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Reviewed by Asher Syed for Readers' Favorite
Atonement by Marie Huguette and Susanne Lee Matthews revolves around Anca Cole, a Boston bartender disillusioned by her urban life, who returns to her Salem roots to care for her injured Aunt Selma and protect her family's threatened heritage. Propelled by her aunt's prophecy, Anca navigates mystic quests, rekindles a relationship with her childhood love Walt, and uncovers latent magical abilities. As Anca and Walt unite to combat a malicious threat, they uncover sinister activities within their community and wrestle with their interconnected past. Confrontations with fraudulent demolishers and revelations about hostile hospital staff deepen the conspiracy threatening their heritage. Anca's supernatural vision reveals her selkie lineage, marking a crucial turn in her journey. As they balance personal revelations and daunting challenges, Anca and Walt recommit to protecting their legacy and confronting their adversities together.
Atonement by Marie Huguette and Susanne Lee Matthews is a fantastically woven novel that surpassed even my loftiest expectations in both the quality of writing and just how engrossing it is. In the interest of full disclosure, I entered the Mystic Adventures series with this book but it read perfectly well as a standalone. The Salem setting being a place already imbued with a rich history made the personal ties to Anca feel deeper, and the authors incorporate its atmosphere without turning it into a travelogue. I love Salem but I care more about Anca, which is a testament to how well she is developed as a character. The heartwarming rekindling of Anca's childhood relationship with Walt not only adds a sentimental touch but also anchors her to her hometown in another layer of her connection to the land. There's no question that I will go back to read the first two books in the series and Huguette and Matthews have hooked in a faithful new fan. Very highly recommended.