Witch Ball by Linda Joy Singleton © 2006

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    Witch Ball  by  Linda Joy Singleton  © 2006  Llewellyn Worldwide  ISBN  0-7387-0821-6  Paperback  254 pages    $5.99 (U.S.)  $7.95 (Canada)

    This book should be hitting bookstores sometime in January.  This is the third book in “The Seer” series and concerns the events surrounding Sabine Rose in her attempt to be accepted as “normal.”  This attempt is complicated by the fact that Sabine is psychic.  Almost no one at her new school is aware of that fact, and that is just the way she wants it.

    Nothing comes easy for Sabine.  Her mother kicked her out (her grandmother took her in); her spirit guide (Opal) can be very frustrating; she isn’t sure about how to relate to Dominic (her grandmother’s handyman/apprentice) since they shared a kiss; ke3ping her psychic abilities under wraps; and, on top of it all, her grandmother is showing signs of what could be considered to be Alzheimer’s disease.

    Written for young adults (ages 12 and up) the plotline is kept relatively simple and the occult elements, although slightly dark, are not overwhelming or oppressive.  Sabine is, in most ways, a typical teen facing typical teen problems, the most important of which is feeling that her problems are unique and would brand her as an outsider if anyone else were to find out about them.

    Sabine’s grandmother. Nona, is searching for a missing family book which should contain a recipe to help deal with her increasing forgetfulness.  Dominic is helping her in the search, as is Sabine (to a lesser extent).  Although Sabine is psychic, she isn’t really comfortable with the idea of magic.

    Sabine’s mother doesn’t approve “all the woo-woo nonsense.” And is concerned that Sabine will corrupt one of her twin sisters.  That is the major reason Sabine is living with Nona.

    I continue to be impressed with Ms. Singleton’s ability to portray the typical teen girl while making it an empowering experience.  Her heroines ring true-to-life.  They, and especially Sabine, are not running around tooting their own horn.  They simply try to get along with their peers.

    This time around Sabine is confronted with what Nona insists is a cursed witch ball.  Whether it is cursed or not, it certainly exhibits some unusual characteristics.  It apparently escapes from closets and inspires accurate prophecies, but not by Sabine.  In fact, she is the recipient of one of the prophecies – foretelling her impending death in five days.

    Nona’s memory problems are getting progressively worse, but in a sporadic fashion.  With everything going on in Sabine’s life (including her boyfriend’s best friend finding out about her powers) this is one more concern that she really doesn’t need.

    This is a well-crafted story (as are all of Ms. Singleton’s works), which works well for the age group it is aimed at.  It is moderately spooky, conveys some real-life messages without being preachy, and is an enjoyable book to read.

    I look forward to #4 in the series (Sword Play), due out later in 2006.


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