When Stevie vanquished her family’s greatest threat, she thought they’d be safe. Unaware of the evil surrounding her, she trains with her coven and prepares to inherit her mother’s role as queen and protector of the amulet.
Chaplain Benjamin Parris, descendant of the notorious reverend behind the Salem Witch Trails, plots to resume his family’s mission and rid the world of witches. He joins forces with Susan Moore, who’s sought revenge against the coven for years, and together, they formulate a plan to destroy Stevie’s family.
Left weakened after the theft of their protective amulet, the coven confronts the unthinkable as a modern day witch hunt unfolds around them. And this time, Stevie might not be able to save the people she loves.
*May Contain Spoilers*
The Hunted by Chrissy Lessey, the second book in The Crystal Coast series, brings the villains back to Beaufort, NC with more power than the coven can handle. As the first book ended with the seeming defeat of Vanessa, this book picks up with her survival and Susan's unrelenting determination to see the coven decimated.
In this book, the main characters who share the narrator position all experience a change. Stevie, the daughter of the Beaufort Coven's Queen, is still trying to navigate her newly exposed powers. Within this installment readers see Stevie trying to keep the secret of being a witch while raising her autistic son, Charlie, whose powers were also revealed in the first book. However, with the new threat of Susan escaping from the mental health institution (though this is unknown to the coven members for most of the book) Stevie must focus on protecting her son while preparing to take a leadership role in the coven. With this new status, Stevie feels uncertainty in herself and in her powers, appealing to the emotional side of readers and building on the connection made in the first book.
Though Susan's character doesn't change much in this book -- she's evil and expressly focused on destroying the coven -- readers do see just what she's capable of when she has her magic back. Readers will undoubtedly dislike, perhaps even hate, her while learning more about how far she'll go to get her revenge.
The biggest character evolution comes with Vanessa Moore. Though she tried to destroy the coven in the first book, her perception of right and wrong is shifting. Vanessa is finally seeing just how evil her mother is. More importantly, Vanessa is learning that her mother does not care about her -- or anyone for that matter -- if they don't help her cause. As a reader, Vanessa's villain status is wearing off and it causes a change in perception. Vanessa becomes a character that could end up being the key to defeating Susan. The way that her character is written shows her changing emotions and viewpoint on the battle between Susan and the coven, making her a more likeable character. I think the little girl who would do anything to gain her mother's approval will soon be history, leaving the coven with a secret weapon and an important ally in the next book.
The plot of this book focuses on Susan's escape from the mental institution, her retrieval of the amulet, and the fear this incites within the coven. The amulet allows Susan to be all powerful, and the Queen of the coven (Patricia) wants to run like her ancestors have done. Yet, unfortunate events leave the coven broken and Stevie focused on fighting back by the end of the book. This leaves readers with the sense that even though the coven were the ones being hunted in this book, the third installment will be a battle to the bitter end.
Rating: 3.5/5 Cups