cover image Witch


Christopher Pike. Pocket Books, $4.99 (0pp) ISBN 978-0-671-69055-7

In this hokey, meandering novel, Julia is a girl gifted with a healing touch and the power to glimpse the future. When she sees a vision of her best friend's boyfriend, Jim, shot and bleeding to death, she does her best to keep him out of danger. But then another friend is shot while witnessing a gas station holdup, and Julia and Jim set out to wreak revenge on the gunman. Meanwhile, Julia's best friend discovers that the gunman just happens to be the deranged former boyfriend of Kary, the recently deceased half-sister Julia never knew. Julia's mother--also a healer--had died in an attempt to save Kary's life. In another part of town, a carload of good witches is hot on Julia's trail, determined to keep her from abusing her powers. Typically, Pike's writing is peppy enough to animate his most tangled plots; here, however, his style becomes choppy and unconvincing--unable to sustain the coincidence-riddled story. In addition, the text is littered with sexist one-liners which, along with a humorless running ``joke,'' are as irritating as they are offensive. Ages 13-up. (Dec.)