Wardwell takes the familiar territory of a hometown---Eastport, Maine---and weaves a tale of haunting's, black (evil) and white (good) entities, space aliens and quaint characters from the town.
by Doug Wardwell
Outskirts Press., Inc., Denver, Colo. 2010, pp. 258, pb, ISBN 978-1-4327-4850-0. $14.95.
Author Doug Wardwell has been a Professor of Mass Media at Central Connecticut State University and is now a writer and video producer. As an author, “The Battery: A Story of Good and Evil” is his first fiction novel. Wardwell has a conversational style of writing, with a sense of humor, that flows from one page to another. The cover art is frightening, however, and would lead a reader to think this book is about something else entirely.
Wardwell takes the familiar territory of a hometown---Eastport, Maine---and weaves a tale of haunting's, black (evil) and white (good) entities, space aliens and quaint characters from the town. The book is interesting when the narrator (Wardwell) and his friend, Liz, explore different facets of what they think is happening in the town. We meet the narrator’s sister, Clare, who can communicate with entities,’ and we get background information about mysterious sightings at this sea port town going back generations. This is Stephen King territory and The Battery refers to a particular rock projection away from the town. It reminded me of “Pet Sematary.“ The strangeness here has been going on so long, people are accustomed to it and even defend it, which leads the narrator to be jailed, hospitalized and seen by a psychiatrist. The narrator is aided by SETO, a search-for-extraterrestrial-life organization.
When Wardwell goes off the beaten track with chapters concerning erotic suggestions by a black entity, and similarities between the shape of a rock outlook and the Egyptian pyramids, that the reader gets lost. Individual characterizations are sometimes humorous such as the description of a heavy set farmer as a “…large hand attached to the body of Frank…“ As a whole, the book is an example of fantasy fiction derived from a small town in Maine that may never see tourists again.
Reviewed by Marie Asner