Reviews for Curse of the Bane

AudioFile Reviews 2007 February/March
Christopher Evan Welch does his best with an uneven and gory tale of exorcism. As young Thomas Ward and his mentor, the Spook, battle the Bane beneath a cathedral in Priestown, they must also struggle with the high church official who is bent on eradicating all who practice the dark arts. Welch is a bit too good at his portrayal of the Quisitor's sadistic glee at burning people alive and torturing confessions out of them. Welch clearly delivers Ward's insecurity and growing knowledge and bravery. His portrayal of Alice, the young witch who aids Ward, is equally good. However, there is an unevenness to his early voicings of the Spook, and the Bane's delivery is less menacing than it purports to be. D.P.D. (c) AudioFile 2007, Portland, Maine

School Library Journal Reviews 2007 March

Gr 5-8-- Young Tom Ward finds himself taking on more dangerous villains in the second book (Greenwillow, 2006) in Joseph Delaney's series. Six months into his apprenticeship to the monster hunter, aka the Spook, Tom is wrangling boggarts, ghosts, and witches. When he and the Spook are compelled to journey to Priestown for the Spook's brother's funeral, frightful situations develop. The sadistic Quisator is present, seeking to capture and kill the Spook. Alice, Tom's good witch friend, is among those already rounded up for a gruesome mass burning at the stake. How can Tom save Alice when his master recommends leaving her to her fate? Could the Spook's attitude reflect a regretful past love affair with a witch? Meanwhile, a more fearsome creature is bound to the catacombs under the Priestown cathedral. The Bane is a shape-shifting spirit who sucks blood and controls minds. It's up to Tom to outwit the Bane before it infiltrates his mind and inflicts its preferred method of execution, squashing victims flat. Christopher Evan Welch skillfully juggles voices, most notably conveying the Spook's irascibility and Tom's earnestness. Yet it is the Bane that takes center stage with its echoing hiss and eerie, Yoda-like syntax. The violence and villains here are not for the faint of heart. A YALSA 2007 Selected Audiobook for Young Adults.--Erin B. Allen, Rowan Public Library, Salisbury, NC

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