Ashland Menshouse’s children’s adventure, the Last Seer and the Tomb of Enoch, tells an intriguing tale with an enjoyable cast of characters. An intrepid team of high-school misfits ends up battling bullies, ghosts, bigfoots, and more as the picturesque peace of Lake Julian succumbs to mysterious changes and falls prey to ancient evil. A nice mix of backgrounds and ethnicities lends a pleasing sense of contemporary America to the novel, and the various problems the misfits face place them firmly in the experience of everyday students. Aubrey uses an inhaler. Another child has epileptic fits. Plus there’s the overweight genius inventor, perfectly described for the movie screen. Some excellent scenes read like watching TV, building tension only to release and rebuiltd repeatedly. Red herrings (and bigfeet) abound, both ghost and bully are scary, and the zany humor of inventive accidental destruction is very nicely done. I enjoyed the presence of some truly mysterious adults in this tale and the nicely underplayed clues leading to its resolution. But the weight of detail lengthens sentences and slows the reading down, despite some magnificently well-chosen adjectives. Feelings are carefully described then reviewed in dialogue, leaving little to the imagination, and increasing numbers of characters blur the memory. A well-plotted tale with some truly great scenes, this isn’t one for those who want a quick read, but I might look out for the sequel as long as it’s shorter.
Disclosure: I received a free copy of this novel from the author in exchange for my honest review.
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About the reviewer
Sheila Deeth (SheilaDeeth)
Sheila Deeth's first novel, Divide by Zero, has just been released in print and ebook formats. Find it on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Powells, etc. Her spiritual speculative novellas can be found at … more
Menshouse takes the traditional elements of urban fantasy and fits them into small-town Appalachia. Menshouse has written an excellent debut novel whose characters and dialog rings true to life. An entertaining book for tweens & YA.