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Reviewed by Kim Anisi for Readers' Favorite
Two kids have to move to a small town in the YA novel Wizrd by Steve Zell. Bryce Willems is 14 years old and his sister Megan is 10. Pinon Rim, their new home, was once a booming Arizona mining town, especially after gold had been discovered in the mine. After Bryce finds a dead Native American boy in a stream next to his school, one strange event follows the next. A mad old man and his mad dog are only the start of a series of events that will change Bryce's life for good - all because his sister Megan loves caves and couldn't resist exploring her new surroundings ... until she found an old, mysterious cave that holds a secret she didn't expect. Megan changes, the whole town changes, and Bryce suddenly finds that he is running out of town if he wants to save what is left.
I almost didn't pick Wizrd by Steve Zell because I didn't like the misspelling of the word wizard. I was worried that it might just be an attempt to be "cool". Fortunately, I DID pick it up. And even better: there is a reason for the title that makes sense once you've read the passage. I then also saw that the book was written in the 1990s - what a shame that I haven't come across it earlier. It definitely deserves more attention! While the novel is classified as horror, it's not offensive, in-your-face horror that you find around every corner these days. Classy horror is a rare find, and this book is one of them. While the plot is exciting, and makes you turn one page after the other, you don't ever feel like anything is over the top. I was quite impressed by how the Anasazi were interwoven into this story. I think there's potential to explore even deeper into this if the author ever wanted to. I found it fascinating because it's not completely out of this world stuff. It's believable, mysterious horror with class. Definitely worth a read if you are sick of all the slasher and zombie horror books and movies!