The Last Witch of Manhattan
The Last Witch of Manhattan is a self-pubbed YA novel by author Richard Lewis. As with many self-pubbed books, it could have used the competent hand of an editor and the sharp eye of a proofreader to really make it shine.
But wow! Did I enjoy this. Read it in two sittings. Mr. Lewis takes you on a wild ride that, admittedly, wanders off track from time to time but never far and never for long. This is a buckle-your-seatbelt kind of ride with more twists and turns and interweaving than a box full of pretzels. Mr. Lewis throws everything imaginable at you, including a cyclops cat, a Komodo dragon and the statues in Central Park. Surprisingly, and enjoyably, he makes it work.
It’s the story of twelve year old Eldie and her invisible friend Sam. Eldie’s mother, the last of the Balinese witches, was abducted when Eldie was but a baby. Eldie’s father, desperate to find his wife, vanishes while searching for her. Now someone, or something, is trying to kidnap her.
Part supernatural fantasy, part sci-fi, part thriller, it is a complex, and might I add fresh, story about the proverbial clash between good and evil using a superb blending of science and Balinese and Judeo-Christian mythology. Mr. Lewis keeps you guessing at all times: Where are you at, Where are you going, Is this the bad guy or the good guy, Is there a bad guy or a good guy, Which side will Eldie ultimately choose?
I’m a character oriented writer and much of the enjoyment I found in Last Witch was the depth and complexity of all the characters, both major and minor. They have their quirks, their foibles, their moments of insanity. One minute you like them, the next you don’t and the moment after that, you’re not so sure which way to go. This was a real treat.
There was also some very good writing here. Vivid descriptions that didn’t bog the story down, rich metaphors and more than a few laughs. I nearly spit coffee all over my netbook with this line: “I haven’t had this much fun since Georgia,” he yelled in Eldie’s ear.
I realize that line is taken out of context and may not mean much here. I guess you’ll just have to go buy the book and discover the context for yourself.