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Witchfinder: Dawn of the Demontide [Paperback]

William Hussey
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (38 customer reviews)
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Book Description

4 Mar 2010 Witchfinder
The first in a terrifying trilogy, read on if you dare:

Jake could now see the demon fully. Its body was a mass of steely sinew, its arms roped with muscle. Six fingers sprouted from its hands, each ending in lethal talons. The thing did not possess a nose; instead a large hole, bubbling with green mucus, occupied the middle of its face. Mr Pinch's tongue flickered between his teeth and slurped across his fat lips. He was hungry.

When a violent storm rages around the little village of Hobarron's Hollow, a young boy is sacrificed 'for the greater good'. His blood is used to seal a mystical doorway and prevent an apocalyptic disaster known only as the Demontide.

Twenty-five years later, another boy, Jake Harker, is about to be drawn into the nightmare of the Demontide. Witches and their demon familiars stalk his every move, and his dreams are plagued by visions of a 17th Century figure known only as the Witchfinder. When his father is abducted, Jake must face the terrible secrets kept by those closest to him and a shocking truth that will change his life forever . . .

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Witchfinder: Dawn of the Demontide + Witchfinder: Gallows At Twilight + Witchfinder: The Last Nightfall
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Product details

  • Paperback: 352 pages
  • Publisher: OUP Oxford (4 Mar 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0192731904
  • ISBN-13: 978-0192731906
  • Product Dimensions: 13 x 2.2 x 19.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (38 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 447,751 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Contrary to popular myth, William Hussey WAS born on Planet Earth - more precisely in the London Borough of Hounslow. The Hussey family have been touring with fairgrounds and circuses for centuries and, in the 1800s, William's great-grandfather had the honour of meeting the legendary Elephant Man!

Early in his life, William and his family settled in the seaside town of Skegness and William spent many a spine-tingling summer helping his uncle, who owned the town's scariest ghost train!

From the age of 8, William lived in a house his dad had built next to an old churchyard. For the next few years the family were disturbed by a ghostly presence - a little old lady in black, her face criss-crossed with deep lines, who used to walk the corridors at night! William saw her on only two occasions, but he often heard her footsteps passing his window. He hears them still... in his dreams...

During the summer holidays, William was entrusted to the care of his grandfathers. They would take him on long walks through the countryside and would make up stories to order: tales full of werewolves, vampires and ghouls! His grandfathers also gave him his love of books - especially tales mystery and imagination, like the Sherlock Holmes stories.

After studying English, Psychology and Law at college and university, William became a lawyer, but found the world of judges and barristers far too boring! So he quit! He wrote a couple of books for grown-ups before being inspired by his little nephew Johnny to write one for kids. He had so much fun writing this book - Witchfinder: Dawn of the Demontide - that he has gone on to write many more, including Witchfinder: Gallows at Twilight; Witchfinder: The Last Nightfall; Haunted; The Nightmare Eater; and Turn Her Face To The Wall.

Find William at www.williamhussey.co.uk

Product Description


[Praise for (Joseph Delaney, author of the bestselling Spook's Apprentice)

]: I felt at home in this scary world; I wish I'd written this book myself!

A series to savour. William Hussey [has] a master's eye for the minutiae of fear: the quickened pulse, the hairs' bristle, and the way-in moments of purest terror - that time seems to slow to a stop. (Sam Enthoven, author of Crawlers and The Black Tattoo)

William Hussey's Witchfinder trilogy is . . . A full-throated horror tale that doesn't shrink from confronting mortality head on . . . This ever-present shadow of death brings a quickening sense of terror (SFX)

Absolutely brilliant! It's dark, it's edgy, and it's dangerous. (Amazon reviewer)

Cleverly crafted, this is a masterful horror story that will chill readers to the bone. (Julia Eccleshare, Lovereading4kids.co.uk)

Every 10 years or so comes a book that leaves all rivals in its wake . . . and Witchfinder is The One . . . The closest thing you'll find to horror heaven. (Lancashire Evening Post)

Book Description

Exciting, intelligent and fast-paced, horror and fantasy collide in the best possible way. A great beginning, which leaves me wanting more. (Amazon Vine reviewer)

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Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
4.4 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars New Master of Dark Fiction 11 Feb 2010
Oxford University Press, the publisher of Witchfinder, is heralding William Hussey as "the New Master of Dark Fiction", and based on this story I would suggest that the people at OUP really know their stuff and are on to a sure-fire winner with this author.

