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Curse of the Blacknoc Witch

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Samuel dreamed of being a lot of things, but a monster trapped in a forest realm never entered his mind. The Blacknoc Curse wasn't supposed to be true, only a children's story meant to persuade them away from evil. Yet, here he was tasked with hunting cursed kids. There's nothing left for Samuel except the horror surrounding him. Layla, a young girl tormented by the same curse, is dropped into the terrifying forest every night, running from the monsters intent on taking her life. She meets Samuel and vows to save all the children, especially Samuel, from their torment. Working together can they defeat the Blacknoc Curse?

162 pages, Paperback

Published April 22, 2020

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About the author

Tori V. Rainn

4 books117 followers
Tori V. Rainn is a Texas-based fantasy novelist who is on a lifelong mission to inspire her readers through the power of imaginative storytelling. During her creative journey, an array of her short stories have been showcased in various online zines. It all started when she took a writing course at Writer's Village University, which earned her a Creative Writing Certificate. The moment she penned her first story, she knew writing was her ultimate calling and greatest passion.

When she isn't crafting thrilling plots, you can find this avid video gamer watching her favorite shows, collecting unique knives, or going on meditative walks in the heart of nature. She is also a chocoholic and tea aficionada with an unquenchable sweet tooth. Above all else, Tori enjoys spending quality time with her loved ones.

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Displaying 1 - 28 of 28 reviews
Profile Image for Dianne.
6,765 reviews583 followers
July 7, 2020
What a kaleidoscope of fabulous reading! Emotionally charged, dark, painful, hopeful, romantic, and all flowing into a masterfully written fantasy. CURSE OF THE BLACKNOC WITCH by Tori V. Rainn is a love story, a story of strength and completely engaging as we follow two teens who meet under the worst of circumstances, one cursed to be a monster, one doomed to join their dark ranks.

It all started when a witch lost her most precious possession, her infant son to the cruelty of ignorance, cursing all youngsters to the damnation of the forest and the beasts that loom in the shadows as punishment for evil deeds. Night after night they are cast into the forest while attempting to survive. Where did the beasts come from? Can they be defeated? Can the curse be broken?

Tori V. Rainn has done a remarkable job of demonstrating her ability to create dark worlds, a light at the end of the darkness and the power of love to conquer evil, if one is willing to atone for their sins. Rich in detail without getting bogged down, scene after scene comes alive and the passing of years feels natural.

Definitely a positive read for young adults and not-so-young adults, alike! Highly recommended reading and a wonderful way to discover the world of fantasy and great reading!

I received a complimentary copy from Tori V. Rainn! This is my honest and voluntary review.

Publisher: The Wild Rose Press, Inc (April 22, 2020)
Publication Date: April 22, 2020
Genre: YA Paranormal
Print Length: 162 pages
Available from: Amazon
For Reviews, Giveaways, Fabulous Book News, follow: http://tometender.blogspot.com
Profile Image for Exitgirl05.
147 reviews65 followers
May 24, 2020
First of all, I’d like to thank Netgalley and Backlit PR for providing me with this book in exchange for my honest review. Overall, It was okay read.
Idea for the book is excellent. The children’s story coming to life, cursed kids tormented every night and doomed to run for their lives until monsters catch them and transform them in one of their own. Brilliant! The stage was set and the action begun! Unfortunately, magic just wasn’t there for me. As much as I’ve tried, I just couldn’t connect to neither one of the characters. Writing style wasn’t helpful either. It seems to me that Tory V. Rainn just was not up to the task. But considering this is her debut novella, I expect her upcoming books to be better and better.
I’m sure that the YA lovers will enjoy this book.
Profile Image for N.N. Heaven.
Author 6 books1,796 followers
December 21, 2020
Never in a million years did Samuel think the Blacknoc Curse was real, let alone he'd become a monster whose sole job is to hunt cursed children in the forest. Every night, they're dropped into the forest and monsters like himself hunt them down until they give up their lives. What a horrific existence, or so Samuel thinks until he meets Layla. She's dropped into the forest and is determined to outwit the monsters and save all the tormented children, curse or no curse. Working together, will they be able to break the curse or will they succumb to their nightmarish lives?

Curse of the Blacknoc Witch is a gothic fantasy reminiscent of the Grimm Brothers. The premise hooked me right away. I enjoyed the characters, especially Samuel. His emotions are well-described and his POV flows as the plot progresses. The setting did confuse me as it was both modern and historical. The nonlinear timeline, popular in literature right now, caused me to pull out of the story at times. The descriptive narration is stark and added a new layer to the horrors of the forest. If you're a fan of horror and dark fantasy, you'll love Curse of the Blacknoc Witch.

