Booklist Review of Everland

Three acclaimed novels, including the boldly original Dracula sequel Asylum (2006), have sealed Witcover’s reputation as a first-rate craftsman. With his first story collection, he scores another success by displaying a gift for blending a richly imaginative amalgam of horror, fantasy, and sf. His protagonists are often troubled souls, yearning to assuage a personal tragedy by following the trail of some exotic new circumstance. In “Mayaland,” a tourist in Central America, hoping to immerse himself in some esoteric Mayan culture, visits a remote village and quickly finds himself in over his head. “Lighthouse Summer” describes an adolescent’s encounter with an aged lighthouse keeper and the sea creature held prisoner in the keeper’s tower. Other tales explore a traveling circus’ dark secrets, a future American civil war involving devout fundamentalists, and a proofreader’s improbable skirmish with gods and demons. In every story, Witcover exhibits arresting images and clever turns of phrase and, from the opening paragraph, pulls readers into a spellbinding narrative.

— Carl Hays