Title: Hammer of the Witch
Series: Repeating History: Book Two
Author: Dakota Chase
Publisher: Harmony Ink Press
Length: 180 Pages
Category: Teen Fiction, Time Travel
At a Glance: Once again, the author does a really good job in portraying the world and what it was like to live in that time-period, and how hard it would be for someone from modern times to deal with the reality of living back then.
Reviewed By: Kel
Blurb: History isn’t dead when you’re living it.
Ash and Grant are about to learn why it was called the Dark Ages, when Merlin, in the guise of their teacher, once again sends them time traveling to reclaim one of the antiquities their prank destroyed: a book called the Malleus Maleficarum, or Hammer of the Witches, which was used to persecute and kill innocent people throughout medieval Europe.
They’ll need to keep their heads down and their wits about them in a Germany ruled by the iron fist of the Inquisition, where anyone who is different is dragged off to horrifying prisons, tortured to confession, and ultimately killed in the worst way imaginable. But it won’t be easy to navigate a frightening and brutal time, secure Merlin’s book, and make it home without attracting attention.
Review: Once again, we’re following the adventures of Ash and Grant. This time they’re going back to Medieval Germany during the witch trials. Their previous adventure hasn’t changed them too much, though they have learned that they have more in common than not. They still don’t get along, though, and it’s obvious in the way they interact together.
Ash is still a jerk and Grant still acts a little superior, but you can see that they’re starting to change. Ash isn’t as impulsive as he had been before, and Grant is a little more open to new things. Which is a good thing because they’re thrown into their hardest adventure so far.
The boys must learn how to get along and that their actions and words can have more repercussions than they realize. They are to retrieve the Malleus Maleficarum, a book that cost hundreds of innocent lives due to being accused of witchcraft. It shocks both Ash and Grant to the core to see what humans can do to each other and how easy it is to be accused. The boys inadvertently cause trouble for a young girl and her mother, getting them accused of witchcraft, and they realize they need to fix their mistake and rescue them.
The two still have trouble getting along, and it adds to the story. You can see the start of a friendship and romance between them. It’s still too new for them, and they’re still not sure how to act with each other, so they revert to their old ways. It can get a little frustrating, seeing them bicker and fight. You’d think after the first adventure they’d get along a little better, but then you remember that it’s only been a few weeks in real time for them and people are slow to change. They are starting to learn to work together, and that shows potential for growth for both characters. The romance is still nearly non-existent, which is fine as this is a YA book. I like that they’re going very slow with each other, trying to figure things out since neither of them are used to dating. The action in this adventure is really done well also, and at times, what’s going on can get brutal. You wonder how they’re going to pull off not only getting the book but also saving Brida and Irmla, the daughter and mother they put in danger. The rescue felt satisfactory, though I would’ve liked to have seen a bit more of the escape.
I have to say, I liked this story a lot more than the first. This one felt like the stakes were higher and that the boys faced actual danger. Once again, the author does a really good job in portraying the world and what it was like to live in that time-period, and how hard it would be for someone from modern times to deal with the reality of living back then. One thing I realized with both stories (The Eye of Ra is book one) is how abrupt the ending came. With the first one I didn’t notice as much, but with this one, it seemed to come too fast. Also, I would’ve liked, once again, to find out more about what happened after the boys left. I know they tried to find out, and got some information this time, but I still would’ve liked to have seen more.
You can buy Hammer of the Witch here:
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