Disclaimer: I received a copy from the author in the hopes I'd review it.

My Rating: 4 stars

Reviewed by: Mrs. N

This review first appeared: https://www.nnlightsbookheaven.com/po...
Profile Image for Kathleen.
1,156 reviews37 followers
June 7, 2020
Curse of the Blacknoc Witch earns 5/5 Mmmmonsters...Compelling!

“No matter how awful we are we all deserve another chance.”
—Samuel Fawcett, “The Curse of the Blacknoc Witch”

I’m not sure that this statement is true in every situation, but I do believe in second chances. I started this book once, wasn’t sure it was for me, so I put it down. However, I decided to give it a “second chance,” and I have succumbed to the tale: engaging, compelling, and thought-provoking. For the past three years, the monster, once named Samuel Fawcett, has been living within the forest, a realm unseen by humans, cursed to hunt punished children, devour them, and spit them out renewed as monsters to hunt and devour. But, a month ago, he changed, not in his monstrous demeanor but in his attitude. He hopes in his small way to save some of the children, however brief, since the next night the curse will return them to be hunted. How can he stop the vicious cycle...the curse? In the distance, he hears a more girlish scream, one he’d never heard before in this hell. What had she done wrong to deserve this punishment? Samuel can’t save them all, but still he sets to save her, to save Layla Marlowe. The night abates, he dissolves into the earth, to sleep, to wait, to rise again at night, and hunt not to destroy, but to protect. Layla returns to her grandfather’s house, but only until the next night when she again will find herself in the forest, hunted, and Samuel, hunted himself because he chooses to protect whom he can, will find her. However, Layla will not succumb to hopelessness, she will seek an answer, a way to break the curse and save Samuel, save the others, before it’s too late. The librarian. The book. The curse. Ghosts. Monsters. All this leads to a treacherous journey for redemption, for forgiveness, for love!

The drama is reminiscent of a Beauty and the Beast or a dark Grimm’s fairy tale adventure with monsters, curses, good versus evil, and a fool’s journey to break the curse and restore those infected. Tori V. Rainn has penned a well-developed tale with descriptions that bring to life the evil forest, the monsters, the villages, and the characters. The dialogue and inner thoughts do best to illustrate emotions and personalities and gives the reader insights. The narrative is shared between Samuel’s first person perspective and Layla’s. It is different...enjoyable, and not difficult to follow. I did find the names of the monsters—Ugly, Nitwit, Slobber—too comic and in contrast to the seriousness of the “curse” that has engulfed them. It is unclear if Samuel himself named the monsters he battles as a description of their behavior, and since he can’t communicate with them, he doesn’t know their human name. It isn’t long; I was compelled to finish it, reading well into the late hour. I felt at the end, the final task needing to be completed, went too quickly. It seemed the journey Samuel needed to take required more peril, more obstacles. I would have liked the Blacknoc witch to find her own peace, a way to forgiveness, a “second chance.” However, I greatly enjoyed the book, a surprising delight, a modern fairy tale of good, evil, redemption, and love!

Disclosure: I received an ARC from Wild Rose Press thru NetGalley. My review is voluntary with honest insights and comments.
Profile Image for Friederike.
142 reviews
June 26, 2020
Review to follow. Thanks to the publisher and NetGalley for giving me an ARC in exchange for an honest review.

EDIT: A late review but here it is, finally.
The book over all was okay. It was fast paced and interesting, yet I had some issues with it.
First of all, it seemed to be set in a modern world at first, but further into the story it felt more like a medieval-ish setting.
Then the timeskips towards the end... I got one question: why? It became a hot mess all of a sudden.
The idea behind the book was great! The stories you tell children suddenly getting real, like the old warnings one gets as a kid (be kind, be home early, etc.). The morality of what happens when they misbehave. Suddenly, nightmares are real and inescapable.
It was brutal to read sometimes, but amazing that the kids managed to break the circle! but also shocking how some kids got into this moral mess... wow.
Profile Image for Sydney Winward.
Author 17 books304 followers
April 3, 2020
Bad children being forced to run from evil creatures every night against their will? Monsters eating children alive and spitting them out into monsters? How dark and gruesome! This book captivated me from beginning to end. The world building in the forest is phenomenal, with small bits of humor thrown in there that made me chuckle. I loved Samuel’s determination to save children from an inescapable doom and Layla’s bravery as she fights off monsters and tries to break the curse.