Dawn of the Demontide is the first book in a planned trilogy, but it is not just a vehicle for setting the scene for the next two books. In fact, so much happens in this book that I am finding it difficult to write a detailed review without any spoilers. This book has everything a young horror fan could thirst for: a horror-loving hero who is considered unpopular and a loner by his peers; a truly evil villain who thinks nothing of inflicting horrifying punishments on anyone who crosses him, members of his own coven included; ancient rites involving blood sacrifice; deadly mist that could only emanate from the depths of hell; witches and their terrifying familiars; the list goes on and on.

This is William Hussey's first venture into the world of YA fiction but he has honed his craft with two spine-chilling books written for the adult market (under the name Bill Hussey). However, in this transition to writing for a younger audience Mr Hussey has most definitely not felt the need to hold back from writing a very dark and terrifying story. In fact, there are a number of particularly gory moments in this book which lead me to suggest that this is definitely for the 12+ market, especially with Mr Hussey's talent for writing vivid horror scenes that are rich with blood-curdling detail. His other talent is for providing an intricately plotted narrative that twists and turns throughout, keeping the tension levels high and never quite giving the reader enough information to be able to guess just what is going to happen next.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Gruesome for young adults! 24 Feb 2011
Format:Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
Boys will love it. Girls will too of course, but you do get the feel that this is finally a supernatural series for the guys

Yes it is designed for young adults, but there is enough "violence" in it which will keep most turning the page and I think that is important in these times - however some of the violence is very "real" for a young adult book, with murder being focused on early on.

However, it isn't just schlock value for the sake of it, the story is compelling and all the (real) characters are developed strongly. I find that adults are normally portrayed as baddies or stupid when the books are designed for the younger reader but not so in this case. The reader is not patronised and that makes a significant difference in these books
The story is good, a horror comic fan begins to realise that there might just be a bit more truth to the comics than he earlier thought when bad things begin to happen to his friends and family.
Even though this is part of a trilogy I was glad that the there was still a very satisfying ending and yet enough piqued interest to want to pursue the next two instalments when they come out.

This is a great first instalment, I enjoyed it and so did my friends' son (12) but please be aware there are some very adult themes in this book. Young adult is one thing but parental discretion should be considered for younger than 12 in my opinion
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Dawn of the new master of horror! 4 Oct 2011
I pre-ordered this book months before it came out, based on the pre-publication blurb. Often a new title can be over rated, but in this case, I can't rate it highly enough! It is ideal for teenagers who have outgrown Harry Potter/Skulduggery Pleasant / Darren Shan / Horowitz, and want something realer and meatier to read. It will also suit adults who enjoy decent horror with compelling characters and original stories - fans of King, Barker, Louise Cooper and Poe will love it!

Put simply, once I had picked it up I couldn't put it down. Hussey treats the reader with respect and never patronises, something that is refreshing in itself. Rather than creating dumbed down, stereotypical horror, he instead delivers page after page of original, intelligent and thoughtful writing, together with strong characters. Hussey packs it full of punches - there are some truly horrific scenes as the tale develops, and he wastes no time in throwing you right in at the deep end - but it is delivered with a lightness of touch that makes it ideal for teenagers to read. Without delivering spoilers here, I will say I particularly loved the witches and their demons, and couldn't wait to see what horrors they were going to inflict upon Jake and his friends. Jake himself is a likeable and believable protagonist, who you feel empathy with almost immediately. I loved following his journey in this first title and couldn't wait to see what would happen to him in books 2 and 3 - so much so that I bought them to read back to back!

