My rating: 4 of 5 stars
**MAY CONTAIN SPOILERS — PROCEED WITH CAUTION**
“The Burning Time” is a classic good v. evil tale that pits one lone wandering white magician against the Trickster of folklore. In this re-telling, the Trickster sets up shop in a small, rural New York town with the purpose of concentrating enough negative energies to call forth the ancient gods.
I found the story at first to be very intriguing, seeing how the townspeople were initially slowly and methodically brainwashed and brought into his power. The timing of which coincided with the arrival of the white magician, John Root and his befriending of a young man named Mitch and his sister, Danni. Shortly after this, however, the book took a more base turn that moved it out of the realm of a classic psychological to a more crass horror novel. Extremely graphic imagery and language abounds as the town descends into chaos before the inevitable conclusion.
There were many good points in the novel. It is very fast paced and makes for a quick read and the overall plot and writing is well done, even if the general story had been attempted many times before. My only real critiques would be the fact that some background characters start developing side plots that seem to be abandoned but would have helped give the town much more flavor and I am still confused about John Root’s age and origins. We are told that he had a family at one point, but the timeline set forth in the book didn’t mesh with some of the actions he takes, including what seems to be a forced and hurried love story with Danni put in place more as a plot device than as character development.
None of these questions kept me from enjoying the work, however. I did find it quite entertaining and would definitely look forward to reading works from this author in the future as he progresses through his career.