Published by Samhain Publishing on 6.3.14
Genres: Dark Fiction, Horror, Thriller
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A witch’s curse from beyond the grave!
Witch Island used to be feared. Even the bravest would not dare go there. Legend said a witch had been burned alive at the stake, and upon her death she cursed the town. Terrified residents performed rituals to keep her spirit trapped on the island where she was buried.
Now, over a hundred years later, a group of high school seniors have decided to forgo the local graduation parties and have a small gathering of their own—on Witch Island. They don’t fear the legends. They scoff at them. But the group will soon learn these particular legends are nothing to scoff at. And Witch Island will prove far worse than they could have ever imagined.
Witch Island has a terrific premise that sounds like the plot of a of horror movie. A group of teenagers heads out to an island to party after graduation, and they plan to stay overnight. So far so good, right?
The island is deserted and is a perfect place to party with no fears of being caught. Never mind that the island is nearly buried in old stories about a witch that was burned there and the curse she put on the island as a punishment. Never mind that some of these teens are direct descendants of those persons that originally burned the witch. Never mind that they’ve been constantly warned (and a few provided protection) against ever going to the island. I will leave off the rest of the plot here.
I liked this premise a lot, which is why I chose this book for review. However, I ended up being a little disappointed with it. I like stories about curses and witches. I especially enjoy stories with a back and forth type thing between the present and the past. In this book, I would have preferred more sections about the past, the witch and the burning.The portions regarding the teenagers were okay, but I couldn’t help thinking that this all had been done before.
Once everyone was introduced and the teenagers are finally on the island, all hell broke loose. In addition to the historical portions of the story, this part was my favorite. The reader learned more about the witch and what her capabilities were. There wasn’t much she was not capable of and originality points go out to the author in regards to modes of death. Very cool!
Even though I wished for more information regarding the witch and the past, I still liked how the story came together. Even though the teenagers were all characters I have seen before, I did have empathy for some of them. The prose was just okay to me, it wasn’t bad, but it didn’t really stand out. (I’m fresh off a re-read of The Haunting of Hill House, so I admit, it is tough to compete against that.)
Overall, I enjoyed this book and would recommend it to those readers that enjoy stories about witches and curses. It’s just that the originality bat didn’t hit the ball out of the park. It was more like a long double, perhaps maybe even a triple, due to the graphic events on the island. I will look forward to reading more of this author’s work.
A free e-copy of this novel was provided to me by Horror After Dark to honestly review, and that is what I have done.