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on September 11, 2002
Don't get me wrong, this wasn't a bad read. Actaully, it was pretty good. It just seemed to me missing something.
The story is of a witch, Willow, that goes into the swamp, and a evil force keeps her there. It's up to her mother and sisters, who are witches, to use their magic to get Willow back. That's a pretty small summary, but that's basically, what it's about.
The characters are pretty interesting. I love the character of Willow.She adds so much to this story, I'd like to have had the chance to get to know her more, and know more about her. The rest of the characters seem flat and uninteresting. It's just that something was missing.
I do like how Gresham showed the connection between the wicca religion and nature. That was a powerful part of the book. I also liked how he went over the rules for Witchcraft and the difference between Black and White magic.
If you see this book at a usedbook store or a library sale...then go ahead and get it, but I wouldn't suggest that you pay full price for it.
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on January 31, 2002
Throughout the past fifteen years, Stephen Gresham has written a number of entertaining horror novels with above average plots. This, however, isn't one of them. Every author seems to have a novel which doesn't live up to the expectations set by their previous works. Hopefully, this is the case with only this novel and future Gresham horror novels will be more along the lines of his previous novels.
As evidenced by the title, this one involves witches and the magic which accompanies their lives. Some have the magic, others have lost the magic, and an evil force uses dark magic against them. However, the plot was fairly weak -- a girl is lost in the swamp, her mother and aunts try to find her, they encounter an evil force, etc. The atmosphere is not eerie and the resolution occurs too quickly after a long, and sometimes tedious, build-up.
It was a welcome relief to finally see a non-vampire novel published under the "resurrected" line of horror novels from Pinnacle/Kensington books. It would be great if some of the more well-known, and often published, Zebra/Pinnacle horror authors from the mid-80s through mid-90s heyday were to have new works published. Most of William W. Johnstone's and Ruby Jean Jensen's novels were above average to excellent, but alas, neither seems to be writing horror novels currently.
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on August 19, 2002
As a soon to be novelist, I don't give bad reviews often, because I know how hard it is to write a good story. Having said that, this tale is a disappointment. I won't just slam it, I will try and offer some constructive criticism.

Gresham starts out good with the opening, but the story bogs down at times. It just seems like a tedious read, however I did finish it. Any time I spend hard earned cash, I will definitely finish the book. Gresham wrote a good book in In the Blood, a novel that moves along smoothly.
However, Dark Magic does not read as easily. I don't know why and I can't put my finger on it, but it just becomes tedious. There are some redeeming qualities; his descriptive account about life in small-town Alabama, the sisters are actually fleshed out quite well and interesting. The Terror, the main part of the book, is just not fully realized, I think.
Mr Gresham, I hope this is helpful to you and I will continue to read your work. I believe any author that is published deserve's a chance, except maybe Ron Dee. Your book, In the Blood, was quite good, although I only gave it a 3-star. You have a great storyteller's voice in common everyday language. You don't over-write, which is probably the best compliment I could give u.
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on April 16, 2010
Like another reviewer I was disappointed in this book. I picked it up used at a local bookstore an am wishing I hadn't. It started out very good. Willow was an interesting character that I was looking forward to reading about. However, when she's taken by the Terror that's when this book started going downhill. This isn't a long or large book and I should have finished it within a couple days, not a week and a half. As it went on, I begin to feel the story was going nowhere, it wasn't holding my interest and it just plain got boring. I still don't really know how it ended or what the Terror was. It got that bad in the end, I just couldn't grasp it nor was I really wanting too. As the other reviewer said, it doesn't read easily and it's hard to put your finger on it. The book just goes down hill.

Also for a book about witches, I expected more spells or magic doings. Not here, the witches lose their magic and I can honestly say, it was so bad, I can't place where they got it back or how. This isn't a horror novel either, nothing scary here except perhaps boredom.

I don't recommend this book, I wish I hadn't spent so much reading time on it hoping it to get better towards the end. I'm giving it 2 stars for good beginning.
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