This is a proper horror story with an original twist on the idea of witches and the witchfinder, that never underestimates the reader and will draw you in quickly. Perfect for Halloween reading!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Witchfinder book 1 18 Nov 2010
By Sarah (Feeling Fictional) TOP 500 REVIEWER VINE VOICE
Fifteen year old Jake Harker has been a fan of all things horror since he was given a box of old comics when he was nine years old. Ever since then he has devoured horror stories in any format and has built up an impressive knowledge of things that go bump in the night. He never for a minute suspected that any of the stories were real though - not until the night of his mother's murder when he finds himself thrust into a dark and dangerous world just as frightening as the scariest horror story. As he investigates the cause of his mother's death he learns of the Demontide - something that occurs once in every generation and unless it is stopped the gates to hell will be opened allowing demons to overrun the world. Jake has an important part to play in stopping the Demontide but will he have to give his life in order to save the world?

The first book in the Witchfinder trilogy Dawn of the Demontide is a dark and frightening tale that will appeal to fantasy and horror fans of all ages. Jake is a likable and realistic character and one I'm sure most of us can relate to on some level. He has been thrust into a world where nothing is as it seems and creatures from your worst nightmares actually exist. Not sure who he can trust or where he can turn to for help Jake must rely on his instincts and his knowledge from horror books and films as he tries to find a way to stop the Demontide.

The story is well paced and has so many twists you can never be quite sure what will happen next. The world William Hussey has created is both realistic and terrifying and I was completely sucked into the story right from the very beginning. One of the things I enjoyed most about the story is the way that it shows how blurred the lines between good and evil can be.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
3.0 out of 5 stars Easy read
I found Witchfinder to be an easy read if somewhat a little juvenile at times. Nevertheless, it was a good story.
Published 11 months ago by Noel Duffy
4.0 out of 5 stars Witchfinder 1
I found that I couldn't put the kindle down until I finished the book. Kept me fully engrossed right to the end.
Published 11 months ago by Mrs Teresa Brownrigg
5.0 out of 5 stars Great story!
William Hussey doesn't pull any punches in this storming tale of witches and demons. A great buy for young adults, though this middle-aged reader thoroughly enjoyed it too.
Published 12 months ago by D Mitchell
5.0 out of 5 stars stunning
quite simply the best book i have read in years. cannot remember the last time i could not put a book down and read it in a day. Read more
Published on 21 Dec 2011 by Mr. S. M. Elliott
3.0 out of 5 stars A pleasing read, but no page turner.
I enjoy this genre of book so I had high hopes, given the publishers comments and while I enjoyed it enough to finish it, there wasn't the desire to read 'just one more page' like... Read more
Published on 17 Mar 2011 by Foxile
3.0 out of 5 stars The horror, the horror!
It says on the back of this book "WARNING: Extremely scary content" as it is William Hussey's first foray into teenage horror fiction. Read more
Published on 10 Feb 2011 by Venyhamin
5.0 out of 5 stars EXCELLENT
The first in a new trilogy by William Hussey.

Jake Hawker is 15years old and a huge horror comic fan. His parents both work at the Hobarron Institute which is run by Dr. Read more
Published on 10 Aug 2010 by Mrs. A. M. Chadwick
4.0 out of 5 stars Demons, Imps and Shocks
Jake Harker is a comic book and horror fan whose parents work for the mysterious Hobarron Institute. Read more
Published on 2 Jun 2010 by I Read, Therefore I Blog
5.0 out of 5 stars Fast Paced YA Horror
Beginning twenty-five years after the sacrifice of a small boy in Hobarron's Hollow to vanquish evil and hold back the Demontide - there's now a new sacrifice on the menu. Read more
Published on 20 May 2010 by Mrs. T. Newton
4.0 out of 5 stars A gripping read for older children
William Hussey's first instalment in a planned trilogy of Witchfinder books, Dawn of the Demontide is the darkly gripping story of Jake Harker, a seemingly normal boy who finds... Read more
Published on 22 April 2010 by Fiona Millar
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