Boose, Greg. The Red Bishop. Full Fathom Five, 2014.
Reviewed by J. d’Artagnan Love
**I was given this book in exchange for an honest review**
Lake Price’s entire life changed when her brother, Kimball, disappeared. Since his disappearance Lake’s main goal was to get into dangerous situations that would help her forget about the pain his absence left behind. One evening, shortly before Thanksgiving, Lake and her friends decide to spend the night in a haunted house and they get way more than they bargained for. They discover a coven of evil witches and from that point on, Lake’s life spirals into a crazy adventure of witch hunting. Halstead, a man who spends his life tracking the witches, believes that Lake is the Red Bishop, an individual genetically programmed to hunt witches.
The Red Bishop is not written for adults. It is not written for young adults. It’s audience is mature children and pre-teens and the writing reflects this as the language is simplistic and the story very linear. The characters are very much teenagers and their dialogue is peppered with “dude!” and “like” and “bro”. That being said, the characters are pretty lovable, though they could stand for some better development. It appears that this will be the first book in a series so hopefully we can learn more about the characters in the coming novels.
My only quibble with this book really is the character development. Lake’s initial reaction to first being attacked by the witches is blasé. She doesn’t react with disbelief or with shock; she is angry and intensely determined to figure out the connection between the witches her brother. Halstead has the potential to be an immensely interesting character but lacks the required back story readers need to bond with him. The best developed characters are Lake and John and, as I said earlier, I hope in the next books of the series, we can get to know the rest of them more deeply too.
The best part of The Red Bishop is the creep factor. These witches are seriously creepy. Seriously. Creepy. I’ve read plenty of scary stories so I’ve been exposed to lots of different creepy bad guys, but the witches in this book are some of the creepiest bad guys I’ve ever met. Even though this was written for mature children and pre-teens, as an adult I was thoroughly frightened by the scenes with the witches. The hair on my arms stood on end and I had to turn on every light in my home. Yeah.
This is a really fun read as long as you don’t expect it to be written for a mature audience. Weaknesses aside, this book is still written better than the last book of the Divergent series. (Did I really just write that? Bad d’Arty….)
3 darts out of 5
This book is FOR people: who don’t mind reading simplistic writing, who are looking for a good scare, and who want a quick, fun read.
This book is NOT FOR people: who want in-depth character development.