‘Triple Moon’ review: Spoiled teen witches come to East End
“Triple Moon” is the first book in the new “Summer on East End” series by Melissa de la Cruz.
Wealthy New York teens, supernatural powers, a pair of sexy guys and a sweltering summer on the beaches of Long Island.
A book that’s been described by some reviewers as “Gossip Girl” meets “Vampire Diaries,” “Triple Moon” has all the makings of what’s hot and exciting in YA paranormal right now.
But it fails to quite live up to that promise.
“Triple Moon” is the first book in a young adult spinoff of Melissa de la Cruz’s “The Witches of East End” series (also a TV series on Lifetime).
Molly and Mardi, twin goddesses trapped in the mortal world and forced to hide their witchy powers, have come under fire for playing too many magic tricks on their Upper East Side prep school classmates. And when two of those classmates are killed by a subway train after a hazy night of partying, the twins become suspects in their murder, drawing the ire of supernatural White Council as well as mortal authorities.
So their dad — he’s actually the god Thor — banishes them to Long Island’s East End, where the Beauchamp sisters, Ingrid and Freya (two of the witches of the “East End” series), will try to rein in the twins’ reckless ways.
But there’s an evil force wreaking havoc on the East End, and somehow it’s connected to the tragic circumstances that sent the girls fleeing New York City.
Molly and Mardi are decently developed characters. At first, they fit a lot of stereotypes — wealthy spoiled brats, feuding twin sisters, angsty teenagers — but as the story unfolds, we find out more about why they’re so angry all the time.
Chapters alternate between perspectives of each of the twins, which helps build suspense and intrigue. But beyond the structure, de la Cruz’s writing is clunky and cheesy, including some passages that are downright laughable. (One of the love interests, the warlock Trent Gardiner, has eyes that sure seem to be “twinkling” a lot.)
And it’s about 100 pages before the plot really kicks into action. Even the romantic aspect, which is a big part of the draw for this genre, takes forever before it gets steamy.
The suspense was enough to keep me reading, as de la Cruz spins a few mysteries worth solving. But in the end, they play out with predictability and cliches. And I’m still not sure what the “Triple Moon” in the title is supposed to refer to.
Fans of de la Cruz’s “Blue Bloods” and “Witches of East End” books might enjoy seeing those worlds expanded in this new series. But there are plenty of other worthwhile books in the witches and vampires genre of YA, so newcomers would be better off looking elsewhere.
“Triple Moon” is out now from Putnam.
@allisonchopin on Twitter