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Reviewed by Hilary Hawkes for Readers' Favorite
In Creole Moon The Betrayal by ST Holmes, Sgt. George Francis Genois, an officer in the Confederate army, finds himself under the black magic spell of Mamuska (The Chicken Man) and his wife Ophelia. The pair causes George to fall in love with the sentenced to death Jewella. This is a part of their plan to use her body for the elderly Ophelia to inhabit in their quest for immortality. George had always been skeptical about love, but pleads for the wicked sorcerer to bring Jewella back to life for him. He shoots and kills Ophelia in his desperation and anger. Mamuska enlists the help of the gods to search Limbo for the spirit of his wife (so that he can perform a ceremony for her to live again in Jewella’s body), and George is turned into a supernatural life force condemned by Mamuska and Ophelia to live trapped in the swamps as half savage beast and half human. Can George find the way to control the beast’s urges, break the spell, and become normal again?
Creole Moon The Betrayal is written to a high standard, and the plot is both well developed and engaging – moving along at a good pace. ST Holmes’ style really draws you into the story and will keep you guessing to the end. This is a real page turner and chapter by chapter I was intrigued and couldn’t put the book down. The descriptions of the bizarre and mystical happenings are vividly portrayed in this immensely imaginative story. The characters are excellent – well defined and believable. I did feel sorry for poor George falling victim to the wicked Mamuska – his only “crime” being to scoff at his own brother’s belief in love and marriage. Eventually, of course, for him love results in the release of all sorts of unbelievable powers. It is these powers – both good or well-intentioned, and others that may end up as or be used for self-seeking and evil ends - that the story explores. An entertaining and thought-provoking read by an excellent writer – recommended.