Season of the Witch

Season of the Witch

4.1 55
by Natasha Mostert

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In her award-winning novel*, Natasha Mostert blends alchemy, the art of memory, high magic and murder to create a highly original psychological thriller.

Gabriel Blackstone is a cool, hip, thoroughly twenty-first century Londoner with an unusual talent. A computer hacker by trade, he is also a remote viewer: able to 'slam a ride' through the minds of others. But


In her award-winning novel*, Natasha Mostert blends alchemy, the art of memory, high magic and murder to create a highly original psychological thriller.

Gabriel Blackstone is a cool, hip, thoroughly twenty-first century Londoner with an unusual talent. A computer hacker by trade, he is also a remote viewer: able to 'slam a ride' through the minds of others. But he uses his gift only reluctantly - until he is asked to find a young man last seen months earlier at Monk House, in the company of two mysterious women.

Gabriel becomes increasingly bewitched by the house, and by its owners, the beautiful Monk sisters. But even as he falls in love, he suspects that one of them is a killer.

But which one? And what is the secret they are so determined to protect?

* World Book Day: Book to Talk About Award 2009

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
This spellbinding tale of magic and seduction from Mostert (Windwalker) shows that the unfettered pursuit of arcane enlightenment can sometimes come at too high a price. William Whittington, a terminally ill London investment banker, hires Gabriel Blackstone, a rakish "information broker," to find Robert, his missing 21-year-old son. Whittington's wife, who happens to be Blackstone's ex-girlfriend, knows Blackstone once belonged to an organization, Eyestorm, that used psychic methods to find missing objects and persons. When Blackstone draws on his remote viewing powers ("slamming the ride"), he discovers that Robert was murdered by one of two sisters-raven-haired Morrighan or flame-haired Minnaloushe Monk, direct descendants of Elizabethan occultist John Dee, who dabble in alchemy and the "Art of Memory." As Blackstone woos the suspects to discover which one is guilty, he falls desperately in love. Mostert, a South African writer now living in London, has produced a feverish tale that's goth SF at its finest. (Apr.) Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
Black cats, snakes, spiders, mystical signs and symbols and dangerous sex are skillfully stirred together in this brain-squeezing thriller from the South African-born author (The Midnight Side, 2001, etc.). Following an arresting Prologue, which describes an eerie, fateful seduction, Mostert introduces her protagonist, Gabriel Blackstone, a 30-something Londoner who has turned his psychic "gift" into a thriving career as an "information thief." When we meet him, he's employing his talent for "remote viewing" (i.e., the ability to enter other people's thoughts) by spying for a toy company on its competitor. Then Gabriel is contacted by wealthy investment banker William Whittington, and importuned to find the latter's missing son Robbie, a request seconded by Whittington's young wife, the former Cecily Franck, herself a remote viewer, and Gabriel's former lover. When Gabriel "slams a ride" (telepathically) into an unidentified fourth party's consciousness, he "visits" a mysteriously furnished mansion where "a nightmarish whirlwind of images and sounds" comprises a scene similar to that in the Prologue, and also to the interior of Monk House in Chelsea (which Gabriel visits), home of the alluring, eccentric sisters Minnaloushe and Morrigan, known to have been Robbie Whittington's "close friends." Meanwhile, interpolated diary entries kept by "M." tease the reader with the possibility-gravely considered by the increasingly involved and baffled Gabriel-that one or both of the sisters has committed murder. Whether or not they are (as alleged) "direct descendants" of Elizabethan magus John Dee, both are absorbed in the arcana of astrology, hermetic philosophy, alchemy, witchcraft and theRenaissance art of constructing "memory palaces"-one of which, once entered, holds the key to the Monk mystery, and leads to an inordinately creepy finale whose working-out will cast a dark shadow over the rest of Gabriel's life. Mostert manages it all quite impressively, concocting an intellectual puzzler that will keep the reader hooked, and guessing, until the final page.

Product Details

Penguin Group (USA) Incorporated
Publication date:
Product dimensions:
6.70(w) x 9.40(h) x 1.50(d)

Meet the Author

Natasha Mostert is the author of four novels, The Midnight Side, The Other Side of Silence, and Windwalker, and Season of the Witch. Educated in South Africa and at Columbia University, New York, Mostert holds graduate degrees in lexicography and applied linguistics and bachelors in Modern Languages majoring in Afrikaans, Dutch, English and German. Her political opinion pieces have appeared on the op-ed page of The New York Times, in Newsweek, The Independent and The Times (London). She lives in London.

