Review: Hath No Fury (The Lesson of Three, #1) by Hal Rappaport

Title: Hath No Fury (The Lesson of Three, Book 1)
Author: Hal Rappaport
Publication Date: June 19, 2012
Publisher: Createspace
Genre: Paranormal
Source: ARC from Author


Synopsis (from the Author):  This is a fiction story, with factually reported paranormal events, written by an established, credible, science and technology writer for well-known publications. 

I think you'll find the story has in interesting world to immerse yourself in without losing an edge in reality that sets it apart. While the book has paranormal elements, it is not a typical, "drippy" vampire romance. Hath no Fury is about REAL magic. While the storyline is a fictional, any paranormal elements are actually based on real events personally observed in research or relayed by very credible witnesses.

Set in the 1970’s, Mark and Amy, the central characters of the story, live a life of discovery and wonder amidst a secret world of magic practitioners. As they mature, they discover their own magic and a new facet to their friendship. Just as they turn over a new page in their relationship, their worlds are suddenly rocketed out of control by a destiny and a source of evil that has been waiting patiently for a generation.
5*****Stars! Paranormal Romance Guild Reviews
Nominated for Best Paranormal-fantasy: 2012 PRG Reviewer's Choice Awards
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Part I: Childhood
Chapter I
The Universe, the boy learned, gives you back three-fold what you put into it. The boy, Mark
Kaplan, understood that doing good things will bring you good things, times three, and that
doing bad things will suffer the opposite consequences. He had not learned of about a nebulous
afterlife or some unspeakable horror to plague his immortal soul should he not be a good boy.
He only fears the bad… times three.
He tried to explain this to his “best friend forever” and next door neighbor, Amy Sellers, as they
sat on her front steps on a hot September day.
Although they were roughly the same age, Amy was in awe of Mark’s wisdom.
While Mark did possess a much better than average intelligence, he didn’t have an IQ that was
freakishly high. Mark’s greatest intellectual gift was an unwavering ability to concentrate
coupled with a voracious love of reading. When other children all experienced some form of
distraction from life, Mark didn’t. He could fix his attention and work a problem until it was
solved or finish Treasure Island in one sitting…a brief sitting. Mark was home schooled by his
grandmother and she had brought him to a third (sometimes fourth) grade reading level. By the
age of six, Mark had managed to get more than half-way through the 1970’s in a sleepy New
Jersey suburb without the benefit of television…except for the little bit he’d seen at Amy’s
Mark was unimpressed by the glimpse of television that Amy gave him. He thought Sesame
Street couldn’t compare with the world in his head and the universe that he had come to know.
The characters of JRR Tolkien’s “Hobbit” seemed more exciting and real than Big Bird or Oscar
the Grouch.
Amy may have been in awe of Mark’s wisdom, but he was in awe of her experience. After all,
she’d gone to a real school and she’d even seen Star Wars…twice. But more than these trivial
things, Mark felt alive with Amy. She had a presence that seemed almost magnetic to him. Amy
had a gift of power that Mark only sensed on a subconscious level.
At the age of six Amy had heard a different story about the universe. “I heard if you’re bad you
go to… ‘Heffire.’” This last word Amy whispers in Mark’s ear.
“I’ve never heard of that word,” Mark said.
Mark’s grandmother, Eleanor, was convinced that television was nothing but a passing fad, and
from what little Mark had seen of it, he agreed. Mark was being raised by his grandmother. His
parents, whom he had never known and had no memory of, were dead. Mark’s grandmother
refused to tell him exactly how they died. She only told him that they died “bravely.” His
grandmother wouldn’t say any more and Mark decided that he could live with “bravely” for now.
“Want a Crutch?” Amy asked him, mispronouncing the name of “Crush” orange flavored soda.
“Sure.” Mark replied. The day was hot and a cold can of the sweet orange soda sounded pretty
Amy went into her house and returned with two sweating cans of Orange Crush, which was
Mark’s favorite. It’s a treat he only had at Amy’s since his grandmother wouldn’t have such
things in her house. The closest he ever got to soda was a variety of seltzer with some orange
juice squeezed in it. Definitely not the same!
Later they went wading in the canal even though it was forbidden. It was the last official day of
summer and the season didn’t seem to want to let go. The temperature was in the mid-90’s. The
air felt heavy and humid without a trace of a breeze.
“What’s ‘Heh-fire,’” Mark asked, his talent for concentration kept him on the first subject.
Amy recalled the priest at the church during her cousin Alice’s wedding. Amy had never been to
a church before the wedding, even though her parents said they were Christian. She didn’t care
either way. She was so happy to go to the wedding. All she could think about was wearing the
new blue dress with the pretty white lace that her mother had bought her. She thought the church
itself was ok, but the pastor, Father Paimon scared her.
“Father Paimon said if Alice didn’t raise her kids with ‘Jeezes’ then they would ‘burn in eternal
‘Heffire’.” Any scratched her nose and treated Mark with a quizzical look. “What’s ‘eternal’
mean anyway?”
“It means forever and ever,” Mark said, a sage-like tone in his child’s voice. He brushed back
his black stringy hair. It had grown damp with sweat and it stuck to his forehead.
Mark had a very serious and intense way about him. This was something Amy really liked and
“My mom says that the Devil takes all the bad people down to Heffire,” Amy said.
When Mark would later ask his grandmother about this, she laughed at his question about “Hellfire.”
She explained that there was no “Devil” just bad spirits. She told him that if you do bad
things, you face the consequences, but there was no “Hell-Fire.” She also told him not to correct
Amy about stuff like that because what she and her parents wanted to believe was their own
This really confused Mark. He loved to share everything with Amy. After all, they were “best
friends forever.” If it was the truth, he wanted Amy to know so she wasn’t scared of it. When
Amy’s parents told her about the tooth fairy, he felt it his duty to set her straight on real Faeries.
What they didn’t realize was that Mark didn’t tell Amy that Faeries didn’t exist. He just
explained that they didn’t leave her a quarter every time she lost a tooth. Mark not only believed
firmly in the existence of Faeries, along with a host of other creatures, he had seen them and
even talked to them.
Mark didn’t know that Amy’s parents, Phyllis and Bill Sellers, were quite resentful of Mark’s
contradiction to the usual fictions. They had even spoken to his grandmother, about it. In an
attempt to keep the myth of Santa Clause intact, they had made several trips to the mall to
actually “meet” the jolly fat man in red. Strangely enough, Amy didn’t seem too upset that he
wasn’t real. It seemed more important to her parents that Amy accept the myth than it did to
Eleanor Rogers, Mark’s grandmother, raised him a little differently. At the time, the name
society gave her theories on food and nature might have labeled her as a “health nut.” This was a
name she despised. In her mind, she was clearly, a “naturalist” not a “nut.”
Some might, in later years, call her a spiritualist. Some, who would never ask and only believe
in what Hollywood movies tell them, might say that she worshiped the very Devil whose
existence she vehemently denied. Eleanor Rogers worshiped nature. She respected the male and
female aspects of the divine, The God and Goddess. She also practiced magick and divination.
She knew what she was… a witch.

