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Season of the Witch [Hardcover]

Natasha Mostert
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (28 customer reviews)

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Book Description

2 April 2007
Gabriel Blackstone is a cool, hip, thoroughly 21st Century Londoner with an unusual talent. A computer hacker by trade, he is - by inclination - a remote viewer; someone whose unique gifts enable him to 'slam rides' through the thought processes of others. But slamming rides is something he only does with the greatest reluctance - until he is contacted by an ex-lover who begs him to use his gift to find her step-son, last seen months earlier in the company of two sisters. And so Gabriel visits Monk House in Chelsea, a place where time seems to stand still. Its living room is filled with the perfume of roses, African masks line the walls and everywhere - on doors, on walls, on ceilings even - the mysterious coded symbol of cross and circle dominates. As the dog days of summer turn into a cold and hostile winter, Gabriel becomes increasingly bewitched by the house, and by its owners, the beautiful, enigmatic Monk sisters - one of whom is a deadly killer, and who will stop at nothing to protect a terrifying secret that is as old as time itself. Season of the Witch is an extraordinary Gothic thriller that takes on big themes - love, death, alchemy, the power of the human mind to transform and transcend reality - and wraps them into a thriller narrative that will beguile and entrance all who turn its pages.


Product details

  • Hardcover: 432 pages
  • Publisher: Bantam Press (2 April 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0593057899
  • ISBN-13: 978-0593057896
  • Product Dimensions: 23.4 x 15.2 x 3.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (28 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,195,570 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Author of five suspense novels...
Brilliant, raven-haired psychic...
Saw her first ghost at age four...
Likes to take midnight rides on horseback and practices levitation twice a day...

OK, the part about the levitation and the horses is made up. The 'raven-haired psychic' description might be slightly over the top as well. And I haven't seen a ghost yet, but I plan to. The bit about the suspense novels is true.

I live in London and I write dark, psychological thrillers with a strong dash of mysticism and the paranormal. My fourth book, SEASON OF THE WITCH, is a modern gothic thriller about techgnosis and the Art of Memory and has won the Book to Talk About: World Book Day Award 2009.

Even though my books deal with subjects that are otherworldly, I like to keep the narrative firmly rooted in reality and my research is rigorous.

My interest in mysticism started in early childhood when I was growing up in South Africa. My aia (nanny) was a Zulu woman who introduced me to African legends and the world of the insangoma (witch doctors). For many years I thought she was the coolest person on the planet and tried to emulate her in every way. I remember exasperating my mother by stacking bricks below each corner of the bed to keep out of reach of the tokkelosh - an evil gnome with an enormous head but very short legs! Years later I would write about this in my debut novel, THE MIDNIGHT SIDE.

I now write full-time. I am working on my sixth novel, titled DARK PRAYER and have recently sold my first Hollywood screenplay. Previous jobs include selling shoes, teaching Afrikaans at a South African university and moonlighting as a project coordinator in the publishing department of a public television station in New York City.

If you care to visit my website, www.natashamostert.com, you will find notes on how I plot my books, questions for book clubs and links to YouTube videos. You may also wish to try your hand at one of my games. The SEASON OF THE WITCH Memory Game is based on alchemy and will tax your power of recollection. THE KEEPER Game is martial-arts based and takes the form of a fun personality quiz. Discover if you are a Warrior, a Healer or a Thief...

PRAISE FOR NATASHA MOSTERT

'Bedtime reading for the brave'
The Times (London)

'Intellectual meets Paranormal'
Graffiti

'Goth SF at its finest'
Publishers Weekly (Starred review)

'one of the most original voices on the literary scene... a master wordsmith'
Glamour Magazine

'a brain-squeezing thriller'
Kirkus (Starred review)

'hauntingly elegant'
Booklist

'Highly accomplished'
Toronto Globe and Mail

'A unique, wild imagination'
Bangor Chronicle

'Classy psychic thriller...original, unsettling... kicks the usual preconceptions into shape'
The Literary Review