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Season of the Witch 4.1 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 55 reviews.
harstan More than 1 year ago
¿Information thief¿ Gabriel Blackstone uses his gift 'remote viewing' to obtain the thoughts of other people. He has no scruples about stealing from a mind for a paying customer. --- London investment banker William Whittington is dying, but wants to see his missing son Robert before he expires. Encouraged by his young trophy wife Cecily Franck, who intimately knows Gabriel, William hires the man. Gabriel uses his talent by 'slamming the ride' to trace the twenty-one years old vanished heir only to find Robert dead. The Monk sisters Morrighan and Minnaloushe are the prime suspects as both have the occult talent as direct descendants of sixteenth century alchemist John Dee. Feeling a bit of ethics towards his client, Gabriel courts the siblings with hopes of learning which one killed Robert, but he soon finds himself bewitched by love. --- This is a one sitting exciting paranormal whodunit that grips the audience from the opening Prologue and never stops for even a gasp until the words The End. The story line is fast-paced, filled with action and makes the impossible seem plausible. The support cast enhances the plot, but clearly this terrific tale belongs to the Gifted as the readers, like the hero, wonder who the killer is and whether Gabriel has fallen in love with a murdering occultist or an angelic practitioner. --- Harriet Klausner
Guest More than 1 year ago
I absoultely loved this book. This is the first adult book I have completly read outside of the books I read for work related issue. This book was imaginiative, insightful, and fun! I'm looking forward to read additional books by this author!
Guest More than 1 year ago
What a fabulous book! The ride slams are very well written, and trap you into it's whirlwind. I recommend this book to those Ann Rice fans as well. The ending blew me away and now I want more. You can picture the beauty of the Monk sisters, and you can feel the bewitching powers that they hold. A must read! Would love to read the author's other novels.
Guest More than 1 year ago
A good story. Good character development. I read it very fast because it was fascinating. There are a couple of twists that leave you feeling amazingly emotional. Not extremely supernatural, more of a wicca/psychic approach.
Lily_F More than 1 year ago
Review originally featured on Bookluvrs Haven After reading the highly enjoyable 'Windwaker', it was without hesitation that I immediately dove into 'Season of the Witch'. I found this story to be quite different than 'Windwalker', but the eloquent writing of this author was just as present, with much detail to character and plot development. Again, that underlying gothic dark tone, and sense of mystique also enveloped this story and its characters, and I was again quite engrossed into this story very quickly. Gabriel Blacksone is a computer hacker with some interesting talents. When someone from his past comes to him out of desperation, he relunctantly agrees to use his power to help his old flame find her missing stepson. As he begins his investigation, he quickly becomes enthralled with the mysterious Monk sisters, and an intricate game of cat and mouse ensues that could potentially cost Gabriel more than he bargained for. This book had me firmly in its grip for most of it. However, I have to admit that towards the end, and the conclusion of this mystery, it began to lose me. Though I did not end up enjoying it as much as the previous novel I read, it certainly did keep me guessing until the very end. It was certainly unpredictable (which I love!), and well fleshed out. *I received a eBook copy of this book for free to review from the author/publisher via Netgalley; this in no way influenced my review, all opinions are 100% honest and my own.*
reececo331 More than 1 year ago
Season of the witch By Natasha Mostert The quote from the books epilogue shows the meaning and character of the story.  “One of the crueler jokes of creation is being burdened with brains capable of conceptualizing a state of higher consciousness we have little hope of ever achieving. But we can strive, walking with hands outstretched like a blind man trying to orient himself in an alien place. And sometimes our clumsy fingers graze the mind of God. “ This book is conceptualized from the files of the STARGATE research in the seventies about ESP and other mental phenomenon. The Season of the Witch looks into the depths of ability and Gnosticism.  The satirical texts and Gnostic beliefs that strive to change humanity to know all that there is. The character begins the book thinking he is in control that his ability and capacities have only good and clear functions. But unlike the book described in the epilogue, the main character Gabriel becomes cursed with a hunger for knowledge and understanding he cannot achieve.  This book is a great stepping stone into belief and ideology of past and future alchemists and people who strive to seek out the greater good.  The book is an exercise in the concept that will enlighten, trill, and warn the reader about asking too much.
