Thursday, February 15, 2018
Book Review: 'The Path' by E.H. James
Canadian author E.H. James is a prolific writer of short stories – stories that test the imagination and call forth ghost like thoughts of the dark world about which we know very little. James is part of that conundrum as there is no biographical information on this gifted author as though that is meant to be part of the mysteries presented. We learn that she has read and researched in the areas of parapsychology and metaphysics, for the past 40 years, and has woven the real and imaginary together into stories of the strange and bizarre. The fruits of her labor show!
James’ mastery of the short story is obvious to those readers fortunate to have been introduced to her craft. In a matter a few pages she is able to conjure an atmosphere that challenges the reader’s courage to enter past the initial page, and the manner in which she quickly sketches lifelike characters and draws us into their interactions with the challenges they encounter is masterful.
THE DEMON SERIES of which THE PATH: KEEPER OF THE AMAARAND is the eighth volume demonstrates James’ mastery of the short story. In a brief 61 pages she elevates the suspense for the entire series even more. The entire Demon Series covers centuries; the eighth volume returns to California, 1968.
James’ synopsis covers the story well - ‘When Max Jensen is brutally murdered, on September 9, 1962, Timmy Jensen’s life is changed forever. Timmy adored Max, and his loss was something neither he, nor his parents, could overcome. Shunned and ostracized, as the brother of that murdered teen, Timmy manages to find a job with a kind man by the name of Earl Jackman. Hauling away junk from people’s attics, Timmy meets Jenny Krieger and falls in love. Only Jenny’s father won’t have it, and she is shipped off to boarding school in Europe. But not before he meets Jenny’s grandma and is given a powerful medallion, known as the Amaarand. Told he can use it to rescue his brother Max’s soul from hell, he must now patiently wait for his opportunity. He just didn’t know he’d have to wait until 2012.’
Knowing that the series continues makes the mystery of part 8 a very exciting continuation and growth. E.H. James’ masterful uses of the back and forth time frames for the series adds immeasurably to the suspense, with backgrounds offered in a near random fashion to explain the destinies of her characters. She is a master writer. Grady Harp, February 18
This book is free to borrow from Kindle Unlimited
SFRB's free daily email notice so you can be up-to-date on our latest articles. Scroll up this page to the sign-up field on your right.