Publishing Date: July 2013
Publishers Description: For sixteen-year-old Ruth, life in New Salem is simple. Obey her parents, go to school, stay inside the walls, and never question the will of the Council. The Council governs New Salem and keeps its people safe, burning mysterious effigies to remind the villagers of the physical and spiritual dangers that seek to infiltrate New Salem’s walls.
Review: This novella was a surprisingly fun read. Good story line (to a point) coupled with good character development made for an interesting read.
The places where it fell a little flat were the unexplained portions of the story. Like if there is a modern world behind the “Wall”, why can’t the modern world see the wall? That was never explained. I thought the inclusion of the world beyond the wall, brought an interesting alternate world story to the brink of failure. Stories that gift you with fantasy visualizations of times and places unknown then bonk you on the head with a reality that reflects your own tends to detract from the story-line.
Overall, I like the writing style and the first half of the novels story line, until it devolves into commonality. The cover art is bizarre. Is that a burning pyre or a malformed fire witch? At least depict Elsa, on a hill overlooking the town with the “wall” in the distance. Or Elsa in the warlocks grand chamber, skulking around. Marry some images from the story-line to gain some perspective at least. I would give this one a chance, in hopes that future works develop experience.