SoIReadThisBookToday More than 1 year ago
Once upon a midnight dreary, while I pondered, weak and weary, Over many a quaint and curious volume of forgotten lore, While I nodded, nearly napping, suddenly there came a tapping, As of some one gently rapping, rapping at my chamber door.” ¿Edgar Allan Poe [I am] the pen merely of [God] Whose Spirit, quickly writing these things through me, I wish and I hope to be. – John Dee, Monas Hieroglyphica (‘The Hieroglyphic Monad’) Who will live in this place between door and window? A mummer with a heavy heart and blind eyes turning, turning. I must meditate upon my name. – Season of the Witch, by Natasha Mostert Doors. Doors upon Doors upon Doors. Doors into memory. Doors into dream. Doors into magic and mystery and heartbreak. Doors into eroticism – Doors into death. I first found Ms. Mostert when I was offered The Midnight Side by the publisher back in February. As I said in that review, The Midnight Side is . . . a brooding, atmospheric tale of suspense and psychological thrill, full of the kinds of fear and gloomy atmosphere sure to lure in even the most jaded of readers. Mostert speaks to deep waters of the mind, dark corners of the soul, the ruin brought on by wounded and damaged souls. With my reading of Season of the Witch, winner of the 2009 Book To Talk About: World Book Day Award, I was again pulled into the deep waters of the mind, the dark corners of the soul. And once more, I was enthralled by Ms. Mostert’s grasp of language, her ability to paint a picture with words upon the page. The book actually starts rather oddly for what I had expected from Mostert, as we meet Gabriel Blackstone, an accomplished cyber thief, as he practices his craft. Gabriel knows what he is – nothing more, or less, than a thief – but a masterful one; a savant of ones and zeroes, algorithms and cyphers, pulling cyber magic from the very air. But that is not all Gabriel is. Gabriel is a Remote Viewer. And now, his former girlfriend needs his help. For though she too is a RV, she has nowhere near the strength or skill of her once-beloved. For her new beloved, her dying husband, wishes to know the fate of his son, who has disappeared without a trace. Though reluctant to return to this skill he has left behind, a happenstance pulls him back into this world of dreams and visions, of minds touching across space and time and realities one upon the other like the petals of a rose. And here, Mostert shows her amazing skill in crafting worlds of wonder and terror, of loss and mystery. And as he slowly spiraled downwards, he wondered with a strange sense of detachment if he might not still be on a journey, still searching for the path that does not wander . . . Many have spoken of the theme of the story, the happenings and characters. What I wish to address is her stunning vision of the occult, of witchcraft and psychology, seduction and passion, mysticism and the mind, all richly crafted into a world both heartrending and sublime. A white horse neighed madly and tossed its blood-soaked mane. None of Mostert’s characters are purely evil, none are purely good. Instead, she revels in creating characters of depth, both moral and immoral, sinner and chaste. Through talismanic images and mysterious sigils, fantastic signs and the infinite patterns of code, she drives Gabriel through the palaces of memory and the mind, wrapping the story into an atmospheric, poetic whole. Natasha Mostert has permanent residence on my “Keepers” shelf, a place few Authors gain within my own Palace of the Mind. I received my copy of Season of the Witch from the publisher. All thoughts are my own. Don’t fail to add all of Ms. Mostert’s books to your “Must Read” shelf if you love atmospheric, poetic writing.
DiiMI More than 1 year ago
Be prepared to be seduced into leaving reality for Natasha Mostert’s Season of the Witch. When a high end information thief (hacker) is asked to use his “remote viewing” abilities to find the missing son of a dying millionaire, no one knew what Gabriel would discover, or “see” or the darkness that would threaten to surround them all. Natasha Mostert tells a bewitching tale where science, memory and magic entwine and entangle with other mystical practices and obsessions. Is it possible one of the mysterious Monk twins who ooze sensuality and lust knows the fate of the young man? They say the imagination is a powerful aphrodisiac and the mental conjuring through the sensual prose of Natasha Mostert is far more potent through allusion than the often coarse in-your-face descriptions of other tales. Ms. Mostert does not write for those who want a fast and furious read, she writes for those who wish to gently land in the midst of a tale that defies genre.
TMS-Avid_Reader_Am_I_0828 More than 1 year ago
