Nut Ink. Mini reviews of texts old and new. No fuss. No plot spoilers. No adverts. Occasional competency.

Monday, May 20, 2013

A Darker Magic (1987)

Author: Michael Bedard | Page Count: 184
He sat up on the bed and suddenly caught sight of his reflection in the dresser mirror in front of him.
And then an incredible thing happened. It was as if the image rippled suddenly, like a piece of painted scenery in a play. And when it settled again he found himself staring at a totally different room. It was barren and devastated. Hunks of plaster dangled from the wall, leaving the lathing gaping through like bone. The walls were covered in crayon scrawl.
He swung around... The room was as it had been before.
A horror story about an odd teenage boy with an affinity for magic tricks and the 3 protagonists who cross paths with him and investigate his mysterious nature like why no one can seem to ever find him and what his possible connections are to an incident in an abandoned train depot decades earlier that has haunted the older schoolteacher ever since.

The tale is pretty standard stuff and really just a step above a cruddy campfire scary story, but Bedard is at least competent in his writing and does a decent job of giving world building detail to make the stock story interesting and the characters fleshed out enough to at least see it through to the end. If you are inclined to like such horror stories this might be up your alley. There are better options surely, but genuinely decent passages like the quote above put it above lesser choices. Plus it was clearly written for  a younger audience so I can't bash it for not being to my taste and it is pretty decent for being his first novel.

stabbing disembodied heads magic tricks... for kids! out of 5

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