Ginger Nuts of Horror
I love Halloween, and I love books set around Halloween. Lisa Morton's The Samhanach is on my annual Halloween reading list. So when this book was announced Jimmy did a little dance of joy.
When Lisa Morton, author of The Halloween Encyclopedia, is called in to consult on the recent discovery of a fifteen-hundred-year-old Celtic manuscript, she's at first excited about the light this monumental find might shed on Samhain, the mysterious Celtic precursor to Halloween. Conor ó Cuinn, the Irish archaeologist who excavated the manuscript, thinks it reveals ancient magic. Lisa is skeptical...until people around her begin dying. Dr. Wilson Armitage, the university professor who was translating the manuscript, is found torn apart by wild animals...or was he actually attacked by vicious sidh, malicious Celtic spirits that wreak havoc every Samhain? As October 31st approaches, the border between our realm and one of murderous spirits begins to dissolve. Can Lisa survive Halloween night and use her knowledge to set the world right again?
From Publishers Weekly
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.)
Review"... challenging, exhilarating, darkly-humored, heartbreaking...hands-down brilliant..." -- Gary A. Braunbeck Bram Stoker Award-winning author of TO EACH THEIR DARKNESS
"In Summer's End, Lisa Morton has created something so strikingly unique that it stands alone in the genre...gave me real goosebumps, real chills, and reminded me that horror fiction can and should frighten the hell out of the reader." -- Ray Garton Author of Live Girls and Meds.