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Sharon E. Cathcart
on July 16, 2010 :
Two things kept me from giving this novella a full five stars. First, there were numerous run-on sentences with commas placed so poorly that they almost made no sense. The second problem was my grounding in Celtic mythology; the banshee (or bean sidhe) is not a vengeful mortal soul, but a fairy harbinger of death.
All of that said, Billy Young's novel has a good premise -- the vengeant spirit of a woman falsely accused of witchcraft visits her judgment on all who offend her from the time of her initial demise in the late 17th century until three hundred years in the future.
The most interesting, and best developed, parts of the novel focus on Helen's accusation and trial for witchcraft. Young has a good understanding of why most women were accused of witchcraft: their property became forfeit to the local government. He describes the various "tests" that women were put through: tortures that would make people confess to anything in order for the abuse to stop.
The parts of the tale that take place in modern times, focused on two amusement park employees who pass by the "witch's house" every day on their way home almost feel tacked on by comparison.
Complaints aside, this was an entertaining short read. Horror/thriller buffs are likely to enjoy it very much.
(reviewed within a week of purchase)