Product Description

Review

` Mostert writes with a deft, detailed feminine touch. Where the text does
shine is in Mostert's descriptive power and her research into the arcane
dabblings of ancient magicians. The old house where the strange sisters
live is both menacing and full of sensual promise. This is a promising
novel and Mostert is one to watch for the future.' -- Daily Mail

`Mostert has taken a blend of alchemy, the art of memory, mysticism and
high magic a nd created a pageturner.' -- Time Out

'Compelling and original storytelling: a mesmerizing blend of
alchemy and sexuality. Prepare to be seduced by it.' -- Mo Hayder

Book Description

Can you really enter someone's mind - and find pure evil? A mesmerising psychological thriller about two women, and a deadly secret they will kill to protect. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars One Wild Ride 30 Jun 2007
Format:Hardcover
In "Season of the Witch", Natasha Mostert writes a satisfying intellectual novel that entertains the reader on multi-levels. Combining a knowledge of computer technology, the occult and psychology, she weaves a story that teases the "seeker" in all of us while transforming a could-have-been mundane tale of two erotic witches and their boy-toys into an interesting peek at the age-old quest for ultimate gnosis.

Mostert's characters are ripe with the usual heroic attributes: good looks, charisma, and extraordinary sensory skills. Accomplished and hubristic, Gabriel, the lead player, makes his living as an information thief. Prowling the streets of London like a modern day Artful Dodger, he pick-pockets bits and bytes of cyberspace with wireless devices and sells them off to the highest corporate bidders. As a one-time "remote viewer" (a natural talent that enables one to "see" with the mind of another) he is contacted by Frankie, his former lover, to "slam a ride" into the mind of Robbie, her missing stepson, to discover his whereabouts. Minnaloushe and Morrighan Monk, two sisters that Gabriel senses during his ride, are not only beautiful and brilliant; they have developed an intricate memory palace (shades of Hannibal Lector) where they can hone their arcane skills as solar witches. Together, the three forge a fascinating trio; all are willing to give their all to maximize their innate skills while feeding their private desires.

From the start, Gabriel knows that one of the beautiful Monks has done away with Frankie's stepson. However, he finds that he is in love with the unknown writer of a highly imaginative digital diary that he is able to clandestinely glimpse at using his skills as a computer hacker.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Chilling and Entertaining. 3 Jun 2007
By J. DENT
Format:Hardcover
"Season of the Witch" delves into several complex issues--memory, magic, parapsychology.... but maintains its readability in the face of the accurate, quite detailed information it exposes the reader to. In other words it does not get "bogged down" when explaining the necessary background facts and history the reader may not be familiar with.

Gabriel--an electronic scam artist--is asked to investigate the disappearance of an old flame's stepson. It is soon apparent to Gabriel that the sisters Monk, the deceased's friends, are somehow involved in his murder. But all Gabriel's original reasons for meeting the sisters are thrown aside as they become thicker and thicker friends.

I've been searching for a book with a "sexy" feel to it for a long time, and this has been the first one to hit the mark--it has enough suggestion in it without any of the downsides you thought of when you saw the word "sexy". The sisters are enticingly but not overtly creepy, and never failed to send a frisson down my spine or make my blood rush. The closest comparison that can be drawn has in fact been quoted in the book itself--the vampires that seduce Harker in Bram Stoker's Dracula.

The intrigue is sustained throughout most of the book--partly through Gabriel's past traumas only being hinted at, partly due to the inclusion of the occasional pre-chapter diary entry by a mysterious woman. I found these entries to be the most intriguing parts of the book, but unfortunately after a certain event they become part of the narrative. Although I can see why this was done, I've yet to be convinced it was for the best.

