Review: Demon Witch by Geoffry Huntington

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Publisher: Regan Books
Publishing Date: July 2003
ISBN: 0060595515
Genre: Fantasy
Rating: 3.2

Publishers Description: Devon March matches wits and wizardry against a five-hundred-year-old evil in Demon Witch, the spine-tingling sequel to Sorcerers of the Nightwing. Long before the days of Madman Jackson Muir, a witch named Isobel the Apostate waged war upon her fellow sorcerers, the noble order of the Nightwing. Burned at the stake for her crimes, Isobel vowed to return and conquer the world. Now that she is back, the only person who can prevent hell on earth is fourteen-year-old Devon March. In a battle that takes him from modern-day Ravenscliff to Tudor England and back, Devon must unleash the Nightwing power within himself and call upon friendships in the strangest places to stand against an evil that has waited five centuries for revenge.

This series was published quite a while ago, and was re-released as revisions/updates warranted. The author made the series more current (tweeting, texting etc.). The author plans ten novels for the series with book 3 (Blood Moon) set to re-debut sometime in October of 2013. You can read more about this at http://geoffreyhuntingtonauthor.com/blog/.
This novel jumps right into the action, unlike the first and sets a fairly fast pace throughout. The story is well crafted but the writing style is what draws you in. There is a step-wise logical progression or formulae the author uses to hook the reader and lead them down the horror trail. The author uses innocent characters to align your emotions with regards to good and bad, then a series of unknown occurrences in rapid succession that are either linked or separate having both direct and indirect effects on said characters, and the constant threat of friends being perhaps foes due to their innate nature or manipulation of outside forces coupled with very good descriptions of the creepy venue in which this all takes place. That, my friends, gives you the creepy vibe. I did not like this as much as the first, as it was too evident whom Morgana was/is, and we still have to endure that little brat, Alexander. I get that everyone is tight lipped with regard to information, as this makes the novel what it is, but there are some pretty glaring holes with regard to the dispensing of relevant information, that you are left with a sense of contrived writing that does not follow a patterned norm of behavior. So, you’re left with characters that fail to develop awareness, powers, common sense and depth.
I am not sure how long the author can maintain an audience through 10 novels in this particular series without casting back to build certain characters that have holes in their pasts (which the author intends to do). Back stories, tend to detract from the theme, and should be built into the current story-line in small reveals. I really don’t want to read the whole back story of Rolfe and Mrs. Crandall unless it is current or relevant to the “present” story-line of Devon. Hopefully this is not a greedy push by the author to sell a lot of novels.
In summation this work is a little stilted, not as creepy (by far) as the first, has loads of infernal dialogue, characters are not developing through previous experiences (perhaps getting dumber) and the main protagonist, although purveyed as a total badass, has nowhere near the impact that the madman had in the first novel. Succubus? Really? “Look into my eyes, my beautiful eyes, you love me, I love you….”. Blarg.

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