Strange Happenings in the Woods

Title: Sorceress by Greg Herren
Publisher: Tiny Satchel Press
419 pages
Genre: young adult

This book will be released on November 23, 2010 - I purchased this book at a book signing by the author and publisher in Philadelphia on 11/14/10.

Synopsis:Laura Pryce, 17, has just completed her junior year of high school when her parents are killed in a car accident and she must go live with her Great Aunt Melisande, whom she has never met. Once at her aunt's huge and rambling house, she discovers a series of paintings. The faces of the women--all from different historical periods--are the same as hers. Her aunt tells her it's a weird genetic anomaly--that each generation has the face and that it brings with it an exciting future.
But Laura begins to have strange and terrifying dreams. She seeks out friendship in her aunt's assistant--Jake. Jake, however, has secrets of his own. What happened to his family?As Laura feels increasingly isolated by her surroundings where cell phones fail to work and internet connections easily die, the dreams escalate until Laura cannot discern the difference between what is really a dream and what is happening at the strange, huge house. All she is certain of is that she is in danger..

Review: I am a huge fan of Greg Herren's two adult mystery series and now he has ventured into the world of YA fiction. Sorceress is filled with mystery and disturbing answers.

Laura believes that she has no other relatives but her parents but when they die in a car crash she is contacted by a long lost aunt. Her aunt begs her to come live with her for the summer just to reconnect with family. She consents and leaves all that she knows behind.

When she reaches her aunts in California strange things start happening that she can't explain, and voices in her head keep warning her of danger. The woods behind her aunts house are spooky and she keeps having strange dreams about them that seem so real but they can't be, can they? Then there is her aunts houseboy Jake, he's gorgeous, moody and has a darkness that surrounds him.  She isn't sure if she should be afraid of Jake or if its her aunt that is the real danger but she gets caught up in a mystery that if she can't figure out could claim her life.

I found myself sucked into this story. It wasn't the most complex but it was a fun quick read. For Herren's first YA book I think he did a good job of capturing the teenage characters in the book and the story held your attention and the action kept it moving along. I know that he has a few more YA books in the works and I look forward to seeing how they progress.