This book has a dark Grimm’s fairy tales type of feel to it with fun little riddles along the way. Every scene in the forest, my heart was in my throat as I wondered what would happen next. The cover is stunning, the story gripping. This was a wonderful read and I really enjoyed it! I highly recommend.
1 review
May 19, 2020
This book has a little of everything, fantasy, romance and of course monsters, captivating and exciting. I couldn't put it down until I finished it and new what happened to Samuel and Layla. I really enjoyed how the poems that were worked into the story, nicely done. I look forward to more books from this author.
2,415 reviews
April 30, 2020
I really enjoyed this book. The story grabbed my attention from the start and held it throughout. It’s well written with well written characters. A book I didn’t want to put down. I’m looking forward to more from this author and would recommend reading.

I received a free copy of this book via Booksprout and am voluntarily leaving a review.
Profile Image for Becca ConsumesBooks.
63 reviews4 followers
May 11, 2020

Overall I though Curse of the Blacknoc Witch is okay. The premise is there but I wanted more out of the characters and plot. Blacknoc seems like it's attempting to be a few things but felt less focused as a result. If it wants to be a fairytale, give me concise prose, simple characters and a moral parable. It it wants to be modern young adult, flesh out the romance and characters and add more deeper logic behind some of the plot points. The book sits somewhere in between those two but doesn’t quite hit either for me.

The curse itself was the main draw and it is pretty neat. I liked the monsters and the way they were described as being covered in a myriad of tiny dangerous spines was nice and creepy. The mystery and solution to the curse worked was one of the more interesting components. The book handled its themes of regret and redemption well, and the plot was tied nicely to the themes. I almost wish the book went a bit deeper into the morals, but it doesn’t do a bad job.

The plot itself is very similar to a fairytale, but the writing style is more akin to contemporary young adult. The choice of writing style diminishes the fairytale feel, so some of the plot mechanisms that would be excusable in a fairy tale don’t make much sense in a more grounded novella. The ending in particular was based around fairytale logic that didn’t quite fit. The curse, on the other hand, worked really well in this story as a fairytale style element. I also liked that the story went further than anticipated, and truly saw the curse to its conclusion.
Plot construction-wise, there’s this off-screen character named Josh that is set up for a subplot or background that just never materializes. Would have liked to see that either go somewhere or get cut.

One thing to note that isn’t obvious coming in is that this book is somewhat Christian. If the thematic approach to sin and redemption wasn’t enough to tip you off, there are a few direct references to faith and the characters believe in a presumably Christian deity. Obviously this could be a pro or con depending on who you are; know that it’s not too heavy handed but is present none the less.

Overall not a bad book but didn’t quite hit the mark for me. If you're looking for a more Christian young adult horror, it may be a reasonable option though.

I received a copy of this novel for review curtesy of Wild Rose Press. The opinions expressed here are entirely my own.
8,333 reviews94 followers
April 23, 2020
This is the 1st book I've read written by Tori V. Rainn; she has done a great job at writing a good book; I can’t wait to read more of her books.

The story line caught my attention at the very beginning and kept me interested throughout the entire book.

I received a free copy of this book via booksprout and I’m voluntarily leaving a review.
508 reviews5 followers
December 11, 2020
Becoming a monster in a forest realm hadn’t been part of Samuel’s plans, but the Blacknoc Curse was true after all. Now he’s a monster hunting other cursed children, surrounded by horrors. Layla is tormented by the same curse and is dropped into the same forest every night. Unlike Samuel, her goal is to save all of the children, including him.

When we meet Samuel, he’s been a monster for some time. He’d already decided not to eat the wicked children sent to the forest by the curse, which puts him as an outcast with other monsters. Eating children results in vomiting them back out as monsters, and not eating them just condemns them to return the next night. It’s a small rebellion, and the only one he’s really able to make. Samuel has saved several children before he meets Layla, believing that they all deserve a second chance.

We’re dropped directly into the action, and it goes fast. Some of Samuel’s language feels a bit stilted for an eighteen-year-old. Layla is braver and stronger than the teenager she is at the start of the book and uses the time she has in her real world to research the curse to try to break it. As Samuel protects more children it modifies his curse; later we find out why. Layla finds allies in the real world, but she is largely left to break the curse on her own. Even after that is done, her story isn’t done and neither is Samuel’s. Both have to work at it to completely destroy the curse, and pieces of it are only revealed at a time.

It feels like the try/fail cycle advice often given for plotting was really at work here. The novella is stretched out when there are gaps of years in between some of those cycles. To me, it felt like the story could’ve been written as a duology, with the teenage section as one book and the adult section as a separate one, or a Part I and Part II separator in place to really emphasize that they’re two parts of a same larger story. I do like the message in it, that acceptance of wrongdoing that allows people to move forward, and that people working together make the most good. That’s definitely a message worth hanging onto.
Profile Image for Teresa.
232 reviews
April 11, 2021
“ Curse of the Blackmon Witch” is a dark yet, enjoyable adult fairytale. It’s like “Beauty and the Beast”, and “Sleeping Beauty” rolled into one. The story is suspenseful, but not gruesome.