At that point the focus of the tension switches from intrigue-based to situation-based.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Craft 10 Jan 2009
By Mick
Format:Paperback
This book could only be described as superb!
I look forward to reading other books by this author.
The concept of a remote viewer not having any esoteric belief or knowledge
was difficult to understand at first, but it fitted perfectly with the storyline, as did all the twists and turns within.
excellent craft!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This one will blow your mind! 28 May 2008
Format:Hardcover
This is the first of Natasha Moster's books I have read, and I was utterly gripped - yes, despite the odd stylistic slacknesses, and the tackiness of the idea of two other-worldly 'gothick' sisters with strong New Age overtones. The prologue has you puzzling, and the interspersed diary entries intensify the riddle. Other reviewers have summarised the plot, so I'll not waste space epitomising it again here. Suffice it to say that it's the way Moster imagines her material that makes this novel an absolute winner. Aside from 'remote viewing' (mind reading, clairvoyance) she takes the idea of the classical memory theatre - rediscovered for the modern reader by that brilliant scholar Frances Yates - and makes it the stuff of a mind-blowing tale on the edges of sci-fi (world dominion) and clinical psychology.
The ancient memory theatre was, simply, a mnemonic device still in use in various forms form today: picture a series of rooms, each attached to a main idea; fill the rooms with images which you have identified with relevant subsidiary ideas, and you have a device enabling you - ideally!- to remember a long oration, or whatever. In the sixteenth century the occult philosophers or white magicians - notably Giordano Bruno - expanded the notion by using talismanic images to people the rooms of their memory theatres. As the talisman has astrological and other magical powers, this guaranteed that the art of memory itself became a way of knowing the innermost secrets of the cosmos. Heresy! And Bruno was burned at the stake in the 1580s.
But talismanic magic is very close to daemonic invocation: not powers, but The Powers. And in England at the same time as Bruno, Queen Elizabeth I's astrologer, Dr John Dee, ended up believing he could summon up angels.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars A book of many contrasts.
Season of the Witch is a book of many contrasts. The sisters are quite different in looks and personality are presented as opposites, united under a common interest. Read more
Published 13 days ago by Puddlyduck
5.0 out of 5 stars HIGHLY RECOMMENDED - MUST READ
High magic and murder envelop this psychological thriller with a twang of alchemy and spiritual interference. Read more
Published 27 days ago by BLUE FISH
3.0 out of 5 stars Season of the witch
Set in London, this chilling story focuses on a computer hacker with a psychic gift. Gabriel Blackstone steals company secrets for other companies, until one day he's asked to find... Read more
Published 1 month ago by Clare O'Beara
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic read
Wow what a great read in this book we have remote viewing magic , mystery, romance , murder every page just keeps pulling you in and keeps you wanting more season of the witch is... Read more
Published 1 month ago by JLB
5.0 out of 5 stars Witches but with a difference
I wasn’t sure what to expect when I received this book for review but I was not disappointed. This book is like a breath of fresh air; it is a beautifully descriptive, intriguing,... Read more
Published 2 months ago by T. C. L. Godwin-evans
5.0 out of 5 stars Exhausted !
At last an intelligent book about witches and remote viewing. The two sisters were well depicted and I was kept guessing right to the end as to who was good and who was bad. Read more
Published 2 months ago by K. Smith
3.0 out of 5 stars A good read...
received a free ebook copy from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

There were times when I actually enjoyed this book: the mention of the City of London, Tower... Read more
Published 2 months ago by Khushi
4.0 out of 5 stars Multi genre page turner
This is a very exciting read and kept me turning the pages. It is full of the twists and turns of a psychological thriller whilst also being a paranormal story of magic and the... Read more
Published 2 months ago by Left on the Shelf Book Blog
5.0 out of 5 stars A Magical Mystery Ride
Season of the Witch is a book that you either love or hate. It's full of magic, mysticism, murder, mayhem, sexual tension and I loved it! Read more
Published 2 months ago by Mrs. C. Colbert
4.0 out of 5 stars An intriguing read with compelling characters
It took me a while to get into this book. I've always had a fascination for books dealing with witches or witchcraft as their subject and this ended up being no different. Read more
Published 2 months ago by P. Marques Guerreiro
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