Wither’s Legacy, by John Passarella

Wither's Legacy, by John Passarella book coverGenre: Horror
Publisher: Pocket Books
Published: 2004
Reviewer Rating:
Book Review by Lynn Nicole Louis

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Wither’s Legacy is the third in a series of books about Wendy Ward, a young Wiccan with growing magical powers. In the first two (which I have not read and have no plans to), Wendy is introduced to her powers and ends up pitted against an ancient witch by the name of Elizabeth Wither. Wither has survived centuries by moving from body to body, and for some reason (probably explained in the first book) has set her sights on wiping out Wendy.

Evidently, in the second book, Wendy overcame the witch and killed her, but with her dying breath, Wither cast a curse. Now flush with delight at her success, Wendy doesn’t realize Wither’s curse has awakened a Wendigo, a creature that mixes the worst traits of a werewolf and the abominable snowman, with the power to cause cold and a hunger for human flesh. Blithely traveling across the country, Wendy has no idea the Wendigo is on her trail, compelled by Wither’s curse to seek out Wendy and kill her.

There are the usual assortment of suspects. Alex, the boyfriend who was almost killed battling Wither alongside Wendy; he loves her yet she fears for his safety. Wendy, the young Wiccan, just starting to develop her true powers. Hannah, a ten year old shape-shifter. Abby, the Goth chick, who was previously infected by Wither’s blood and may not yet be free from that infection. Kayla, a five year-old girl, whom I think is the also the Crone, an astral manifestation from the future that pops up now and again to advise Wendy.

I’m sort of at a loss now as to what to say. For me, it ended up being your run-of-the-mill boogeyman book; the evil, powerful, supernatural, flesh eating monster hunting the hero, or in this case the heroine. Nothing about the book grabbed me; not the characters, not the plot, not the writing. It wasn’t a bad book, but there certainly wasn’t anything about it that made it stand out. I had no problem putting it down to turn off the light, or answer the phone, or to watch the news, even in the middle of a chapter. I guess, overall, I was bored. If I hadn’t been charged with reviewing it, I doubt I would have finished it.

Were it less gruesome, I might say this was a book intended for young teens, but in places it’s pretty gory. I’d put an age of about 15 and up on it. Maybe readers that young, and less jaded than I, would find it more compelling and the characters easier to relate to.

Researching the book, I see that Passarella has quite a following after his first two books, I’m sure these fans will enjoy Wither’s Legacy. It seems Passarella is determined to get a series going here, as there are some open ended elements, of this offering that will surely lead to another. I guess the best way I can sum this up is with a shrug and a non-committal “eh….”

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