I was blessed to receive this as an ARC in return for an honest review.
Mary roars into Town on a beast of a bike to heap havoc on the sleepy village of Burdon.
Only one poor deranged man knows her true identity.
A chilling tale of an ancient and primal being juxtaposed with the general malaise and stasis in the lives of all the main protagonists. Two teens drawn together by loss . Their parents in limbo in their interminable village existence. Each are caught in a prison of grief or dissatisfaction and the the village and it’s limited social and cultural offerings becomes a symbol of those boundaries.
It is into this melting pot of miserable people treading of water that Mary comes with a dark and frightening agenda of her own.
I found all of the characters sympathetic, Mary was drawn well and I enjoyed the development that occurs in all the others. There are no particular tropes at play here which was a refreshing change. I liked the female characters most. The unlikely heroic trio of the piece was handled with a sensitivity that would not have been present in the work of many others writing this kind of work.
Whilst there are sexual scenes, they are not overly gratuitous and fitting for the situation. The horror is not overblown, in fact what is most chilling is more the sense of wasted opportunity. Mary is a nasty piece of work and she is most frightening when she is using the selfish acts or guilty secrets of her quarry against them rather than the supernatural powers she has access too but her presence is ultimately a catalyst for change and growth.
It was also really lovely to meet another Morrigan after a joyous childhood introduction in the seminal children's Classic "The Weirdstone of Brisingamen."
The Return of the Morrigan's pacing was very good and the ending was immensely satisfying. Overall a good read, possible in three moderate sittings.
The cover artwork conveys the overall spirit of the book nicely too. Overall a very good read, possible in three moderate sittings.
I would definitely seek out more by this author.