Stepford Wives meets Bewitched in this tale of witchcraft and revenge!

The book opens in Salem, Massachusetts in 1692 as several women accused of witchcraft are trying to escape from their captors, again in 1777 in New York and then in Wyoming in 1873. The witches reincarnate in different eras, and we once again see them in New Orleans in 2005 but this time the witch hunters have a secret weapon to utilize against them.

We are then introduced to a group of ladies, who all live in the same cul-de-sac, five women and one teen daughter who all wear dresses and serve their men folk. Isadora is the focus and while it is obvious she is brain washed she seems to love and care for her husband Aaron. The men supposedly all work together as architects, but seem to always reappear at moments when the women have unexplained occurrences or little clues slip through that all is not what it seems. One of the women has an accident while gardening, and the blood shed makes her levitate. The “husbands” swoop in to do damage control, but eventually all the women discover their powers and there is hell to pay for the deception perpetrated by the men.

Fire was a motif throughout, as the witches were attacked with fire in the different historical eras and the supposed wildfires that surrounded their neighborhood in modern day that always kept them confined to their homes. The women are enticingly drawn and made to appeal to the male gaze as Stepford-type wives. One of the women seems to be forgotten through the majority of the story, so I don’t know if that was an author or artist mistake but it became distracting for me that she was always missing. There were many panels per page, but they were varied and easy to follow and the full-page chapter breaks were always excellent.

The story obviously has a feminist bent, and the theme of overthrowing the patriarchy is the framework. Considering what the author was going for, I was surprised that the sexual assaults were not adequately addressed- for these men were sleeping with the women when they were not in their right minds. While there were some conversations about sex, the message was very muddled. While I assume this was supposed to be the first volume in a new series, I have not seen a sequel, and thus this story fell flat for me. The cliffhanger and unexplained plot threads could have been fleshed out and explained in future volumes so instead this unintended standalone was a letdown.

-Nancy