Monday, 18 February 2013

Review: The Witches of Jericho by Sam Hammack

About the Author
Sam Hammack lives in the Horde-free suburbs of Kansas City, MO. He enjoys every moment he spends with his beautiful baby daughter and his eccentric family, which of course includes the family protector Roxy the Rottweiler.   He will never turn down a game of pool or Clue, but is very hard to reach during baseball season.   He has written many novellas, short stories, and some poetry, but this is his first published full length novel.   Writing it has been a great learning experience.   He is eagerly working hard to finish the second book in the Edenwitch Series - The Guardians - which he expects will be available in the summer of 2013. - The Witches of Jericho (Kindle Locations 7759-7775). Sam Hammack. Kindle Edition.

The Witches of Jericho
Edenwitch #1
by Sam Hammack
Self-published, 2013
Kindle edition 
236 pages (estimated)

The Witches of Jericho is a charming debut fantasy novel. It is written in a simple but entertaining style that takes you safely from beginning to end. I especially likes how the author describes things by making picturesque comparisons:

"Toward the Sea every man, woman and child drifted each and every time they slumbered, like ghosts drawn to a graveyard." - (Kindle Locations 266-268)

"In those lives he always had a name.   Yet whenever he awoke from the dream the name would always escape him like a puffy white cloud drifting off in a strong gust of wind." - (Kindle Locations 4795-4797)

The story has a strong main character, Sophia, that immediately demands the reader's sympathy. She is not the most interesting character in the book, though. There are other point of view characters that sneak in for a short notice here and there along the way, creating situations where the reader knows more than Sophia does about what is going on. This, I think, is handled very well and is in fact one of the things that made me really like this book. 

The storyline concerning Sophia is not very interesting in or of itself. It is all the stuff that is going on around her that made me keep on reading. All the stuff that makes the universe come alive and makes it appear bigger than if we only saw it through the eyes of the main character.

I would definitely say that is mainly a plot-driven story, though. The universe is well-constructed and offers a lot of intriguing details even if it is by no means original or new in any way. The familiarity of it allows the reader to focus on the strong plot that is only just beginning to unfold, with a few hints as to where it is going, in this first book in the series. 

I definitely feel a need to continue on with the series after this first installment, which has a pretty open ending as well as a bit of a cliffhanger offered in a very succesful epilogue. I am normally a bit sceptical about the need for either prologues or epilogues in books, but in this case I really like both of them.

I will maintain that this book is more intiguing than entertaining. It is not the kind of narration that makes you burst into spontaneous laughter or moves you to tears. It did not really impact me much in any kind of way other than to weave my imagination into a nice time-consuming pattern.

So far I am very impressed with this new author and I daresay that I do have some high hopes for the series. I am looking forward to see the next installment to see if he can keep this up without losing the reader on the way or ruining the greater consistency of the work.

In the end I give the book four stars because it is a highly well-executed piece of fantasy literature and a very impressive debut novel. I would strongly recommend it to any and all ebook readers out there; I think that even some people who do not usually read a lot of fantasy might find that this one appeals to them, though that is only my personal speculation.

No comments:

Post a Comment