Author: Kate Cann
Rating: Four Stars
Rayne Peters doesn’t know what she is getting herself into when she accepts a position at an ancient estate far from home. Desperate to get out of her East London council estate, escape her life, boyfriend, and family, Rayne thinks she’ll be able to buy some time to decide about college…her future and what she wants from life. But Morton’s Keep is no ordinary estate. Within its dense forests, and beneath its ancient flagstones, brick, mortar and timber lies a primordial evil just waiting to be released.
Possessed has great presence, of that there is no doubt. It is what Kate Cann intended and achieved. The most elemental of conflicts occurs within its pages, with those who would unleash the spectre of Morton’s Keep and its hideous past, fighting against those armed by the Green Man and Lady, and those whose allegiance are in question. Similar echoes of Dashwood’s infamous Hellfire Club (a favorite subject of mine) makes the plot line very gripping, Crowley-like and ominous.
At first read, I think I was expecting more “flash”, more abrasive conflict, but I found that as I read further, Cann beautifully and lyrically drew out the action. The main points of conflict are dual: internal for Rayne as she flourishes in the country and in her own skin as well as being favored by the Green Lady, and external as she stumbles over her choice of intimates, and the mushrooming evil that threatens to explode at the Keep. Who is her enemy? Her ally? There is no need for more than that but to just soak up the incredible atmosphere that Cann has created.
Possessed has none of the campy traits that some other YA paranormal novels have owned at one time or another. It is simply a thrilling read for both young adults and adults. It is very well written, steeped in a slumberous mystery and an underlying sinister milieu that will make you thirst for more. In fact, I wanted more of the story. Disappointment when I reached the last page, turned to surprise when I found out that Cann released the sequel to Possessed (Possessing Rayne) in the UK in 2009. It is entitled Fire and Rayne and will most likely show its face here probably next year (or earlier I hope).
A Fiendishly Bookish Review