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by | Nov 22, 2019 | Indie Audiobooks, Indie Book Reviews, Indie Reviews | 0 comments
The Banshee Series is a unique concept that succeeds well in most of its aspirations but fails to finish strong. As the title suggests, the story’s leading character, Benton, is a Banshee. While the oddity the hero being a banshee is what initially caught my attention, it was the author’s use of the Native American setting that really made it stand apart from other supernatural horrors.
Author Sara Clancy weaves a complex tale of the supernatural that ranges from ghosts to serial killers and of course, banshees. Full of teenage angst masked by the supernatural aspect of the story, the tale is nevertheless, enjoyable for adults. The horror elements are interesting and appropriate, never straying from PG-13, but I for one, don’t mind this in the least. If you prefer substance of slaughter, Sara Clancy certainly does well in this area.
The first book was strong enough to hook me for the series, and despite a few weak transitions between some of the titles, it kept me interested until the end. The plot is relatively complex with the standard twists and turns though nothing ever “blew me away,” nor was anything very unpredictable (with a few minor exceptions). That being said, Sara Clancy kept things interesting and unique until the end. Of note, the Native American setting proved to be quite interesting and, in many ways, was more memorable than the “Banshee” concept, something that felt under-developed.
The various supernatural enemies proved to be of interesting origins and there in lays one of the more unique and well-designed elements of the books. Sara Clancy certainly did well with this angle which helped to keep things fresh. In-fact, most of the supernatural creatures were previously unknown to me despite my years reading the genre. Sara Clancy shines in her creativity in this area.
While the overall story pacing was well-done, several of the individual book endings felt rushed, especially the grand finale. It is here where the series suffered the most. Much of the build-up through the six books didn’t feel concluded when all was said and done. What can be taken from this is both good and bad; Sara did an excellent job creating anticipation for the ending but failed to deliver a big bang. The finale isn’t bad, in-fact, it is unique and interesting, but it felt as though it happened too quickly and with too little drama.
Benton, our dark hero, is a teenager struggling to cope with bizarre dreams and parents who don’t understand him. Nicole, our heroine, is a bubbly and bright teenager who befriends Benton and serves well as a counterweight to his dreary and forlorn demeanor. In practice, the dynamic between the pair works well in the novels but ultimately fails to reach its full potential before the end of the series. I sincerely felt this aspect of the series was going to end differently and I think most readers will find themselves rooting for an outcome that simply fails to materialize in the end.
The supporting cast in the series varies from awkward to great. Benton’s parents are on the awkward end of things. The antagonistic role Bertrand is meant to fill ends up feeling very awkward at times, absent at others, and in the end, you really don’t know what to think of them. Nicole’s parents, on the other hand, proved to be interesting and well-built, I only wish Nicole’s Father would have appeared earlier in the series as the dynamic between him and the rest of the cast added something that was missing from the earlier books. The remaining characters fill their roles well-enough, though none are very memorable.
Sara Clancy’s writing style is comfortable and well-balanced. Few readers would be able to differentiate her narrative from that of any mainstream author published by a big house. She succeeds the most in her character development and the unique subject matter of the world she built. Aside from the occasional repetition of words, the entire series is professionally written and edited.
The original subject matter and setting created a memorable experience that will allow the Banshee Series to stand out in my memory. Unfortunately, the disappointment of the relationship between Benton and Nicole shares in equal parts with the Series’ strengths. Notwithstanding this disappointment, I would still recommend the Banshee Series to any fans of supernatural horror that values an interesting story over gore. There is enough unique here to warrant sticking it out to the sixth book, and frankly, given the ending, let’s hope Sara Clancy writes a follow-up series that wraps-up Benton and Nicole’s relationship.
Jake Urry does a respectable job with his narration, though he took a little bit to get comfortable with. I had no major complaints with Mr. Urry, but he didn’t stand-out either. Sometimes, though, that is for the better. Regardless, he did a professional job that didn’t detract from the story as much as he didn’t add to it.
When Benton dreams, people die…
Benton Bertrand is a banshee, cursed with the ability to sense death. Every time he sleeps, he becomes a trapped passenger within a murderer’s skin: able to hear, see, and feel every part of their kill. No matter how hard he tries, it always ends the same way – with death.
This collection contains all six books from Sara Clancy’s best-selling Banshee series:
Midnight Screams: After ten years of constantly relocating, Benton’s family decides to settle in Fort Wayward, Alberta. But things change when he discovers why death follows him, why monsters draw close, and why he always wakes up screaming…Whispering Graves: Benton’s world unravels again when he encounters a new monster that kills by whispering its victim’s name. He needs to save the residents of Fort Wayward while preventing this evil from whispering him straight to his grave.
Shattered Dreams: Benton travels to a sleep center, in a desperate attempt to organize his thoughts. But a violent storm of demonic forces forms, with its eyes set on Fort Wayward. Benton needs to warn the unsuspecting town before demons claim every single soul.
Rotting Souls: Recovering from their last ordeal, Benton and Nicole discover that ghosts from their past are stalking a young girl. As they struggle to save the girl’s life, Nicole confronts her lack of remorse for having been responsible for the death of one of the vengeful spirits.
Weeping Moon: Benton and Nicole travel to the Fort Wayward tribal festival to seek help regarding his terrifying abilities. They soon discover a monster that uses the cries of an infant to lure its victim. And amid this horror, another devastating nightmare looms.
Death Veil: A vicious spirit attacks Benton’s family, and they flee to the Siksika reservation for protection. Here, they are forced to face the past to keep evil from permanently crossing over to the land of the living.
Summary The Banshee Series is a unique concept that succeeds well in most of its aspirations but fails to finish strong. As the title suggests, the story’s leading character, Benton, is a …
Reader and writer of Horror, Sci-Fi, True Crime, and Fantasy. I’ve been a freelance book reviewer since 2017.
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