Tuesday, January 29, 2013

"The Savage Web" by Sharon Whitby

Ellen Farrell inherits a country cottage from the godmother she never really knew. The will stipulates that Ellen be single and that she live in the cottage for three months. She arrives in the small town of Mortcombe and quickly makes friends with a few of the locals.

Her attention is drawn to the stained glass window in the church of three women - described as the Three Marys. She decides to create a tapestry recreation of the window. Meanwhile, she discovers a strange scrapbook in the house. She eventually learns that the scrapbook wields the strange power to grant wishes or destroy lives. It appears that she is in line to become part of a long-standing evil legacy.

The teen horror novels of the late 80s and early 90s had more plot complications than this undercooked supernatural story. Not a lot really happens as Ellen goes about meeting the people in her new neighbourhood and learning about its history. The idea of a scrapbook with the power to bring good fortune or instant death to others is an intriguing one, but not explored well enough in this 190-page novel. The book was half over before the proceedings really started to kick into gear.

Playing a lot like a minor supernatural morality play, The Savage Web isn't too objectionable as it barely takes any time to read, but there's no scares or suspense to really make it worthwhile. Heck, even R.L. Stine can conjure up a more thrilling tale than this.

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