cover image Dark Vengeance

Dark Vengeance

Russell James. Samhain, $5.50 e-book (249p) ISBN 978-1-61921-864-2

Returning to the locale and characters of his debut (Dark Inspiration), James conjures up a thoroughly average tale of witchcraft that veers from blandness only when it becomes offensive. A coven of brazenly stereotypical witches seeks to resurrect a fictional Mayan demon called a longarex, which only eats men, by sacrificing the children of the town of Moultrie, Tenn. The witches’ misandrist hatred is somewhat justified by the terrible behavior of most of the male characters. Psychics Laura Locke and Theresa Grissom attempt to learn how to stop the ritual, but despite being intelligent and gifted with the power to foresee future events, they manage to overlook every obvious clue. Boring dialogue, red-herring subplots, and tone-deaf characterization give scant reason for readers to revisit Moultrie. (Mar.)