You may remember that in the first book, Adam and Cassie realized they were MFEO but decided to ignore it, vowing never to hurt Diana blah blah blah, and also the coven released some dark energy from a crystal skull YES I REALLY JUST TYPED THAT.
Following the release of both the dark energy AND Adam and Cassie's pent-up sexual energy, the coven decides to meet at Diana's to trace the dark energy with some crystal pendulum voodoo magic. The crystal leads them to the cemetery (of course!) and they find this giant mound of dirt busted open, which is probably not good. They find out later that SOMEHOW, their principal died in a rock slide, because that's a normal way for principals to die. Cassie is sure the dark energy had something to do with it and wonders if maybe she shouldn't get the crystal skull for Faye. DUH DOY, Cassie.
Oh! I might have forgotten to tell you that Faye told Cassie that if she didn't want Diana to find out that Cassie and Adam had a tongue party on the beach, Cassie has to find the crystal skull and give it to Faye. This is going to be difficult, however, because Diana is "purifying" it and didn't tell anyone what she did with it.
Cassie changes her mind (again!) about giving the skull to Faye and spends the night at Diana's so she can look for it. She doesn't find it but has a dream about where to look for it. Her dream tells her that in order to purify something, it must be buried in sand, and if that's the case, then the next time Phoebe pukes on my bedspread, I'm going to bury it in sand instead of trying to shove it into the washer.
Anyway. Cassie digs holes all over the beach, looking for the skull. Just randomly. She doesn't try to devise a stratagem or anything, even though everyone knows that stratagems are the shit (see: Amelie). She somehow finds the skull but, as she holds it, she realizes she can't give it to Faye. Doesn't matter, though, because Faye was following her and snatches the skull right out of Cassie's hands. Blah blah more witchcraft. They release more dark energy. How much dark energy is in this thing? Geez.
Nothing bad happens for like a week, other than Diana coming down with a cold right before the big dance. Diana's a total idiot and insists that Cassie go as Adam's date in her place, because she doesn't want Adam to miss the dance and I guess him going by himself wasn't an option? Unfortunately for Diana, all the other girls use their witchy wiles to make Cassie look totally hot. Adam (and every other boy at the dance) is powerless to her charms and by charms I mean boobs. Adam and Cassie make out again (that vow didn't last long) on the dance floor (!!) but somehow no one sees them? What? Cassie gets flustered and runs away to find Deborah, who is playing cards in the boiler room with the Henderson brothers and Freddy Krueger.
She doesn't find them, but she does find Jeffrey Lovegood's body hanging from a pipe, so that's cool. Jeffrey is (was) this popular guy who Faye was after, I think? And he ditched her to dance with Cassie, even though he also has a girlfriend? So the girlfriend and Faye were both pretty mad.
Nick finds Cassie with the body, and soon he, Adam, Deborah, and Cassie are tracking the dark energy through town. They end up at the cemetery, where the dark energy swarms at Deb and Cassie (uh-huh) and Cassie loses the crystal necklace that Melanie had given her. She goes back to the cemetery later, to try and find the necklace, and notices the gravestones of all of the coven parents. They all died in 1976. Diana tells Cassie it was because of a hurricane. A MAGIC hurricane, I bet.
Whatever. There's another dance coming up, the HALLOWEEN dance, which is super special because did you know? They're witches. And Halloween is WITCHY. Cassie tries to ask Nick to the dance but he blows her off because he's busy working on his car because HE IS A MAN. She's embarrassed, so naturally she decides to hang out with the
I'm tired. Is this over yet?
Cassie finds a black rock called a hematite. It's her "working stone" which...omg, who cares. It's not important. What is important is that she found it in the ruins of a house (Number 13, oooooh) at the end of their street. Later, the Coven traces some dark energy (more?) to the same ruins, and Cassie learns that Black John (remember him?) used to live there. The house burned down years ago, right around the time all the parents died.
