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Reviewed by Jack Magnus for Readers' Favorite
Curse of the Blacknoc Witch is a dark fantasy novel for young adults written by Tori V. Rainn. Samuel never dreamed that the Curse was anything more than a boogie-man story designed to make kids behave until he ended up in an alien forest in the body of a monster. To make matters worse, he wasn’t the only monster there, and they all shared a penchant for chasing and devouring the children who ended up there each evening. Those children they did devour would, in turn, end up as monsters themselves. The Curse did indeed seem to work all too well. But Samuel wanted no part in the hunting and feasting. He did his best to protect the children who arrived each evening and bore the brunt of his fellow monsters’ anger. It seemed another part of the curse meant they couldn’t kill him, but they sure could make him feel pain. And while he knew that any kid who survived their first night in the woods would be doomed to return the following evening, he was determined to keep as many of them alive as he could.
Tori V Rainn’s Curse of the Blacknoc Witch is a taut and terrifying story about a witch’s quest for vengeance that goes horribly awry. I enjoyed learning about the awful things the kids did to end up there and marveled at the severity of the sentence for most of those offenses. Finding out how Samuel, Layla and the others learn about the curse and work to find a cure for it is great fun, no matter what your age. The characters are authentic and believable, and the premise is original and clever. The story reads like an historical novel at times as the reader follows Layla who does the research she needs to get to a cure while still herself enthralled by the curse -- but will she find what she needs before the next sunset? Curse of the Blacknoc Witch is fast-paced and well written, and it’s most highly recommended.