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Season of the Witch Hardcover – April 19, 2007

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Starred Review. This spellbinding tale of magic and seduction from Mostert (Windwalker) shows that the unfettered pursuit of arcane enlightenment can sometimes come at too high a price. William Whittington, a terminally ill London investment banker, hires Gabriel Blackstone, a rakish "information broker," to find Robert, his missing 21-year-old son. Whittington's wife, who happens to be Blackstone's ex-girlfriend, knows Blackstone once belonged to an organization, Eyestorm, that used psychic methods to find missing objects and persons. When Blackstone draws on his remote viewing powers ("slamming the ride"), he discovers that Robert was murdered by one of two sisters—raven-haired Morrighan or flame-haired Minnaloushe Monk, direct descendants of Elizabethan occultist John Dee, who dabble in alchemy and the "Art of Memory." As Blackstone woos the suspects to discover which one is guilty, he falls desperately in love. Mostert, a South African writer now living in London, has produced a feverish tale that's goth SF at its finest. (Apr.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From Booklist

In the early pages of Mostert's intriguing gothic thriller, crafty London computer hacker Gabriel Blackstone agrees to help track down a millionaire's missing stepson. His search leads him to two beautiful--and literally bewitching--sisters, Minnaloushe and Morrighan Monk. (Their ancient Irish names are but a hint of their eccentric natures.) The sexy siblings (all pale skin, dark and flowing hair, and light, haunting eyes) are immersed in the occult, and it's not long before at least one of them has climbed inside Gabriel's mind. But Gabriel, it turns out, is a clairvoyant himself. Can he tap into the sisters' secrets before becoming forever entangled in their web? Mostert (Windwalker, 2005) renders suspense, an atmosphere fraught with eroticism, and compelling characters (the comely sisters display a killer combination of femininity and guile). Fans of Anne Rice and Joyce Carol Oates should appreciate Mostert's take on mysticism, magic, and the ancient art of memory, while others may find the author's premise a bit too "woo-woo" for their tastes. Allison Block
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 416 pages
  • Publisher: Dutton Adult; 1 edition (April 19, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0525950036
  • ISBN-13: 978-0525950035
  • Product Dimensions: 6.3 x 1.4 x 9.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (109 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #668,282 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Author of six suspense novels...
Brilliant, raven-haired psychic...
Saw her first ghost at age four...
Likes to take midnight rides on horseback and practices levitation twice a day...

OK, the part about the levitation and the horses is made up. The 'raven-haired psychic' description might be slightly over the top as well. And I haven't seen a ghost yet, but I plan to. The bit about the suspense novels is true.

I live in London and I write dark, psychological thrillers with a strong dash of mysticism and the paranormal. My fourth book, SEASON OF THE WITCH, is a modern gothic thriller about techgnosis and the Art of Memory and has won the Book to Talk About: World Book Day Award 2009.

Even though my books deal with subjects that are otherworldly, I like to keep the narrative firmly rooted in reality and my research is rigorous.

My interest in mysticism started in early childhood when I was growing up in South Africa. My aia (nanny) was a Zulu woman who introduced me to African legends and the world of the insangoma (witch doctors). For many years I thought she was the coolest person on the planet and tried to emulate her in every way. I remember exasperating my mother by stacking bricks below each corner of the bed to keep out of reach of the tokkelosh - an evil gnome with an enormous head but very short legs! Years later I would write about this in my debut novel, THE MIDNIGHT SIDE.

I now write full-time. I am working on my sixth novel, titled DARK PRAYER and have recently sold my first Hollywood screenplay. Previous jobs include selling shoes, teaching Afrikaans at a South African university and moonlighting as a project coordinator in the publishing department of a public television station in New York City.

If you care to visit my website, www.natashamostert.com, you will find notes on how I plot my books, questions for book clubs and links to YouTube videos. You may also wish to try your hand at one of my games. The SEASON OF THE WITCH Memory Game is based on alchemy and will tax your power of recollection. THE KEEPER Game is martial-arts based and takes the form of a fun personality quiz. Discover if you are a Warrior, a Healer or a Thief...

