Sunday, 24 May 2015

Salem's Vengeance by Aaron Galvin

Series: Vengeance
Author: Aaron Galvin
Page Count: 252
Published: July 25th, 2014
Publisher: Aames & Abernathy 
  4 Stars ★★★★

I received a free copy of this book through Netgalley.

In this historical fiction novel, Sarah lives with her sister, mother, and father. She discovers a group of people who dance to hypnotic music in the moonlight and who wish for her and her friends to join them. She receives a mysterious journal and reads about Thomas Putnam's experiences in Salem during the Salem Witch Trials.

When her friend Ruth becomes afflicted after coming into contact with a mysterious powder, things take a deadly turn. What appeared to be an innocent yet unusual past time turns out to be the work of a vengeful woman who goes by the name of Hecate. She leads a large group of witches out for revenge, and she herself seeks revenge against Sarah's own father.

With the help of Bishop and the mysterious Priest, she hopes to defeat these bloodthirsty witches once and for all. But will she, and those around her, live to tell the tale?

I haven't read a book quite like this one before. Historical fiction isn't a genre I read often, but when I saw this on Netgalley I thought I'd give it a try.

First of all, I was impressed with the writing style. Most of my experiences with historical fiction have included rather dry writing, but the author of Salem's Vengeance surprised me with detailed descriptions that were perfectly balanced. They weren't too extensive but provided enough information to form a clear picture of the settings and specifics of the situations which arose.

I also appreciated that I was able to connect with Sarah, the main character and narrator. I found myself understanding her decisions and feelings, and I was rooting for her survival throughout the whole book. As for Bishop, I found him an asset to the story as he brought humor to the more serious events and was an overall entertaining character. Priest was a juxtaposition of Bishop: unlike Bishop, Priest was quiet and reserved, and much more secretive. I thought this was a great way to balance the humor and mystery in the story as depending on which character was the focus, the mood shifted.

This novel also contained a lot of violence. There were attacks, sacrifices, murders, ambushes, and more. This didn't bother me personally, however I feel it is important to mention this because some readers may be offended by such content. So if you are easily upset when it comes to violence, you may want to steer clear of this book.

In conclusion, it was overall an interesting read with lots of action and a likeable main character and narrator.

I recommend this book to fans of historical fiction, those who like stories with action and violence, and to readers interested in books based on the superstitions surrounding the time of The Salem Witch Trials.