Sunday, March 21, 2010

Witchfinder: Dawn of the Demontide, (Oxford University Press), by William Hussey

The first installment of William Hussey’s new YA/Teen series “Witchfinder” begins authoritatively with “Dawn of the Demontide”. An acclaimed author of literary horror, Hussey’s voice speaks just as powerfully here, crafting a tale that’s engaging and fast-paced. A dark fantasy that takes the best of “Harry Potter” and gives it a harder edge, “Dawn of the Demontide” is substantial enough for adults as well as teens.

Fifteen-year-old Jacob Harker loves his horror. Comics, novels, movies...ever since his father gave him his first box of horror comics for his ninth birthday, Jake has feasted on tales of the night, building a “dark catalogue” of everything monstrous, slimy, and supernatural. He even writes tales of his own. For Jake, Horror serves as his main entertainment, because his parent’s secretive work at the mysterious Hobarron Institute alienates him from his schoolmates. Still, he has his love of horror, which he shares with Simon Lydgate, an older teen who lives as a drifter nearby. That’s enough for him.

One night changes everything. When his mother and Simon are murdered, Jake is introduced to a horrifying truth: monsters are real. Nothing is as it seems, and even worse, all humanity stands in peril as an ancient evil threatens to invade the earthly realms. This is the secretive work his parents have been engaged in, the mandate of the Hobarron Institute: defeating this evil, once and for all.... except their latest weapon, his mother’s secret work, has failed. The Hobarron Institute must consider desperate measures, but will these measures make them just as evil as the demons they fight?

And will they cost Jake his life? What about the strange dreams he has of long passed times, when a man called the “Witchfinder” hunted evil...and why is Jake dreaming through this man’s eyes?

Hussey’s new series promises an exciting ride, as he once again shows his impressive handle of myth and supernatural lore. As always, his narrative is a pleasure to read. Also, a YA/Teen horror novel requires a delicate balance between something too dark and something too watered-down and childish. He strikes just the right notes. This is definitely horror and dark fantasy that any adult would enjoy, but in language and content, it’s completely appropriate for teens, fit for high school classrooms, even. To begin a new adventure of the dark fantastic, pick up the “Dawn of the Demontide” today.

Visit and Buy it today.

No comments: