Monday, February 04, 2013

Strange Magic, by Gord Rollo

(pb; 2010)

From the back cover:

“In the dead of night, beside a fading fire deep in the cold woods, a solitary man sits on a magician’s old theatrical trunk. . . planning the hideous death of Wilson Kemp.  The trunk is battered and cracked, its garish paint peeling, but its contents are very special – Wilson Kemp’s worst fear, coming back to haunt him.
“Kemp thought he could escape his past.  As time went by he actually began to hope he could leave the nightmares behind him.  But he is about to discover that some nightmares have no end and no escape.  It’s taken years of patient, inexorable searching, but his past has finally caught up with him.  And only his blood will satisfy it.”


Strange Magic is a mostly solid, fast-paced and entertaining horror novel from a talented author whose ability to streamline moments splatteriffic ooziness and bloodless creepiness into a fun, focused read.

My one nit with the book is that Magic’s ending is too sequel friendly.  In contrast with the intelligence, grace and overall effectiveness of what precedes it, Magic’s clichéd finish might as well been that of a Goosebumps book. 

Magic is worth checking out from the library – perhaps worth owning, if you don’t mind its post-climax wrap up.


For those readers intrigued by one of Magic’s minor characters, Peeler, Rollo has published a story about him: “Peeler".

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