Banshee in the Well begins with Niall Carver in his room, on the computer when he hears a loud shriek that cracks the glass of the window. Home alone, he decides to investigate. His journey leads him to an old well on the property, which has been sealed and locked since long before he came around. He manages to get it open to discover a strange girl with black markings.
After a brief confrontation, she introduces herself as Sathra the dryad. She is from the 13 century, her magic used to escape her imprisonment from monks by warping her to the present day. She explains what a dryad is and what she needs to do to regain her magical powers to return to her time and her 11 half-sisters. Niall is fascinated, not realizing that Sathra is actually a banshee, not a dryad, and there are only two ways to regain her power: get struck by lightning or sacrifice a male her age. Well it just so happens that she is 12 and so is Niall. There are more 12 year old males than bolts of lightning striking in the vicinity so inevitably, she needs to commit murder.
Sathra can't just kill. She has to sacrifice the male in a circle of stones, and he has to enter it willingly. Adventures ensue as she tries to lure Niall to the circle while pretending to be his friend. In the meantime, she becomes a bit conflicted and decides to try alternative males but manages to get herself in trouble. Can she find someone else to sacrifice to spare Niall? Will the young boy be able to escape with his life? Is there a way for both of them to get their way with no bloodshed?
I have to say, Sathra is quite an amusing character. She does not understand modern technology (no surprise) such as Google Searches (gargoyle searches), computers & televisions (magical simulacrums), etc. Despite her heightened physical attributes (she beats the hell out of full grown adults pulling off some crazy stunts), she keeps managing to get herself into trouble and screwing up her plans.
The story itself is a lot of fun. It's not a long read, but it draws the reader in. With amusing characters (especially Sathra), an unexpected and welcome amount of action (especially the part where she beats the hell out of a mouthy little punk), and an interesting story, this is worthwhile for younger readers (teens) on up. There's even a band called Karmic Surprise, and they are very aptly named (I will give away no more than that as it comes together in the end). I hope the author comes out with a sequel, I'd love to read it.
Mike Saxton Review