Coven by Jennifer Dugan, Illustrated by Kit Seaton
Published on September 12, 2022
Reviewed by Jayde Valosin
When Emsy’s parents move her back to their upstate New York home, to say she’s upset is an understatement. Emsy’s whole life is in California- her friends, her girlfriend, and the California surf. But her parents say that their coven needs them after a terrible incident claims the lives of another family. Only one person- a boy her age named Ben- has survived the attack, seemingly at the hands of powerful witches. As Emsy learns more about her coven, and the incident, it is clear she’ll need to start controlling her powers if she wants to help fend off future attacks against her family. But the danger is getting closer to her and, when faced with difficult choices and unimaginable consequences, it’s unclear if she has what it takes to make sense of the mystery of who's behind the attacks without losing herself in the process.
The emphasis on choices really frames the story told in Coven. Emsy is consistently faced with unimaginable circumstances and readers get the impression that she sincerely wants to do the right thing when it comes to her coven and her relationships with others. As this leads her down some questionable paths, readers will sympathize with her choices (even the wrong ones) as she does her best to problem solve and defend her family. The art of the book is vibrant and detailed, with some horror elements. The perfect quick witchy read for fall!