Cassie and Nick DO end up going to the dance together, in case you were worried. Were you worried? Don't lie, I know you were. Everyone dresses up in what I'm sure they think are totally "deep" costumes but are really just kind of obvious and sad, like, Suzan dresses up like Aphrodite and Laurel is a wood nymph (heh) or something and Diana as a good witch and Faye as a bad witch and omg all of you just dress like slutty bunnies or something, OK? You're 16.
After the dance, they go to Number 13 to perform a ceremony that will call up Black John's spirit because that's something that sounds like it will end well. They call up four circles of protection around them, earth, fire,
No. It's not. So. Remember how Faye is blackmailing Cassie because she knows that Cassie and Adam are makeout buddies? Well, it's time for the Coven to elect a permanent leader and Faye wants Cassie's vote. This is a problem because DUH Faye is BAD and Diana is GOOD so obviously Diana should be the leader. Whatever, long story short (LIES), Cassie does as told and Faye is elected leader. Everyone is shocked (SHOCKED!) that Cassie would vote for Faye.
Faye wastes no time in fucking shit up, and takes the crystal skull and most of the Coven to the cemetery. They do some magics or something and OOPS AGAIN (this story is full of oopses) they release Black John from the skull. I guess. The skull exploded, along with some weird, old mound at the cemetery that I guess was his grave? I don't remember. I read this like a month ago.
They realize something is seriously wrong when they see a red, glowy light over Cassie's grandma's house. I guess it's never good to have red, glowy light over your house, especially if you're a witch. They go inside and there's an EVIL red light inside, causing everything to look all weird DUH. They find Cassie's mom, who is alive, but comatose, which really isn't a problem because I forgot Cassie even had a mom. It's a bit traumatizing, though, when they find Cassie's grandma in the kitchen, dying all over the floor.
Black John was there, says Grandma Howard, and he was looking for their Book of Shadows. And even though grandma is dying, she still has time for a story. YES. I LOVE STORY TIME.
Grandma tells Cassie that their family has always had the strongest sight of all the witch families, making them the best, so IN YOUR FACE, EVERYONE ELSE. A long time ago, on a street far, far away except not really because it was the same street they're on right now, all of their parents had their own Secret Circle. One day, a "man in black" showed up, not to erase their memories or sing Ring of Fire to them, but to be Head Coven Leader or something. He took charge, making sure that certain members of that Coven hooked up and had babies, which is totally gross and you have to wonder why those kids would have listened to him. Drugs? Maybe.
Anyway, they found out later that this man in black was not Johnny Cash, but Black John (omg what if Johnny Cash WAS Black John), and that the reason he hooked up certain members of the Coven is because he wanted them to all have super powerful witch babies that he could mold into evil witches so he could control them and be their leader when they grew up, yes, you read that right.
Naturally, some of the parents were like, "oh hell no," (but only the brave ones) and when they confronted Black John about it, he caused the magical hurricane that killed them. I don't remember if Black John died at that time or was, like, banished back into the crystal skull, but Grandma tells Cassie that he's BACK. As a real person, like Pinocchio, but evil. Well. Eviler.
Then Grandma Howard dies, but not before saying something super cryptic that will leave Cassie really confused for most of the next book.
Cassie's pretty upset at this point and decides she's done with Faye's blackmail bullshit. She goes to Faye and is all, "this is your fault and I hate you and this sucks, how about instead of blackmailing me, you come over this weekend to watch Dawson's Creek with me?" and Faye is all, "only if you agree that Dawson is Joey's soulmate!" because Faye is EVIL but then Cassie is like, "OMG FAYE, NO, YOU ARE THE WORST, PACEY FOREVER."
OK, none of that happened but Cassie did tell Faye that she's not going to be blackmailed any longer, so Faye is all, "OH IT IS ON NOW, TINY ONE," and she starts to speak to the rest of the Circle and that's where the book ends.
Tune in next time for...The Secret Circle: THE POWER.