Hex: A Novel of Love Spells

Overview

Hex opens in Miami in the near future, where celebrations roil the city after the announcement of Castro's death. Amid the chaos and debauchery, two visiting graduate students, Langston and Azaril, search for a friend who suddenly goes missing — Damian, a charismatic seducer who has drawn the two of them into his orbit in the past. Frustrated in their initial attempts to trace Damian's whereabouts, the two seek help from Langston's aunt, a renowned psychic, whose cryptic warnings and unexpected hunches guide them...

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Overview

Hex opens in Miami in the near future, where celebrations roil the city after the announcement of Castro's death. Amid the chaos and debauchery, two visiting graduate students, Langston and Azaril, search for a friend who suddenly goes missing — Damian, a charismatic seducer who has drawn the two of them into his orbit in the past. Frustrated in their initial attempts to trace Damian's whereabouts, the two seek help from Langston's aunt, a renowned psychic, whose cryptic warnings and unexpected hunches guide them on a quest that takes them to New Haven and New York City and entangles them in the investigation of Damian's family history — and draws the hostile attention of powerful and apparently supernatural forces.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly

Scott's ambitious but unwieldy second novel (after 1995's Traitor to the Race) explores black gay identity as it describes the power of the mysterious titular spellbook. At the start of the novel, Fidel Castro has just died, and amid the pandemonium of a near-future Miami, grad students Langston and Azaril search for their missing friend, Damian. Langston, struck by the odd nature of the chaos around him, visits his psychic aunt, Reginia, for help, and she gives him a hand-annotated copy of Hex, a book that belonged to Damian's father, Credence. With Damian's disappearance linked to the madness all around them, the answer lies in the powerful volume, amended by Damian's grandmother. Past and future entwine as they all search for answers that may well lie within themselves. The narrative shifts across a multitude of characters and eras, including New Orleans of 1953 and Los Angeles of 1971. Scott evokes an eternal present marked by strange, meaningful connections that defy the notion of coincidence. (Feb.)

Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
Four gay friends search for their missing companion, whom they suspect has been lost to a supernatural force. On the night of Castro's death, Miami is ablaze with celebrations, particularly in the gay community. Langston and Azaril, graduate students from California, are visiting Miami with their friend Damian. The men's relationships are complicated: Langston and Damian have had their share of trysts since their middle-school days in Germany, but now, Langston is in love with Azaril, his best friend, who claims to be straight. Langston's doubt about that may have merit, but it is Damian, not Langston, who tempts him. When Damian mysteriously disappears, though, they must band with two of his newer lovers-Reynaldo and drag-queen Quentin. Langston turns to his aunt Reginia, a noted psychic, for help, and she gives him a well-traveled manual of spells, which was passed down to her by a woman named Verity Gapstone. Despite Reginia's warnings, Langston attempts a love spell on Azaril, which has muddled, near-disastrous results. But the manual becomes particularly relevant when the four friends travel to New Haven to consult with Damian's adoptive father. They learn that his biological father had been a gay member of the Black Panthers named Credence Gapstone-Verity's son-and they begin to suspect, through a series of largely illogical connections, that an angry warlock is on their path. The search spirals into a crazed, supernatural adventure, with travel back in time and through parallel universes. But will Langston's complicated inquiries into Damian's past bring his friend back? By the end of this bloated, meandering adventure, it is difficult to care either way. Scott attempts to weavetogether a complicated story involving race, sexuality, politics, Yoruba tradition, time travel, sorcery and more; his clumsy prose buckles quickly under the pressure. A bizarre, overwritten disaster.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780786717644
  • Publisher: Avalon Publishing Group
  • Publication date: 12/28/2006
  • Pages: 608
  • Product dimensions: 5.40 (w) x 8.20 (h) x 1.80 (d)

Meet the Author

Darieck Scott is the author of the novel Traitor to the Race. His short fiction has appeared in the anthologies Freedom in This Village, Black Like Us, Shade, and Giant Steps, among others. He is assistant professor of English at the University of California at Santa Barbara, where he teaches African American literature and creative writing.

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