Night Mares in the Hamptons: A Willow Tate Novel
by Celia Jerome
Cover Artist: Daniel Dos Santos
Review by Harriet Klausner
DAW Paperback ISBN/ITEM#: 9780756406639
Date: 03 May 2011 List Price $7.99 Amazon US / Amazon UK
A wall divides our world from a universe where magic exists and creatures from our mythos are real. Graphic novelist Willow Tate draws beings from that other realm; but what makes her unique is sometimes her depictions break through the barrier to her world. It is not a shocker that Willow is a Visualizer; as she comes from Paumanok Harbor in the Hamptons, a place where many residents possess psychic skills.
Three Night Mares arrive in the small Long Island village seeking a missing colt. They flicker in and out at night causing sleepless woes for the locals, but never appear in day light. People lack sleep and suffer from nightmares that has everyone irritable and over the edge. Minor irritants turn into full scale wars. The Department of Unexplained Events sends internationally renowned horse whisperer, Texan Ty Farraday to help the towns folk send the magical night mares home. He and Willow are attracted to one another and he makes it known he wants her while in town. Willow focuses on the missing foal as she can sense the terror felt by the baby steed as the people who possess the magical horse will kill to keep their prize.
With a nod to the sixth Xanth book the Night Mare, the second entertaining Hamptons fantasy (see Trolls in the Hamptons) is a fabulous tale due to an irreverent cast never taking things too seriously (mindful of Piers Anthony's humor). Willow is a fabulous lead protagonist as she goes from dueling with a ten foot redheaded troll to sending the night mares home. She is delightful as her family taunts her for inane fears while she finds her courage to try to save the day (make that the night in this case).
The supporting Paumanok Harbor villagers are a who's who of the fantasy realm. This group brings amusing exaggerated eccentricities to the mix as the townsfolk lampoon the supernatural genres. Insolent egomaniac Texan Ty brings a romantic subplot to the tale as he arrogantly makes known to the heroine he desires a tryst with her. He is so over the top that readers will appreciate his demeanor.
The story line is fast-paced even with townsfolk acting like zombies due to a lack of sleep; a condition shared by the audience who will stay up late reading this thriller. Using hyperbole at its zany best (even the colt-nappers come across as killer capitalists), Celia Jerome has written a charming Long Island satirical urban fantasy.