Monday, June 22, 2009

Revenge of the Manitou by Graham Masterton

(pb; 1979: third book in The Manitou series)

From the back cover:

"Driven from New York by sorceries as powerful as his own, the Manitou has sworn to avenge himself upon his tormentors, Harry Erskine and the Indian shaman, Singing Rock. Three thousand miles form the scene of his most humiliating defeat, the evil sorcerer plots and schemes, marshaling his forces for a new attack.

"His weapons are nightmares of innocent children, dreams filled with terrors more deadly than even his four hundred-year-old-evil can create. Growing stronger and more powerful, the Manitou drains the children's lives, swallows their souls.

"Summoned to California, Harry Erskine and Singing Rock once again must face the Manitou's ancient Indian magic. The Manitou must be destroyed -- but if they strike at him, the children will die!"


Masterton's set-up, three books into The Manitou series, is familiar, as is the denouement, but he throws in enough variable elements (different setting, new characters, more spectacular horror/action sequences) to distinguish it from the first two Harry Erskine-based novels.

Revenge of the Manitou also reads like a transition work. The ending, which strongly echoes that of The Manitou, has a character-progressive element to it, promising that while there will likely be a sequel to Revenge, the nature of any future battles between Erskine and the Manitou will be notably different.

It's not as quirky as the first two novels: Harry Erskine and Singing Rock aren't the main characters in Revenge; Neil Fenner is, and he's less given to Erskine's kookiness and Singing Rock's wry humor, considering that his son, eight-year-old Toby, is in mortal danger.

Solid entry in The Manitou series. Like The Manitou and The Djinn, this b-movie novel can be read as part of the series, or as a stand-alone work.

Followed by Burial.

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