This e-book from Net Gallery had me clutching my e-reader like a reader possessed. Now just so you know up front - this is not the book that the movie with Nicholas Cage & Ron Perlman was in. Okay, now that we have that out of the way. This is gothic style story has hints of crossing sci-fi, psychic telepathy, supernatural witchy stuff with a generous dashes to dark magic, geeky computer hacking, mystery and a revisit of alchemy thrown in to keep it interesting as the book comes to a boil. Beware of things that go bump in the night! This is the first book by Natasta Morsert that I have read. I have seen some of her other books and chances are that they too will end up on my summer reading list. 4.25 stars of 5. As always with ARC books from Net Gallery I state that the forth mention review was of my own personal feelings.
Shanrock19 More than 1 year ago
I liked it okay, but it wasn't really my cup of tea. I do think there will be readers who will enjoy it a lot more than I did because it does have a lot of interesting things about it. The idea of the book was very interesting, and I liked the writing; although it was a bit too descriptive at times. I really liked the remote viewing aspect; I think it added to the mystery of the book. The main problem I had with this book was I didn't really like any of the characters, and I didn't like how some of the events unfolded. I liked Frankie okay, but I felt like everyone was kind of weak; I like strength in a character. Even the romance aspect didn't do it for me. This book was interesting, and kept me reading, so that's a plus. All in all I enjoyed it.
4MartyAnne More than 1 year ago
Gabriel Blackstone is asked by a friend to look into her stepson's disappearance. This leads to him meeting two sisters with impressive mind skills and he finds himself pulled into their world, complete with an array of esoteric arts. The skills of massive quantity higher level memory, powerful remote viewing, ability to move objects with just her mind, and elements of alchemy and even an ancestor John Dee who was a noted alchemist bring a full load of extraordinary skills to the 'witch' -- and yet we do not know is it one sister? Is it two sisters? Who is playing the game? Who is playing for keeps? Did one of them kill the missing stepson? Did both of them have a role? The one thing I would change about this book is the title. I do not consider any of the characters to be "a witch," per se. On the other hand, I understand that very few terms come close to being right for our characters. The term witch only comes to be meaningful at the end, as the full gamut of skills becomes clear. As Gabriel discovers just how talented his new friends are, will he survive? Or will he be next to die?
BLUEFISH99 More than 1 year ago
High magic and murder envelop this psychological thriller with a twang of alchemy and spiritual interference. this dream of a novel  you have to read it, as its full of twists and turns and edge of the seat. Spooky scary, and suspense all spring to mind.  HIGHLY RECOMMENDED
Nubian_princesa More than 1 year ago
*** NetGalley Giveaway*** Intriguing story line bordering on the cusp of Sci-Fi and the paranormal.Some suspense , drama and a wee bit of love maybe more accurate a word would be infatuation. The leading ladies were strong and well written but the guy seemed all over the place to me, not a very interesting character at all. Overall I would give this book a 3.5 stars
anniemichelle More than 1 year ago
I just could not get into this book. I did try, I had to skim a little to get through. Gabriele Blackstone lives in London and is a computer hacker but, he used to be a remote viewer, he can get inside someone's head, literally. He calls it "slamming a ride". His ex girlfriend comes back into his life and asks him to find her husbands 21 year old son who has gone missing, the last people to see him alive were two eccentric sisters who live in a huge strange place called Monk house. Monk house and its occupants are a mystery to Gabriel, he feels drawn into their mystical ways and the house seems to also have some sort of hold on him as well. The sisters seem to cast a spell over him and even when he learns that one of them is a murderer he still can't help but fall in love. This is a dark gothic tale filled with mysticism, the paranormal, alchemy, psychics, witches, strange symbols and big black crows.
jayfwms More than 1 year ago
A fascinating story of love, deceit, alchemy and esp. All the more interesting because the protagonist is not a really likeable character. Although the elements are creative and intriguing, the pace is sometimes seems a little slow. The suspense is sustained throughout the story, but not at a level that I couldn't put the book down. It was a fun and satisfying read and well worth the time, but I just couldn't sustain the level of enthusiasm I have had with other mysteries. I was always ready to pick it up to see what would happen next, and each new revelation was a surprise
