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Reviewed by Carlton Rolle
Erik Straker was born in South Carolina in 1977. Ever since he was young, a rich southern history of ghosts and haunts served as inspiration. Erik went to film school for a number of years and applies what he learned about film to his writing, using a predominantly visual style. Coming from a background of film and art, Erik has other projects in the works besides just his future novels. Graphic novels, short films, music albums, and other artistic endeavors are completely up for grabs. Writing is his full-time love, and he works to perfect his craft every day. He writes mostly in the horror and dark fantasy genres. When not writing, he enjoys comic books, movies, music, and family time.
The house at 129 Walsh Street in Summerhaven, New Hampshire, has a long and gruesome past. Many people have died in the house under strange situations. So much so, people living in the town believe the house and its inhabitants are haunted. Many townsfolk will keep distance from with the inhabitants.
The story primarily follows the life of Angela Tremblay. She has lived in the house with her family ever since she was a kid. The Tremblay family have had their fair share of unusual deaths at the house. Angela’s mother died when she was young. Her drunk and abusive father was left to look after her and her sister Lillian. Angela witnessed her father get murdered. She had a mental shock and forgot all but fragments of her memory. After the events, Angela and Lillian moved away but returned to live there as adults.
Upon getting pregnant and moving back into the house, Angela finds herself in the grips of something evil. One night after returning home from work, Angela found Lillian hanging in the basement. Of course this stresses Angela and the unborn baby. Angela starts seeing things in the house frequently and eventually she sees her recently deceased sister. She believes that her sister’s spirit needs help. This pushes Angela to look for a way to be able to communicate with the spirits. On cue, a mysterious old psychic named Viviannaapproaches Angela with information that may be able to help her. The psychic gives Angela some tools and rules for communication with spirits. Angela tries later that night with no immediate response. The following day, activity within the house multiples, and Angela realizes that she is in a deeper situation then she planned. The spirit of her father manifests and Angela is left scrambling to save herself.
Vivianna comes to the house to rescue Angela. After she does, she helps Angela to remember her memories of childhood. Flooding her mind, emotions and revelations come to Angela. Angela discovers that she is a descendant of the Witch of Summerhaven, Esme Delapaz. This is the strongest body of evil present in the house. This is the one who is causing inhabitants to become cursed. Angela finds that Esme has manipulated her ever since she was born.
Armed with more information, Angela decides to return to the house to put an end to the madness. She and Vivianna say a spell that summons Esme and makes her physical. Upon confrontation, Angela stabs Esme with a magical knife which drains her of more power. Angela then found Esme’s severed tongue and eats it. This gives more power than she ever dreamed of. With the newfound power, Angela burns Esme and the rest of the house to the ground.
Readers are left thinking all of the descendants of Esme the Witch of Summerhavenare dead. But before the end, we find that Angela transferred her unborn baby to Vivianna through magic. We find that the one actually telling the story is this last descendant and a witch herself.
I enjoyed reading this book. It was engrossing and well written. There were times when I wasn’t sure want to expect. It captured me. I also like the way that the story is told. Stories of previous residents of the house jump back and forth in time. There’s constantly more information that you learn about the situation. I also loved the way the family lineage was explained and eventually connected. The biggest complaint that I would have for the book would be that it wasn’t long enough!
Eric Straker has crafted a book that spooks and thrills. Incantations has enough effects in all of its areas without overdoing it. The book left me enchanted by the chilling power. I’m sure others will be so as well. Learn more about Eric at his website: http://www.erikstraker.com