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Story Time Elizabeth Blue Review by
Elizabeth Blue
The Gentling Box
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THE GENTLING BOX - 2008
by Lisa Mannetti
Dark Hart Press
ISBN: 0-9787318-9-1

THE GENTLING BOX. What a title, huh? Grabs you from the get-go. Not all book titles do that. Couple that with a beautiful cover, and you have something that really stands out on the shelves. But it’s not until you read the book that you understand how wonderful this novel really is.

THE GENTLING BOX follows Imre, a half-gypsy horse trader, who must battle a powerful sorceress to save his family, all the while his health deteriorates. He is a man who faces some of life’s most devastating challenges: the loss of his wife and daughter. To save them, he must sacrifice much of himself before he even understands. This novel is not only chilling in its details of the gypsy culture and of the supernatural, but it speaks to anyone who has ever deeply loved another human being.

Lisa Mannetti is successful in not only drawing the reader in with her beautiful prose, but with her distinctive characters, well-drawn and believable, and her obvious knowledge of the lives these people led. Far too few books these days invite the reader in the way Ms. Mannetti has. Her characters are three-dimensional, and the reader can’t help but sympathize with them, to follow their trials, to wont for more and to root for them as the climax unfolds.

The supernatural elements of the story are integral and woven in with such deftness that you will not realize it is fiction you’re reading. For the horror enthusiast, THE GENTLING BOX can’t be beat. I can’t emphasize enough how much I enjoyed this book. The characters came alive for me as if I were watching them on a stage, or on screen, or from across the street in my own neighborhood. THE GENTLING BOX is the freshman effort from Ms. Mannetti, but surely there is more to come. Her debut novel scores far and above books by many long-standing writers, both within the horror genre and without.

Lisa Mannetti is a writer to watch. Her future offerings can only get better. Though it will be difficult to top THE GENTLING BOX, I believe Ms. Mannetti can offer something many other writers cannot: fresh, well-researched fiction with a twist and an edge, that intrigues and engages the reader in a way most commercial fiction cannot.

5 BookWyrms

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This review copyright 2009 E.C.McMullen Jr.

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