Samuel Fawcett is condemned to a life of torturing and eating naughty children who can never really escape the monsters; like Samuel, who prey on them every night until they succumb to the curse of the witch, Mara Blacknoc.

Samuel seeks redemption, but has little hope of it until Layla Marlowe becomes the next victim arriving in the forest every night to be eaten. Layla is brave, smart and resourceful. Her character sums up the story quite well: “I’d run against evil. Came face to face with it. Was taken by it. Even became it...And I know I can’t run from evil now. I have to confront it.”
The story’s theme was about redemption and It was inspiring. Well done!
I received a free copy of this book and voluntarily reviewed it.
Profile Image for Kathleen.
58 reviews3 followers
May 27, 2020
*I received this book for free from the author through Voracious Readers Only in exchange for an HONEST review*

This book is different from many books circulating my Amazon recommended list.

Children who have committed adult level crimes are tormented each night in an alternate dimensional wood, chased by monster versions of the children before them. Their goal is to survive the night, only to return to the wretched wood once night falls. But one monster is not at he seems. Samuel has somehow overcome the urge to devour the new children each night. He has spent years in the woods as a monster, and now he tries his hardest to protect. He isn’t sure what good he is doing but he keeps on. Then comes Layla, a girl who refuses to succumb to the monsters who hunt her nightly. Maybe there is hope for them all yet.

Even if I made it through this book quickly, I still enjoyed the adventure and honestly wasn’t sure how the protagonists were going to win. I almost wish it wasn’t all resolved by the end of the book, and that this was a series.

I’ll be keeping an eye on this author.
Profile Image for A Mac.
651 reviews57 followers
June 3, 2020
This book was a great read - the protagonists were well-written and engaging and the suspense made the story fly by. Highly recommend for young adults and adults alike!
I received a complimentary copy of this work through Voracious Readers Only in exchange for my honest opinion.
Profile Image for K.A. Cummins.
Author 8 books33 followers
April 8, 2020
Curse of Blacknoc Witch creates an atmosphere reminiscent of a Grim Brothers fairy tale with a hint of Beauty and the Beast and Twilight. Two cursed teens fight for redemption, freedom, and love. Samuel is a monster rebelling against his nature to rescue and protect other cursed kids from becoming monsters like him. And Layla, one of the cursed, is determined to free them all—including Samuel, the monster she loves.

Compelling prose, a strong voice, and endearing characters hooked me from the beginning. The suspense heightens as things change within the cursed forest and the cursed children fight back. Then, a turn of events in the later half of the book leads this suspenseful tale on a surprising path.

I really enjoyed the characters and all the details and imagery poured into the curse’s forest world and history. Looking forward to reading more from this imaginative author!
40 reviews
May 31, 2020
I liked this book. It was a faster read than I expected - kind of a mix between a fairy tale and a YA Christian horror/adventure novel. The characters and love story felt a bit flat (more in line with a fairy tale than a YA novel) but the writing style felt more YA than fairy tale. I really liked the theme of the curse and the attempts to figure out how to outwit it. The descriptions and imagery were really great - this is something I could see making a good movie, because it has a clear straightforward story, fast action, and good pacing.

My biggest dislikes are due to the end of the story and some hanging plot lines. I don't want to go into too much detail here to avoid spoilers. But the ending doesn't make sense to me because it doesn't fit what I know of the witch's motivation. I think there was a different way to arrive at the same ending that would have been more in line with the characters staying true. I also dislike the hanging story thread of Josh/Ugly and how that never resolved, especially since the story wraps up so cleanly there seems to be no need for a sequel.

Anyways this was a fun, fast read. Probably wouldn't read again but I still enjoyed it!

