THUNDER RISE by G. Wayne Miller


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Uninspired horror novel based on Indian mythology in Massachusetts. First-novelist Wayne shows promise in scenes untied to his horror theme, especially in the warmth of his father-daughter dialogue, though even here he should have pushed harder on his delete key. Brad Gale, a New York Times reporter mentioned for a Pulitzer Prize, divorces his ego-bound actress-wife Heather after she slaps their nearly six-year-old daughter Abbie. Gale goes up to small Morgantown in the Berkshires and takes a job editing the local paper at a third of his Big City paycheck. Abbie begins having nightmares about a dinosaur invading her bedroom, while other children in the town also have nightmares about wolves and bears invading theirs. The children come down with fevers, and an epidemiology center is contacted--but no microbe can be found to account for the mass illness. Meanwhile, Charlie Moonlight, a local Quidneck Indian with psychic powers, returns from making a killing in Harrah's Casino in Reno to find his nephew Jimmy one of the fever's victims. Morgantown is built on a fault in the earth's crust, and Charlie sees immediately that Hobbamock, a primordial evil spirit that feasts on children's souls, has been loosened from his prison in the earth (Hobbamock's been buried in a mining cave) and is now eating up Morgantown's kids. Much of the novel is about Gale's surrender of scientific small-mindedness to Indian myth. Eventually, Abbie, Charlie, Gale, and Gale's girlfriend must face Hobbamock in the cave--little Abbie armed only with the magic spear of the Quid-necks. Miller's strongest cards are Gale's feisty cynicism, father-love, and the newspapering background. Otherwise, as horror, this is a sleepout.

Pub Date: Sept. 28th, 1989
ISBN: 0595197884
Publisher: Arbor House/Morrow