The Witch’s Revenge

Danny Odato
Outskirts Press (2014)
ISBN 9781478725640
Reviewed By Susan Violante for Reader Views (01/15)

“The Witch’s Revenge” by Danny Odato begins one morning like any other in the Nehra’s household, an Indian family who lives in the small village of Harangul in the region of Maharashta.  Padma woke up her children one by one to get ready for school, then continued to make breakfast. The daily routine of this village continues for a while but later on little unusual things begin to happen.  Padma makes her husband aware of them but, disregarded by her husband, they go to sleep.  In the middle of the night one of their children, Pooja, gets up and walks through the village in an unconscious kind of state, like being pulled by an unknown evil force. She is spotted by a 72 year old man walking his dog, but after rubbing his eyes and cleaning his spectacles to make sure he is seeing correctly, Pooja had gone out of sight and into the Hunted Forest, where souls who had an untimely and violent death lingered. These first chapters are more or less the setting of the story. The story line will unravel the mystery of the village children’s murders, a mystery perpetrated by a witch seeking revenge. Although the main theme of the mystery is nothing new, its setting however was unexpected and unique.

Danny Odato shows a lot of well researched information about life in an Indian village, which he presents through details of their routine as well as spot on character development that reflects the silent rules of family members’ relationships within the culture. With this respect Odato’s writing skills are unquestionable. Having said that, I did however find some problems with this book.  The book was evidently published without the help of a professional editor, and because of that, there was repetition, grammar problems, and many other things in the writing that pulled me out of the story to try to make sense of what I was reading, or things that were simply annoying. The other main problem I had was the amount of detail that went into describing a character’s insignificant actions which didn’t move the story forward, compared to a lack of detail when describing important characters of the story.  Details that could help the reader visualize and relate to a little more.

“The Witch’s Revenge” by Danny Odato is his first novel and shows storytelling and research skills that will most likely be developed through the writing of more books. These skills helped him present a good story line that will for sure hook readers and generate fans for his next publications. I hope that the problems mentioned above are considered by the authors as the constructive and honest opinion of a reader who hopes to see more work from him in the future.

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