this world. The ending of this story left me wondering where this story would go next, and my mind certainly started spinning. Personally, I think that when a book can keep my mind occupied even after I’ve read the last page, that’s a good read.

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*Spoilers ahead*

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The sisters had tapped into Earth’s energy. She could feel it all around them. It was like whenever meat hit the grill and the sizzle emitted through all her senses. The sensation radiated all around her no matter who was manipulating the Earth’s energy. Her sensitivity to the power only started for her a few months ago, a sign that her connection had grown even stronger. Isis wondered if Mom, Dad, and Sacha felt it as well.

Chapter Nine

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Valeria is certifiable. Sure we knew that after running into her in the first story, but it deserves to be said again: Valeria is certifiable. She seemed to be an almost decent being when she and Luther were living in the Other World. Though it was clear she didn’t regret what she’d done to Isis, she didn’t seem to consciously want to do her any harm. Yet the millisecond that she felt the Earth’s pull and her powers, she went insane again. I know they say absolute power corrupts absolutely, but my goodness does Valeria prove this statement correct!

She didn’t hesitate to kill Luther – the man she’d loved forever and had been living peacefully with for the last year – the second she felt the Earth’s pull. Heck, before the portal was open she’d even agreed to transform Zack so that he could, in turn, transform Isis and save her… “life”. I wonder if she was crazy the moment she came into her powers, or if it was all of the witches she burned to absorb their powers that pushed her over the edge.

Sure, she must have been a little mad to have even tried burning a witch in order to steal their powers in the first place. Especially since she’d admitted that it wasn’t the first thing she tried to steal another witch’s magic. But was she always certifiable, or was it the pull of Earth’s magic that sent her spinning? Was she mad before she got transformed into a vampire, or was it only after the fact that her craziness came to the surface? It’s clear that Luther didn’t see anything before her transition, but love is blindness so it could have been there all along, hidden to him.

Once again Isis proved that she’s a clever little thing, fast on her feet and with a fierceness that’s unrivaled. I can’t imagine coming out of your death is an easy thing, especially not after fighting against the pull for a year. Yet Isis woke up swinging. She was able to assess the situation, compartmentalize Sacha’s death to deal with later, and come up with a plan all at once. Yes it was Zack’s plan that she was able to finalize, but she used all the tools at her disposal in order to save the people that she loves.

I never would have thought to send Valeria out into space, yet it was obvious to Isis. I’m glad that she had a year to plan what she would do when (not if) she saw Valeria again. I’m glad that, even though she wasn’t sure how to go about it, she had a plan to defeat the witch for good. The Other World was good in theory, but it obviously wasn’t a foolproof solution. I can’t imagine Valeria being able to overcome drifting around in space for centuries even if she isn’t able to die. I truly applaud Isis (and Rosendorf for his writing) for the idea and execution of this plan.

And though I saw the bait and switch coming, I’m so thankful that Rosendorf wrote Zack becoming the vampire to spend eternity with Isis instead of Sebastian. It’s true that while Sebastian was willing to do anything to save his family, becoming a vampire himself would have ultimately been their undoing. Selena already had to deal with losing her sister, I can’t imagine that she would have been able to live out the rest of her life knowing that her husband would continue to live forever without her. Heck, I don’t even think that their relationship would have been able to get past the hurdle. Zack might have had a bright future ahead of him as a human, but Selena’s life would have all but been over if Sebastian had been the one to become a vampire. At least now Isis and Zack get to spend their forevers together. They are soulmates, after all.

While I couldn’t imagine where the story would go once Valeria was defeated for good, I’m interested to see what happens next with Isis and Zack. The original Witches of Vegas might be long dead at the end of this story, but the new Witches of Vegas are ready to kick ass and protect their homes and loved ones from the newest threat.

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