Critical Mass – Don D’Amassa
The Witch at Sparrow Creek by Josh Kent, Hippocampus, 2015, $20, ISBN 978-1-61498-123-7
This debut novel appears to be the first in a planned series about Jim Falk, who battles evil, mostly of the supernatural variety. The setting is an imaginary world that bears considerable resemblance to colonial America. Falk’s father was taken from him by agents of Old Bendy when he was just a boy because he had been trying to rid the land of various evils, and now Jim is filling in for him. Those evils include some very nasty gentlemen, a powerful witch, and mysterious forest creatures. He has few allies (and not all of them are human) with which to wage his private war. The plot is pretty good and reminded me at times of some of the later work of Manly Wade Wellman. The violence is somewhat subdued and there is a good element of mystery. The prose is only rarely a bit awkward and a few scenes are a bit too long for their content, but overall this was nicely done. 3/26/15
“The Witch at Sparrow Creek is a scintillating novel—filled with lovingly drawn characters, a profound sense of place, and an abundance of supernatural terrors that will leave every reader enthralled. It is one of the finest first novels that the field of weird fiction has seen in many years.” —S. T. Joshi
“The Witch at Sparrow Creek is is a resurrection of the genre, pulling those of us who care about such things back to a better time when these novels meant something — and, it helps to usher in a new generation of fans who will soon find themselves enthralled with this small, almost fictional town and its too real people. In Kent’s debut novel, we are introduced to not only resonating horror but to a long and promising career for the author.” — Joel L. Watts, author
One of the bigger joys of this book was getting to see the drafts of the cover art for the first time.
Artist Jason C. Eckhardt gave light and shadow to people and places who had only ever existed in my mind! Just think of how it might feel to suddenly be looking at the face of someone you’d only ever pictured in your head… Thanks for an amazing, classy cover, Jason!
Jason articulated the essence of the novel – and through his skill I recognized immediately the face and form of my main character, Jim Falk, surrounded by the rickety homes, stark wilderness, and suspicious citizens of Sparrow.
I’ve never had the pleasure of meeting Mr. Eckhardt, but he’s a talent to be reckoned with. Check out his many accomplishments here. AND here!
“Jason is an illustrator who got his start with the legendary Necronomicon Press back in the late 1970s and has been at it ever since. His work has also appeared in publications by Dell Magazines, Arkham House, Hippocampus Press and Centipede Press, to name a few. Jason is also five-time winner of the Best Editorial Cartoon of the Year award from the New England Press and Newspaper Association. A life-long devotee of the writings of H.P.Lovecraft…”
– I couldn’t find the author to contribute the write up on Jason Eckhardt, please let me know who I can credit. Facebook group https://www.facebook.com/LovecraftbioGN/posts/698171633598964
Below is an alternate cover that he created. This cover shows one of the many action sequences in the narrative
– Jim Falk engaged in combat with “The Spook” – Fantastic stuff!
Thanks for your time, energy, and major talent, Jason!
“Sparrow 2” copyright 2015 Jason C. Eckhardt