"A Candle Loses Nothing By Lighting Another Candle" - Father James Keller

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

My Review of Salem VI: Rebecca's Rising, Book One in the Salem VI trilogy By Jack Heath and John Thompson

Genre:  Fiction/historical/paranormal
Publisher:  Pressque Publishing
July 19, 2012 (eBook)
September 28, 2012 (hardcover)

ISBN-10: 0985793708
ISBN-13: 978-0-9857937-0-8
ISBN-10: 0985793716
ISBN-13: 978-0-9857937-1-5

Number of pages: 275
Word Count:   77,084


Having stepped off the fast track of primetime network television news, John Andrews has chosen a quieter life as editor of Salem News, a small paper in a quiet New England town. Life is perfect until Andrews’ wife is killed in a tragic accident. After several years of trying to numb the pain with alcohol, Andrews is visited by the spirit of a long dead ancestor who opens a door to a shocking family history. After he experiences a surreal glimpse into the past, Andrews must confront the question of whether he is losing his mind or whether for several hundred years his ancestors have been engaged in a secret battle with a coven that worships Satan. Fueled by the need to understand whether his wife's death was really an accident or something far more sinister, Andrews, along with his beautiful assistant editor, risk everything to discover a truth so horrifying it threatens to destroy everything and everyone he knows and loves. 

My Review:

This story’s plot twisted and turned many times, often surprising me, and that is pretty tough to do with all I read. The author rewrites history, changes it, adds to it, and twists it into something much more sinister, more evil by far, than what we know of the Salem Witch Hunts.  In fact, I was shocked, in a dark and pleasant way, at the creative take the author had on 1692. It was something definitely never done before, and seemed literary justice to me in some ways - that may not make sense, but I don't want to give anything away.

But, this is a contemporary set story with historical flashbacks, where the implications of that history set a darker tone for today’s Salem. Having visited and loved the city, myself, I was sort of put off a few times by the way certain fictional characters gave Salem today a bad name, but it is fiction I reminded myself *giggles*, and the plot captured my attention enough to keep me reading past my own personal bias. I also really liked the main character, John. He was complex enough to pull a reader into his life.

I found all the characters, especially those with supernatural gifts, believable. All of the things that happened to John through what the author called him being "aware" were very impressive to this paranormal reader, and the action truly never stopped.  There was always someone new and something new going on. With so much going into this plot, it is hard to write a review without giving something away, something I want a reader to find out on their own as I got the privilege to, so I will just tell you that even with all of this, there is a nice surprise twist at the end.

About the Authors

Jack Heath

Jack Heath is the host of NH Today, New Hampshire’s only live afternoon radio talk show, and cohost of Sport Legends of New England with Bob Lobel, which can be seen throughout New England on Comcast Spotlight. A direct descendant of Rebecca Nurse, the last person to be tried and hanged during the Salem Witch Trials, and Ann R. Putnam, one of her accusers, his first novel, Salem VI, is an altogether modern take on Arthur Miller’s The Crucible.

John Thompson

John Thompson spent twenty-five years as an investment banker in New York before retiring to write full time. He is the author of the Brent Lucas trilogy, The Girl from Felony Bay, and coauthor of Salem VI. He lives with his wife and daughter and divides his time between Charleston, South Carolina and Hawley, Pennsylvania.

Author web links: 

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In accordance with the new FTC Guidelines for blogging and endorsements, Kiki Howell of An Author's Musings, would like to advise that in addition to purchasing my own books to review, I also receive books, and/or promotional materials, free of charge in return for an honest review, as do any guest reviewers.