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Wicca Girl

by R. Allen Leider

Published by Marietta Publishing

2009

Reviewed by Dale Arnold
Review posted 6/6/09



So, I wandered into a book launch party at Balticon 43 and decided to pick up a copy of Wicca Girl and read a few pages. I don’t read new authors often given I hate clunky prose and I find that many new authors have a thud-thud-thud author’s voice which disrupts storytelling. (You won’t find me on the Crook Award Committee.) Although Mr. Leider has substantial writing credit, I did not know that at the time and wanted to sample a bit to see how bad it might be. Fortunately, the author’s voice in this story is transparent in the right spots and clever in the right spots and lands with a thud in only one spot in the entire book--which I believe was a typo anyway. The story is a whimsical retelling of the popular God/Satan biblical mythos with the minor twist of a misunderstood Devil doing a difficult job as part of Gods master plan. The Devil is constantly being vexed by humans insisting his workmanship job of separating good and evil humans implies a personal desire to cause evil.

The title Wicca Girl is something of a misnomer because Wicca plays almost zip in the plot. We do have several characters, including the protagonist, engaging in accumulating supernatural power by non-Wicca means. We observe the birth of angels as per prophesy, centuries delayed vengeance, rising from the seeming dead and the evil of humans far surpassing that of old scratch himself. We have action adventure with an immortal heroine who consumes human flesh--but only to survive for centuries in order to do “good” as part of Gods plan. She limits herself to snacking only on “bad” people, so the comedy element of turn about being fair play is nicely developed in subplots. The Protagonist and her plucky sidekick’s actions are a bit supper hero in their nature and mundane government officials accept the miraculous more than they would anywhere other than a comic book universe. On the other hand this is a comic book like universe and the story is internally consistent which allows the willing suspension of disbelief necessary for this plot to work. The book has several pages of illustrations in a graphics novel style; however, this is not a graphic novel. It is simply an entertaining novel with abundant illustrations complimenting the plot. Physically the book clocks in at 198 pages in a trade paperback size with cover art that does relate to the story inside.

The only real negative criticism is the first part drags just a bit as the small alterations to the Judaeo-Christian mythos are introduced by telling and not showing; however, the author gets to the more dynamic story elements fast enough that I did not feel greatly put upon. All in all this is a good book that passes the is-it-fun test.









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