Monday, 27 January 2014

Book Review: SEASON OF THE WITCH BY NATASHA MOSTERT

SEASON OF THE WITCH
BY 
NATASHA MOSTERT

Published by Random House 2007
523 Pages

My Rating:  9/10

About the Book:

Gabriel Blackstone is a cool, hip, thoroughly twenty-first century Londoner with an unusual talent. A computer hacker by trade, he is also a remote viewer: able to ‘slam a ride’ through the minds of others. But he uses his gift only reluctantly -- until he is asked to find a young man last seen months earlier at Monk House, in the company of two mysterious women. Gabriel becomes increasingly bewitched by the house, and by its owners, the beautiful Monk sisters. But even as he falls in love, he suspects that one of them is a killer.
"The journey will test your sanity, and once you start walking down that road, there is no turning back.  You will start craving the rush.  One can become addicted to madness, you know.  Develop a taste for it."
Season of the Witch is a book that you either love or hate.  It's full of magic, mysticism, murder, mayhem, sexual tension and I loved it!
Gabriel is a remote viewer which means that he can see through people's eyes, see what they see, feel what they feel.  When he is asked to find his ex-girlfriend's stepson he discovers something that scares and fascinates him when he scans his mind - the young man is slowly being drowned in a pool after he's been through 'The House of a Million Doors'.  
Gabriel's search takes him to an old rambling house called Monk House which has a swimming pool:

Monk House was the only Victorian house in an entire street of elegant Georgian buildings.  It sat bulkily on the corner: square, brooding and defiant in its otherness.  The brickwork was deep orange and there was more than a hint of Gothic in the pointed gable and the oriel window bulging from the house's flank.  It was late afternoon and the sun glinted redly off the tiny leaded panes, creating an impression that inside a fire was burning.

The inhabitants of this house were the two beautiful Monk sisters, solar witches, red-haired Minnaloushe, an academic in Maths and Philosophy, the thinker: dark-haired Morrighan, an environmentalist, an eco-warrior, the do-er.
As Gabriel gets drawn deeper into their world he is confronted with obsession, high magic, mystic symbols, the ancient Art of Memory, Memory Palaces, alchemy and the frightening 'House of a Million Doors' (where each different room is full of weird images such as hundreds of clocks, broken violins, carnivorous plants, a blind monk).  But what and where is it?  He hacks into their computer, reads a diary that is poetic, haunting and evocative, becoming captivated by the person behind the words, she was keeping him spellbound and bewitched -- but which sister is it writing the words?  And is she a killer?
I too was spellbound by Natasha Mostert's story, I found it compelling, moving, descriptive and one of the most unusual novels I've ever read.  It will stay with me for a long time.
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Available to buy from:


Source:  NetGalley
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