Tuesday, July 1, 2008


I got interested in Wither, a novel by J.G. Passarella (a pen name for authors Joseph Gangemi and John Passarella) after seeing an ad for it in Cemetery Dance magazine, so I guess advertising works. The description sounded appealing, and I checked with a couple of people who had read it, and took a chance.
Wither is about Wendy Ward, a student at Danfield College (and daughter of the school president). Wendy is also a practicing witch or wiccan (I’m not confusing the two, I just wasn’t able to tell which the book was talking about), having a relatively ordinary freshman year at college. Ordinary, if you’re into witchcraft, I guess. Danfield is located in Windale, Massachusetts, which is depicted as sort of a lesser version of Salem, since three witches were burned alive there three hundred years ago. What few know is the witches didn’t die. They are mostly lying dormant, but rise every hundred years to feed and wreak havoc on the locals. And every three hundred years, they have to take new bodies. With one being our local student-witch, Wendy Ward. Wendy and a few close friends have to figure out how to stop these three old and powerful witches before they are taken over and lost forever.
I can’t say this book changed my life or made me rush out to buy the other two books in the series, but it was entertaining enough. Although it veers a little too close to paranormal romance for comfort at times, it leavens the sap with some fairly brutal killings, including some characters you wouldn’t have guessed. The authors probably hoped for some sort of Buffy the Vampire Slayer type of creation, and it falls short there, but it is a good book for a light read.
Rumor has it that Wither has been purchased with an eye toward making a movie of it. If they are willing to go for an “R” rating, it just might work.

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