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This was in all honesty a very slow read for me. Not a bad read, not by any stretch of the imagination but it was slow. This is not a book I would recommend for reading on a day you feel ill or when you're distracted. This is a book you need to have all your faculties to keep up with. I had trouble staying attentive when I was distracted, but it was engrossing when I pushed myself in corners to hide and give it my full attention.        The ideas that the author explores are incredibly fascinating. I am not unfamiliar with some of the ideas she researched for them, my husband has a rather healthy interest in the occult and I've heard the names and theories before. However watching them transform and become real, in a sense, was wild. By no means is this your typical 'Witch'. The witch in the book is an unorthodox one, black magic and chants and rituals only mentioned in passing. I would highly encourage you to check out this book if you are looking for something different and new (by new I mean something that takes old, real occult theories and makes them come to life).         The ideas were the strongest part of the novel. I didn't care for the lead, Gabriel. He was alright, not the worst guy I've ever read but I felt disconnected from him at best. The two Monk sisters were interesting but there isn't a lot of development or insight on them. I believe my favorite character is one of the more vapid characters who was killed towards the end of the book. And the real reason for my fondness of him was the ability to relate and his amusing personality. There wasn't much amusing about Gabriel or the sisters. This was the reasoning behind my 4 of 5. 
sjledge2 More than 1 year ago
I received a free copy of the book to read and review. Great book. I couldn't put it down. It's a real page turner. Great plot. The characters are well written. Would highly recommend it to others.
PatriciaMG More than 1 year ago
It took me a while to get into this book. I've always had a fascination for books dealing with witches or witchcraft as their subject and this ended up being no different. The main character is Gabriel Blackstone, not a witch himself, but eventually, as a result of a request from an old friend, he ends up in the middle of a very addictive and disturbing relationship. This is one of the things I thought was done very well, the way that Mostert showed us Gabriel getting more and more tangled up in what was going on, but unable to see it until it was too late. The two characters who held my attention the most were, probably unsurprisingly, Minnaloushe and Morrighan Monk. Their relationship fascinated me, so tight knit and at the same time so distorted. The tension whenever Gabriel was in the presence of either one of them, or whenever they were all together, was palpable and I couldn't help flipping over to the next page to see what would happen next. I'll say this--this isn't a happy story but it draws you in, if you give it the chance. It also has a fresher take on psychic abilities. It's not original, no, but the terminology, Gabriel's own abilities and the way it was presented in the story did have a new feel to it. At times I felt the narrative went on a bit too much, felt almost as if it was trying too hard - but as I said previously, if you give this story the chance to draw you in, it will. It was an interesting read, and the Monke sisters will definitely stand out, they were just so compelling on the page.
SimmoPS More than 1 year ago
Review A book that is so different, truly mysterious and really exciting. Perhaps it is too much for the reader, locked into conventional thought processes, to grasp the full power of this book with a first reading. However the complexity of the ideas which hold this book together produce a memorable story which will stay long in the mind. Magnificent
Roso More than 1 year ago
Gabriel Blackstone’s skills are required. Not his skills as a hacker, though he is very good at that. No, his skills as a remote viewer are needed. Gabriel is able to see into people’s minds and while he doesn’t enjoy the power, he needs to discover the whereabouts of a missing young man, last seen at Monk House with two women. Gabriel finds himself charmed with Monk House and the Monk sisters, even as he begins to realize one of them is a killer. Will he meet the same fate as his missing client? Dark and seductive, this is a novel that readers will relish on a cold, dark night
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I was acctualy looking for the movie book, but discoverd this book instead. I was imeadiately hooked. The submersion into a fantastical world was complete.
Antotio Cepeda More than 1 year ago
I couldnt put the book down! Even my husband loved it when he was done. I 'd like to get more of her books!
Amanda18 More than 1 year ago
I read this awhile ago so I don't remember all of it but I know it was really good. If the overview sounds interesting to you I'd check it out.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago