The International Writers Magazine: Y A Fiction
Witch Breed by Alan Gibbons
Orion Books 1 July 2010
Part 4 of Hell's Underground
Starting at the 4th installment of anything is probably a bad idea but Alan Gibbon's makes the task easy in this continuing time travel horror story. Paul Rector 'The Renegade' is born half-human - half demon. One of a long like of Rectors who have caused trouble down the ages. Paul is hunting his evil forbear Nathaniel Rector who is in league with the evil King Lud who is seeking to break the spell that binds him and then unleash a terrible force upon mankind. Paul is no young innocent. He knows he can kill a man with just a stare and he can acquire other demon skills by killing another demon (Like Syla in Heroes). In this installment he is thrown back to 6th June 1645. It is the time of the Witch-Finder General and for the torment of one Grace Fletcher, accused of being a witch because she has a bleeding sore that will not heal. Her child has allegedly been sold the devil but in reality is hidden from the inquisition in the lavish home of Sir James Rokeby.
Paul is busy tracking Nathaniel Rector, unaware that this evil man has gone forward in time to snatch Netty, his girlfriend and bring her back to 1645 for use as a bargaining tool. Nathaniel also needs Grace's child to unleash the seals that bind King Lud.
Meanwhile Grace is imprisoned and they are conducting inhuman tests upon her to prove she is a witch. She will not give in easy.
This is a complex but very pacy historical romp and any reader will be intriqued by the terrible injustices heaped upon innocent women accused of being witches. The adventure never stops and is replete with half human masked demons with claws, many awful murders and much mayhem and always the fate of the world held in balance.
Perhaps new readers could start with Book one 'Scared to Death' and work their way up to 'Witch-Breed' in the Hell's Underground series. For those familiar with Alan Gibson's books they will discover a terrifying exciting exposé of England's inglorious past and Paul and Netty have to go through hell to try and survive one more adventure.
© Sam Hawksmoor 2010
author of ' The Repossession of Genie Magee' Hodders Childrens 2011