About the Book:
Salem’s Revenge strikes without warning or mercy, ravaging the powerless human race under the forces of united gangs of witches, wizards, and warlocks. During the slaughter, Rhett Carter's foster parents and sister are killed, and his best friend and girlfriend are abducted by a gang of witches calling themselves the Necromancers, who deal in the dark magic of raising the dead. Rhett’s sword-wielding neighbor with a mysterious past saves Rhett from becoming another casualty of the massacre and teaches him the skills he needs to survive in this new world.
Rhett is broken, his normal high school life of book blogging and football playing shoved in a witch-apocalyptic blender. The only thing he has left is his burning desire for revenge. Armed with his new witch hunting skills and a loyal, magic powered dog named Hex, he sets out into the unknown with one mission: hunt and destroy those who took away everyone he ever loved.
But Rhett isn’t just a witch hunter; he has secrets of his own that he has yet to discover, secrets that his enemies will stop at nothing to keep him from.
And discovering the truth about himself is the human race’s only hope.
* I received this book in exchange for my honest review *
I had a hard time with this book in the beginning, because for some reason I was expecting a "serious" kind of Dystopia, where the author would convince me this was a possible outcome for the world. Rhett, our narrator-slash-hero, I liked enough, but I felt a little trapped in his head in the beginning, like I was not living in that world, just reading about it... Suffice to say I was a bit underwhelmed.
But then I realized that this isn't a "realistic" kind of book. It's more of a superhero or comic-book-kind-of-hero story - where the main character makes dumb choices, but doesn't really suffer the consequences; and where unbelievable things happen and he doesn't even blink because he apparently doesn't have time to think them through. And then Hex appears, and then Laney and Trish come into the story, and things start getting funnier, and more action packed. And character after character starts getting things more interesting and and crazier - not the bad kind of crazy, but the hilarious kind.
And suddenly, now that I started getting the book, I like it much more! It's fun, it's funny, it's witty. And I know they are all similar words, but that's what it is! I was having so much fun by the middle of the book, that I was grateful for all the impossible things happening, and for the crazy-stupid-hilarious-fantastic dialog.
Rhett and Laney's characters got deeper and more complex - as opposed to shallower and less intelligent - as their super witty banter goes on (which really surprised me, I have to admit). I started thinking "David Estes is brilliant!" as I doubled over surreal monologs such as:
"I wake up in the dark. Or are my eyes closed? It’s so black they might as well be. But no…I think they’re open. I poke at my eye just to be sure. Ow!"
How can you not love that? In a world with a lot of death and action, Estes managed to keep the story light and amusing, without it feeling disrespectful.
It did leave me with some doubts about how this world truly works, and some parts of the book - especially the big fighting scenes - seemed a little rushed and confusing, though. I felt that even as some things were explained, I still wasn't sure I understood them. At the same time, I saw many of the big twists coming.
So I guess that, same as Rhett, we are left sometimes confused by this world, and other times we are just left waiting for things you know are coming to happen. But, if you are as smart as he is, you'll laugh it off and try to enjoy the witch-apocalypse, since it is definitely entertaining!
My rating: 3.8/5
Would I read it again? Probably not...
Will I read the next ones? Yes, this was a lot of fun.
Do I recommend it? Yes! To fans of YA that are over 12 years old (there's a lot of bloodshed) and want to read something fun and lighthearted with a lot of action, magic and gore.