It’d be hard to lie and say 2016 hasn’t been a depressing year. War in the Middle East has intensified, a nasty presidential election has left the nation feeling empty inside, many terrorists attacks have shaken the world, and countless cultural icons have passed away (including Carrie Fisher and George Michael earlier this week). However, there’s a saying that fiction is a way to showcase how worse or better a world like ours can be. That is why this New Year’s Eve, I am going to review a new book that part of something somewhat special to me. That is, the third installment of Evan Michael Martin’s “Clio Boru” series!
If you remember, the series follows Wiccan sorceress named Clio Boru, who works with her two Irish wolfhounds/dire wolves, a cryptozoologist named Roger and local officer/love interest John, in confronting the supernatural events that plague their quaint small town of Lake Melts, Wisconsin.
Beginning with “Sorceress Rising”, followed by “Sorceress Revealed”, we now have the latest book on the shelves. Let’s continue the tradition of reviewing this novel, the next installment of a series I began with on this blog and have continued to love, and review Clio Boru #3: “Sorceress Resurrected”.
Following the events of “Sorceress Revealed”, the coven has been disbanded and the demonic evil has been defeated, but the malevolent Rachel Sparrow has escaped and Clio has been in an accident. Placed in ICU and in a comatose state, Clio soon finds herself trapped between the physical and spiritual realms of existence, and finds help from one of her Wiccan ancestors named Brigit Boru (the same one who died from fighting the werewolf’s ancestor from “Sorceress Rising”), who reveals to Clio that dark forces are returning to Lake Melts. Not only that, but she is from a long line of powerful Irish sorceresses who are descended from gods and goddesses of Wiccan belief.
However, in the physical realm, all is not well. Sooner than you can say, “Lions and Tigers and Bears, oh my,” said evil arrives in Lake Melts. With Clio out of commission, her boyfriend John and paranormal expert/friend Roger Marquette are tasked with tracking down a boy transformed from Rachel’s misuse of magic. What follows is them tracking down new threat that killed two local boys, a dangerous creature from Native-American lore called…a Wendigo.
I often talked about how Evan Michael Martin’s books have felt like Stephen King stories, but reading them again reveals television vibes such as Twin Peaks, Sleepy Hollow and Supernatural, telling tales about witchcraft, werewolves, faeries, demons, ghosts and wendigoes.
It felt odd to read the novel seeing as how Clio is asleep for most of the story, and I often talk about how she’s a breath of fresh air. I like her in “Rising” and “Revealed”, and it felt out of place to not have her be in the action of the book. Granted, she isn’t like Sleeping Beauty where she’s COMPLETELY asleep throughout and that’s it; we do see her perspective in the different astral plane, she learns more about herself and her true abilities among ancestors. I also love the conversations between Brigit and Clio; this sentimental bond you feel between a grandmother and her that makes you want to relax alongside them, talking about legends, myths and spells galore. Heck, there’s even a moment where Clio wonders whether a magic fight between them would be similar to the three good fairies fighting in Disney’s Sleeping Beauty or not.
Now that I would love to read in the future! Or better yet, a spell fight between Clio Boru and Gwen vs. Rachel. That’d be pretty epic to imagine!
Roger is still as spunky as ever, having become a main character ever since Karl died…spoilers. And John still remains his skeptical but optimistic self, though we do see them grow as characters, especially with what happened to their friend. I’ll admit that the romance between John and Clio didn’t impress me as much with them trying to be good friends in the last book while clearly being attracted to each other, but that doesn’t mean I cannot see them as a couple. Throughout “Sorceress Resurrected”, we see scenes where John is torn apart by seeing Clio in a hospital bed, and we do feel the agony he goes through, and I do love the chemistry between them.
I also love some of the side characters that make more prominent appearances, such as this character from “Sorceress Revealed”, a teenage girl from the witch coven named Gwen who helped Clio out and wants to become her apprentice. She’s polite, but also determined with a level of bravery, at least for a teenage girl. I didn’t mind her so much at first, but I do end up finding her shy but likeable as a character, and even hope she becomes a main character alongside Clio and friends in future books. I’d also love to see more of Clio teaching her about the ways of the Wiccan culture and have us as the readers learn everything fascinating about it.
The action and suspense in the novel are good as well, with dark imagery and intense moments of dread and mystery in the scenes it needs to be in. the one scene where we see the monster firsthand is a terrifying sight to imagine, and the descriptions given for it killing the boys and victims were unsettling and downright gory.
Aside from a little too many CAPS in some screaming onomatopoeia (seriously, it can get a little repetitive to read), I surprisingly have only a couple of small irks with “Sorceress Resurrected”. I may tick a few fans off, but…I didn’t like Charlie Deer, the character of the Wendigo, compared to the previous villains. Don’t get the wrong idea: I love the idea of having Clio’s friends go up against a terrifying wendigo, especially if it connects to Rachel Sparrow and her becoming more powerful of a foe, but he isn’t developed that much.
I won’t pretend that Gavaudan (the werewolf from the first book), Gene Van Der Hochster or Rachel Sparrow are the most complex villains, but I will give the author credit for making them intimidating, fearsome, and having well-developed backstories. In “Sorceress Rising”, it had chapters with Gavaudan’s point-of-view in his wolf form, and we experienced his feral mindset as he loved and embraced being a monstrous werewolf. For Gene Van Der Hochster, we watched as he formed a coven to molest teenage girls, and we saw how he got over his head because he just wanted to satisfy his perversions (which led to his undoing).
With Charlie Deer, all we learned about him from a couple chapters was that he’s a tempered young man who has trouble with his mother. Don’t get the wrong idea: we saw how his relationship is, we know what led to his turning into a beast via Rachel, but we didn’t experience it as much as the other antagonists. I wanted to know more about Charlie and his mother, even know more about what happened and read chapters of him first experiencing the effects of becoming a Wendigo.
Instead, we focused more on Rachel, which for the most part isn’t a bad thing. I mean, when she acts evil and malevolent with power, she REALLY acts evil and malevolent with power. Imagine a demented Carrie White who adores what she does, going so far as to torture her former classmates and coven sisters in the most horrific ways imaginable.
Also, there’s two climaxes for some reason, and it may put off a few readers. I didn’t mind, since it meant I didn’t know which way the story would go. But yeah.
However, that doesn’t mean I hate or even dislike the book. “Sorceress Resurrected” is a good installment for the Clio Boru series. While it wasn’t as action-packed or full of mystery as previous stories, it did have moments of suspense and beautiful commentary on Wiccan, Native-American and Irish lore. I also really love how Evan Michael Martin provides commentary in the book how Wiccan and Christian teachings are more similar than different, in that the Wicca has been around thousands of years before the birth of Christ and has equally defended against demons and monsters.
If you have the time, give this a read, and welcome yourself back to Lake Melts.
Have a Happy New Year everybody! See you in 2017.
Thank you for taking your time here! 🙂 Please leave a reply or comment below. Knowing that someone is reading this is what keeps me going, and I’d love to know everyone else’s opinion is on these books or any recommendations for future reviews.
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