HALLOWS EVE

Al Sarrantonio, Author . Cemetery Dance $40 (0p) ISBN 978-1-58767-077-0

Samhain, the scheming Lord of Death, is back for more Halloween mischief in Sarrantonio's lackluster sequel to Orangefield (2001). Thanks to misdeeds in the historical past, the quaint pumpkin-farming community of Orangefield is the locus for supernatural evil perpetrated by the cartoonishly drawn Samhain, earthly servitor of the nebulous Dark One. This year, Samhain sets his sights on Corrie Phaeder, a local boy who's returned home from the west coast to recover from his ruined career and love life. Also figuring in Samhain's dark design is Corrie's neighbor Regina Bright, a chipper seven-year-old whose innocence insulates her from weird incidents that slowly superimpose themselves on her world. The author casts his dark fable with crusty rustics on sabbatical from a Stephen King novel, and he sketches the town vividly with imagery as crisp as the first bite of an autumn apple. His plotting, however, has the stale aftertaste of the previous book. Once again, Samhain engineers the death of townspeople crucial to his plans in episodic and seemingly disassociated vignettes. A trip to Samhain's realm towards the novel's end adds a jolt of vitality, but takes the tale in the direction of a young-adult quest fantasy. The story concludes with the hint of other Orangefield adventures to come, and the prospect that they may offer more than this rehash of past Halloween tricks and treats. (June)

Reviewed on: 05/31/2004
Release date: 06/01/2004
Genre: Fiction
Mass Market Paperbound - 326 pages - 978-0-8439-5175-2
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