The Tala Chronicles by Toni House

The Tala Chronicles

The Song of the Red Wolf
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A malicious spirit haunts his old hunting grounds in House’s (Save Your Money, Save Your Family, 2011, etc.) paranormal tale.

Wizzie and Billy Frank are thrilled to move into an old, spacious Southern estate in Mystery Acres, Alabama. The price is just right for the young couple, although they soon find out there’s a sinister reason for the bargain: Their lovely, historic home is haunted by the spirit of Chief Running Blood, a fierce Mecklesh warrior who hates white people, and who swore revenge on the night of his untimely death. Running Blood was killed by a Native American brave’s wolf companion, Tala. Although all three of them died in a struggle, Running Blood came back as an evil ghost, while the brave, Red Wolf, and Tala returned as more benevolent spirits. Author House fills the novel with paranormal activity, including freak storms, glowing lights, strange noises and possession. Wizzie, often alone at night, suffers through many of these terrifying events, which escalate as the narrative progresses. Eventually, the Franks and their ghost-hunting neighbor, Booger, enlist the help of Red Wolf, Tala and a Native American medicine man. They all work to find a solution to end the ancient warrior’s curse and banish his spirit forever. House does an admirable job of setting the scene in rural Alabama, and Southern colloquialisms abound, in phrases such as “hot and humid as a toad’s back,” an apt description for the Southern summer weather. However, although some of the regional charm is quaint and amusing, other elements seem outdated and strike a sour note; for example, Wizzie, at one point, explains that Billy is “old-fashioned and preferred her not to work after they got married.” House’s ghost story is promising—an ancient Native American curse and a haunted house are both classic horror-movie fodder—but it takes a while for the story to pick up speed, and feels a little rushed at the conclusion. That said, the Franks are certainly likable characters, and the appearances of Chief Running Blood are truly creepy.

A satisfactory first offering in a new supernatural series.

Publisher: Manuscript
Program: Kirkus Indie
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