I received a complimentary copy in exchange for an honest review.
Profile Image for Jay.
298 reviews3 followers
April 5, 2021
This book had an interesting idea, a curse that takes sinful children to make them pay for their crimes. It was unique and I enjoyed not knowing what to expect. I also liked the descriptions of the cursed world, the monsters, and the unfolding of how to break the curse. The characters were decent, but I didn’t love any of them. The writing itself skipped around too much for me. I understand it was a shorter story, but skipping large chunks of time, several times, just made me feel disconnected from the story. Overall it was an average read.
I received a free copy of this book. This is an honest review.
Profile Image for Ashley.
119 reviews21 followers
November 9, 2020
Curse of the Blacknoc Witch was a quick and fun read for me. I liked the over all theme of people deserving second chances and the literal boogeyman getting you at night for doing horrible deeds. It could be quite distressing with the monsters constantly chases the kids to actually eat them. Like I'm okay with the kids turning into monsters as punishment but was the eating necessary?
Profile Image for Leesa.
74 reviews
March 24, 2021
This book is well written and easy to read. It’s haunting and the description makes you feel like you’re watching a suspenseful fairytale. The premise is interesting and terrifying. The story is full of darkness and gore but also true love, a couple that fights to save each other from the evil that the world, and the supernatural have to offer
August 29, 2020
Was a fast paced read with lots of twists . I really enjoyed the tale and a different take on the paranormal witch story. A Voracious Reader review
Profile Image for Vicky.
Author 22 books45 followers
July 13, 2020
Thoughts: The premise of the book was intriguing. Kids who commit a sin cursed to turn into monsters who then attack the new (sinful) children who arrive in the forest at night. One monster, Samuel, tries to save them. There is a lot of action—some of it gory. Everything was set for a good fantasy read. Unfortunately, it just didn’t pan out for me. I couldn’t connect with any of the characters (except maybe the librarian). Plus there were editorial issues that had me cringing. Multiple points of view, sometimes skipping from one to the other so I wasn’t sure who I was supposed to be with. Also questions that left me baffled. For instance, it’s said at one point that it takes Layla three hours to ride to the city and the library. Yet later, she not only goes there and back home, then back to the library in less than a day. The timing just didn’t work.

What I liked: The premise of the story, and the ending. That was really good. And Layla’s character was a really strong one. I loved the librarian and how he helps Layla.

What I didn’t like: The sometimes cringe-worthy gore. And the editorial issues noted above.

Recommendation: It’s an interesting story with a good premise and a satisfying ending. If you don’t mind POV shifts and things like that, then pick it up.

Disclaimer: I received this book in hopes for an honest review. All opinions are my own and are not influenced by anyone or anything.
Profile Image for Dylan West.
Author 2 books32 followers
August 26, 2022
Lovable characters. Writing polished to a shine that mirrors would envy.

It's hard to make readers care about characters in a book this short, but the author pulled it off and made it look easy. More impressive is how the romance never veered into cliche or blew drama out of proportion. It even focused on real love instead of physical attraction. That alone is rare. And the writing is clean and clear. At many points, it's beautiful enough to stop and admire.

Some lines I found memorable

-the whole poem about the curse
-"Her long hair competes with the night sky."
-"the shrieks of a girl rattle the night air."

Some books could use a good trimming. Not this one. It's hard to find wordiness here. The writing is emotional without using physiological responses as a crutch, vivid without boring details, pretty without purple prose. And this author isn't afraid of short sentences, making this book WAY easier to read than most. I never found myself rereading sections--the writing had to be crafted with clarity and readability in mind. Writing this smooth doesn't happen by accident.

It's hard to find modern fairy tales this original (most are retellings of the same old stuff).

Strong beginning. Satisfying and surprising finish that makes me want to read more of Rainn's work.
Profile Image for Cyrene Olson.
1,196 reviews15 followers
September 15, 2021
Within the first sentences, you are tossed into a dark forest, and I was wondering what I got myself into, but I’m glad that I kept going. Children who commit a terrible sin are cursed into a dark forest where monsters eat them, spit them out and then the child becomes a monster. Each night, new kids are tossed into the fray. One of the monsters, Samuel, has been fighting off the monsters and trying to save kids every night. When he meets Layla, he feels more than ever the need to protect her. Each night he saves Layla, and each day she tries to find the cure for the curse to free the kids and Samuel. And the solution could be within a book at the library.

This is a pretty gory book, and it’s not for young teens as it might give them pause. But I really liked the author’s poetry that she uses for the riddles of the Blacknoc Curse. This is set in a historical time, I’m not sure exactly when, more like old western times, as they use wagons and horses. But the book is an easy read and once you get past that first chapter so you aren’t so confused, it’s a decent tale and a quick read.
16 reviews
July 3, 2021
Interesting book and has great story line and keeps u pulled in
Profile Image for Moony (Captain Mischief) MeowPoff.
1,441 reviews124 followers
January 12, 2022
This was really interesting! I really enjoyed Samuel and Layla`s story, but i felt the story was very short though. It was over very quickly.

I got this eARC from Netgalley.
Profile Image for Lucette Nel.
Author 6 books57 followers
May 2, 2020
A curse. Redemption. Love. Beautiful prose. A wonderful portrayal of two unlikely allies joining forces. I'm looking forward to more book by this talented author.
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