Ravenscliff Series #1
Publisher: Diversion Books
Publishing Date: June 2013
Rating: 4.4/5 stars
Publishers Description: Devon is sent to live at Ravenscliff, a dark seaside mansion where secrets abound and the dead just won’t stay that way. He learns that he is a sorcerer of the Order of the Nightwing, a three-thousand-year-old tradition of mysticism and magic — the roots of which run deep at Ravenscliff. In a house of mysteries, he’ll have to decide quickly who is friend and who is foe, because Ravenscliff’s worst nightmare — the Madman — is coming back, and he’s bringing Hell with him.(
Review: According to Goodreads, Geoffrey Huntington is pseudonym for William J. Mann, whom writes biographies of actresses and has several published novels about gay and lesbian culture (?). Not sure this matters, only in that he has a talent in a lot of genre areas.
Mann is able to weave this consistent sense of malaise and unsettled emotions throughout the novel that it begins to capture your attention in ways unexpected. I found myself consistently reading this novel throughout the weekend, and asking myself, “why I am I doing this?” Sure there is good story and character development, with great scene descriptions which add to the overall effect, but why is there a continual draw into the foreboding?
Well, he just has a great sense of timing. Your cruising along, excited for the characters, then BANG, something wicked this way comes. That sense of timing is a consistent theme, and it draws you into the novel. His friends are well developed and diverse personalities that enhance Devon’s character.
There are only a couple of drawbacks. One is that after each encounter, Devon is not really freaked out or asking the right questions. Another is the obvious need for basic discernment in tense situations that go unheeded, ignored or not acted upon. The author sometimes uses deferment due to the ongoing action to halt any investigation. So if suspense, horror and magic is your gig, then pick this up and be not disappointed.