Review by Nancy
John Carey hasn’t had the best life. His “gift” isn’t welcomed by a lot of people. They don’t like feeling a headache when they’re around him. But that’s what happens when he tries to sneak into their heads. He’s lived several places and, when they decide to try him for witchcraft in his current home of Syre; he takes his few belongings, his horse Smoke and leaves in the dead of night.
Passing through a forest, John and Smoke encounter what they will learn is called a Brean. Big, hairy, MEAN suckers who want nothing more than to have him for lunch. Maybe the horse as an appetizer? He is saved by a woman named Sarah who is living alone in the forest and who has been kicked out of the next town, Marysvale - and told to never return.
Sarah seems to know a lot about the Brean and has nothing good to say about Marysvale or the people who control it. A community that lives in fear. Of the Brean, certainly; of the Lord Mayor and his cronies, terror might be a better word. Sarah and John are visited by sisters Hannah and Jane who comes seeking food from Sarah. There is something familiar about Jane, but what?
Jared Southwick has written an excellent beginning to his Marysvale series. Marysvale came out earlier this year and book two, Alyth, is joining it in the Fall of 2011. These characters are in it for the long haul and Southwick plays them perfectly. I hope I get to review Alyth when it comes out. I really need to see what happens next!
About the Author Jared Southwick enjoys traveling and experiencing different cultures, cuisines, and associated foodborne illnesses. He once went night diving in the Pacific Ocean where, although he didn’t actually see it, he’s sure that a great white shark almost ate him. Jared petted an alligator in the Okefenokee Swamp, and a wild, heavily sedated black bear in her den. He explored the islands of West Africa, where his foot was attacked by a very ferocious, tiny octopus. However, he has never encountered a Brean…
He and his wife live in a quiet, friendly city, in the shadow of the Wasatch Mountains, where strange monster sightings are uncommon.
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