If you remember (and of course you do!), the last book ended with Faye threatening to tell THE WHOLE GROUP about Adam and Cassie and the love that dare not speak its name. This time she actually does it, so she's less of a threat tease. Faye makes it sound like Adam and Cassie had been intentionally trying to break Diana's heart into a thousand pieces, when that's not true at all! It was completely unintentional! So there, Faye! I mean, she does make it sound like Adam and Cassie had been sneaking around the entire time, groping at naughty bits whenever Diana turned her back, which isn't totally true. Uncool, Faye. Uncool.
Adam gives his side of the story next and tells everyone how they tried REALLY REALLY HARD not to make out but how could they help it? They're 16, pumped full of hormones and witchcraft, OBVIOUSLY something was going to happen. He also tells Diana about the silver cord (sigh) and the vow he and Cassie took to never, ever touch each other or even think about touching one another, lest they hurt Diana in some way.
Everyone (well, most of everyone) wants to do another vote since Faye blackmailed Cassie into voting for her, but they don't end up doing that, so sorry I just wasted the time it took you to read this sentence. Diana forgives Adam and Cassie and tells them that they can prove their love for her by not making out anymore. Diana is a total doormat. As much as Diana and Adam's relationship bores me on the show, I'm glad they at least let her get mad that Cassie and Adam are "written in the stars," omg barf.
Moving right along, Cassie tells the Coven about what happened in her grandma's house. Black John is back, blah blah blah, and he's like a real guy now, just like he was back when he killed all most of their parents. Awkward. The Coven vows to, like, kill him and stuff by having TEAMWORK.
Hey remember that really bitchy girl that Cassie was hanging out with before she moved to New Salem? No? Well, her name was Portia (not de Rossi) and she's just moved to town! Oh no! She hunts witches! And she's friends with Sally! Who hates witches! And who knows who all the witches are! What will happen?! This is stressful, let's talk about something else.
So there are these three old ladies, Melanie's Great Aunt Constance, Adam's grandma, and another one (Laurel's grandma, maybe? Oh, who gives a shit) and they're all taking care of Cassie's mom, because remember? She's in a witch coma or something. That happened to Willow once, I'm pretty sure. Oh. Wait. No, that was a "bookcase fell on my head" coma. I get those confused. Also, Cassie realizes that she can't find her hematite. When she tells Diana, Diana is all, "hematite controls your mind!" Sort of. I guess that having hematite makes you easier to control? It's kind of like on The X-Files when people get infected by black oil but not really because hematite isn't made by aliens.
Everyone goes to Cassie's grandmother's funeral, where they meet Black John! Gasp! He doesn't murder their faces, though, he is just, like, there. And he's the new principal of their school. Yikes. At least he's not the mayor. Anyway. His new name is Jack Brunswick. You'd think that, in order to blend or not draw suspicion or whatever, he'd name himself something non-Black-John-related, like Bob Greensfeld or Steve Pinksmith.
At some point Cassie and Nick get together. It's boring.
Cassie and The Circle go to the old crones (no, seriously, that's what they call them...HOW RUDE) to tell them what's been going on. They get all pissed that these stupid jackasses brought back the man who was responsible for killing their kids (right?) but eventually help them. Sort of. They just tell them to find THE MASTER TOOLS and stick together. OMG DUH! These old ladies are the WORST. Where's Betty White when you need her?
Faye, of course, becomes Jack Brunswick's new assistant. Sure, why not. Together, they announce a new set of rules for the school which are basically there to punish The Circle. All of the other students (NORMIES) are really happy because The Circle won't be getting special treatment anymore and...yeah, I can't really say that I blame them. The Normies all become hall monitors so they can power trip their way around school.
No one really understands why Faye is being such a bitch because apparently none of them have met Faye before? They try to get her back on their side by having a Lilith Fair ceremony, where all of the girls get together and light different colored candles and then make out and have pillow fights. Afterward, Diana and Cassie have a trust ceremony but not like the one in Mean Girls. No, instead Diana gives Cassie a box to bury, but Cassie isn't allowed to look in the box. Probably a safe bet. While she's burying it, she's attacked by Black John but Nick and Adam save her because Adam realized she was in danger. Oh, just make out already.
The next day, some of the
Yikes. That is probably the worst. I don't know because, as far as I know, my dad is not a secret witch coven leader who likes to be evil and kill people and use crystal skulls for magics. I'm not sure, though. Who knows what he does on the weekends?
Cassie has a dream (ugh, enough with the dreaming, Cassie, get out of REM sleep once in a while) that THE MASTER TOOLS are hidden in her grandma's fireplace. So she, Adam, and Diana look there and find them. Well, that was easy. On their way home, they run into Sean (who?) who is out wandering around in his pajamas (not suspicious at all) and they tell him they found THE MASTER TOOLS (great idea, EINSTEINS). Sounds like THEY'RE the real Master Tools, AMIRITE?
Cassie somehow gets kidnapped by the witch hunters (geez, Cassie, get kidnapped more often), who take her to some wooded area really far away. I think they're going to brand her or something? Like, as a witch? But The Circle saves her instead. This whole witch hunting thing, man, I don't know. If I knew there were witches, I wouldn't be trying to kill them, I'd be blackmailing them or recording some of their magic and selling it to TMZ.
Anyway, the coven finds Cassie because she reaches out with her mind to tell Adam she's in trouble and he saves her AGAIN, so Nick realizes that Cassie will always be in love with Adam and they break up. Oh no, no more World's Most Boring Couple, what will I use as a sleep aid now? Sigh.
NOW IS THE TIME ON THE SECRET CIRCLE WHEN WE FIGHT.
Sally tells The Circle that Black John and Faye blocked the bridge to the mainland and a hurricane is coming. Hey! Just like last time! They "purify" Sean (who was being influenced by the evil hematite in his belt and no, I did NOT make that up), which seems to be a matter of just giving him a bath, and elect Cassie as their new leader since Faye refuses to fight with them. Cassie puts on THE MASTER TOOLS and they are ready to FIGHT.
Um. The actual fight takes like no time at all. Cassie goes to meet Black John alone. He wants her to join him. Isn't that always the way? She won't. The rest of the coven shows up. They do some old, awesome spell. Cassie destroys some shit and Black John goes bye bye forever (OR IS IT). Everything is super happy fun times! The Coven elects Diana, Faye, AND Cassie as leader, which shouldn't get confusing at all!
But it's not over! Don't leave yet! We still have unfinished business. Diana tells Cassie to go dig up that trust box (remember?) and inside, Cassie finds that stone that Diana gave Adam that Adam gave Cassie that she gave back to Adam that Adam then gave Diana that Diana gave Cassie's box (heh) WHEW. Remember? Who cares. Diana tells Cassie that Adam is hers now because that's how teenagers act. Like, here, take my boyfriend because of your mystical silver cord. That's a thing, right? Anyway, Melanie and Diana explain that the silver cord means that Cassie and Adam are LINKED and SOULMATES and what is this, Dawson's Creek?
So Adam and Cassie live happily ever after and Diana has to marry Sean or something. Sorry, Diana! BFF4EVA!
Oh, and Cassie's mom (her?) is fine. I know you were worried.
I know I made fun of these books a lot but I really did enjoy them, although not as much as I probably did when I read them 15 years ago. I did enjoy all the GIRL POWER even though there were no catchy songs.