Praise for Natasha Mostert

'Bedtime reading for the brave'
The Times (London)

'Intellectual meets Paranormal'
Graffiti

'Goth SF at its finest'
Publishers Weekly

'one of the most original voices on the literary scene... a master wordsmith'
Glamour Magazine

'a brain-squeezing thriller'
Kirkus

'hauntingly elegant'
Booklist

'Highly accomplished'
Toronto Globe and Mail

'A unique, wild imagination'
Bangor Chronicle

'Classy psychic thriller...original, unsettling... kicks the usual preconceptions into shape'
The Literary Review

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

18 of 18 people found the following review helpful By Diana Faillace Von Behren TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on May 27, 2007
Format: Hardcover
In "Season of the Witch", Natasha Mostert writes a satisfying intellectual novel that entertains the reader on multi-levels. Combining a knowledge of computer technology, the occult and psychology, she weaves a story that teases the "seeker" in all of us while transforming a could-have-been mundane tale of two erotic witches and their boy-toys into an interesting peek at the age-old quest for ultimate gnosis.

Mostert's characters are ripe with the usual heroic attributes: good looks, charisma, and extraordinary sensory skills. Accomplished and hubristic, Gabriel, the lead player, makes his living as an information thief. Prowling the streets of London like a modern day Artful Dodger, he pick-pockets bits and bytes of cyberspace with wireless devices and sells them off to the highest corporate bidders. As a one-time "remote viewer" (a natural talent that enables one to "see" with the mind of another) he is contacted by Frankie, his former lover, to "slam a ride" into the mind of Robbie, her missing stepson, to discover his whereabouts. Minnaloushe and Morrighan Monk, two sisters that Gabriel senses during his ride, are not only beautiful and brilliant; they have developed an intricate memory palace (shades of Hannibal Lector) where they can hone their arcane skills as solar witches. Together, the three forge a fascinating trio; all are willing to give their all to maximize their innate skills while feeding their private desires.

From the start, Gabriel knows that one of the beautiful Monks has done away with Frankie's stepson. However, he finds that he is in love with the unknown writer of a highly imaginative digital diary that he is able to clandestinely glimpse at using his skills as a computer hacker.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Carl V. Anderson on August 22, 2007
Format: Hardcover
Enter a world of beauty and darkness... I was intrigued by the beautiful cover image and the enigmatic tag line of Natasha Mostert's novel, Season of the Witch, when it arrived in my mailbox for review. That is, until I turned the book over. It wasn't the completion of the tag line: Two sisters. A mysterious house. And a man searching for the truth. That sounded positively gothic, a niche of fiction I thoroughly enjoy. It was quotes like, "A mesmerizing blend of alchemy and sexuality. Prepare to be seduced." and phrases like "fraught with eroticism" and "dangerous sex" that brought forth mental images of a witchy ménage a trios that put me off the idea of diving right into this book. Strange, inner jacket comparisons with The Matrix, Interview with a Vampire, and The Historian did not evoke much confidence that this would be a book that I would ultimately enjoy despite liking all those things.

Having just spent the last several hours hanging on every word of the last 200 pages of Season of the Witch, I have never been more happy to say, "Boy, was I ever wrong!" The old adage of "don't judge a book by its cover", or more accurately, "its cover blurbs", held very true for my experience with Natasha Mostert's gripping novel.

From the book jacket:

Gabriel Blackstone is a hacker, information thief, and skilled "remote viewer"-he makes an excellent living stealing other people's secrets. When a former lover asks him to look into the disappearance of her stepson, Gabriel's investigations lead him to Monk House, a rambing Victorian home where time seems to stand still. Gabriel becomes increasingly bewitched by the house, and by its owners...

Contrary to what the jacket blurbs would lead one to believe, this is not some sort of occultish erotic thriller.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Terri Rowan on May 10, 2007
Format: Hardcover
London is full of secrets. Gabriel Blackstone should know. He's a professional information thief. He and his partner can hack almost any system, if the price is right. Life is good, until an old flame shows up needing his help.

His ex-girlfriend, now married to a wealthy businessman, wants Gabriel to use a special ability--one he has tried to forget--to find her stepson. The search leads to a pair of sisters who immediately enchant him. Obsessed with the power of memory and alchemy, they draw him into a magical world where he is tempted to forget the nature of his job.

A mysterious journal, suspicious deaths, and growing fascination with the sisters' world brings Gabriel to places he never thought to revisit. Love and danger mingle to create a situation he will be lucky to survive.

This is a unique adventure that will take readers on a mind-trip of power, lust, greed, and magic. The story begins with a character involved in high-tech espionage and takes the reader on a paranormal ride.

The characters are beautifully illustrated, each with distinctive qualities. Pacing gets a bit slow at times, especially as Gabriel gets submerged in the sisters' arts. Aside from the pacing, the plot is well constructed and contains a couple decent twists. The settings range from urban London to the magical house and garden that belong to the sisters, and where Gabriel spends a great deal of time.

I've not read many books like this, and I recommend it to readers who would like a change of pace.

Reviewed by Christina Wantz Fixemer

05/10/2007
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