The Witch's Revenge Book Review
|Title:||The Witch’s Revenge|
|Published:||2014, Outskirts Press|
|No. of Pages:||183|
|Cover Price:||$12.95 Paperback, $7.99 Kindle|
In his debut novel, Danny Odato tells the story of an Indian couple, Mohan and Padma, who live a simple and happy life with their four children. Most of the people in the village (Harangul, in the Latur district of Maharashtra) are also happy, and life is pleasant. However, when a woman moves into the house next door, terrible things begin to happen in the village. A pregnant woman jumps to her death from the roof, a schoolboy goes into a trance and pokes his eyes out with a pencil, children are found murdered, and others go into trances and wander through the forest, which is forbidden by law, and also dangerous. At first, no one suspects the old woman, but as the novel progresses, it becomes evident that the woman is a daayan (witch), and is trying to kill the children in the village as well as any pregnant women. The villagers cannot understand why she would target them, but the reasons become quite evident, even though the people want to think the best of the woman.
Odato’s writing style is very simple and straightforward. The novel is well-written, and is actually a struggle between good and evil. The characters are humble and trusting; they follow the Hindu laws and pray to the Hindu Gods. For anyone who isn’t familiar with the Indian culture, this novel is a good introduction, and gives the reader a taste of a culture that is very foreign to many. One gets the feeling while reading, that the story is a fairytale, or a legend. The naiveté of the people and the simplicity of the storytelling add to the charm of the novel; it is a quick and fascinating read.
Although the author has categorized his book as belonging to the horror genre, it really isn’t a typical horror novel. There is no graphic violence, and his descriptions of the bodies found, while good enough to give a vivid picture, are not over-the-top and leave much to the imagination. Of course, there is suspense throughout, and the likeable characters are in constant danger.
There are a few minor errors throughout the novel that a professional editor would probably catch, but the errors don’t take away from the charm. However, there is one place where it gets a bit confusing because several paragraphs which start on page 106 are repeated on page 144. Additionally, Mrs. Laxman, a teacher at the school who shows much kindness and compassion toward Padma’s daughter Pooja, is a suspect for a time, and there is mention of a teacher who has disappeared. The issue is dropped and there is no final resolution.
All told, this is a good, well-written novel that will appeal to those who like suspense, and also those who like learning about other cultures. Albeit a few errors, the book is appealing and different from most in the genre. For those looking for something different, this book is recommended. Hopefully there are more novels in the works from this author.
Special thanks to Danny Odato for supplying a review copy for a fair and honest review.
This book may be purchased at Amazon: The Witch's Revenge, Paperback
The Witch's Revenge, Kindle Edition
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