cover image Summer’s End

Summer’s End

Lisa Morton. JournalStone (, $19.95 (98p) ISBN 978-1-940161-18-1

This ambitious marriage of postmodernism and horror attempts to blur traditional boundaries between writer and story, as Morton (The Halloween Encyclopedia) places herself in the action. When Lisa helps Dr. Wilson Armitage and Dr. Conor ó Cuinn decipher an ancient Celtic manuscript discovered beside the corpse of a female Druid, she enters a maelstrom of mythic terror and self-revelation. Tormented by the sidh, malevolent faeries summoned by power-hungry scholar ó Cuinn, Lisa invites the Morrigan, a Celtic goddess, to possess her and help her survive an encounter with the death spirit, Bal-sab. Will she sacrifice an innocent child to recharge a chaotic world, or discover an inner power greater than death? This occasionally poetic novella is inferior to the fascinating scraps of lore and speculation surrounding the central plot. Sympathy falters when faced with Lisa’s self-righteous reactions and convenient victories. While the self-congratulatory stylistic device eliminates suspense, terse encounters with malignant spirits evoke chills, as does the atmospheric presence of Samhain. (Oct.)