I currently live in New Jersey, in a small town just north of Princeton.  I grew up in Philadelphia.  I guess I’ve been writing stories since I was about 11 or 12.  I loved the idea of being able to transport someone to another place, or to create my own.

I’ve always been into technology.  I’ve worked in the field for almost 25 years.  I wrote for the Syfy Channel’s technology site, DVICE and several of my articles were picked up by NBC (NBC Universal owns the Syfy Channel).  I have regular articles that are science fiction inspired, but about REAL technology.  It’s been my passion to incorporate something real from fiction. In the case of my book, it’s incorporating something real INTO the fiction.

Before any of the Syfy channel stuff, way back in the early days before Facebook and before Blogs, I created a web site for Horror themes called, Frightscape.com.  It’s still in existence in its very primitive form.

Anyway, I decided to write an article for my own site about one of the scariest places I had ever been.  It was a haunted attraction that had existed in the 1970’s and 80’s.  It was called, Brigantine Castle.  It was gigantic.  It was five stories tall with over 80 live actors.  Through the early search facilities of the web, I found a few of the original cast and got them together using a yahoo group (They still use it).  

It gave me a unique opportunity to interview them and to write some great stuff about the place, with a lot of their pictures and even some sound recordings.  

The editor of Haunted Attractions magazine read my web site and asked me to write one for him.  It was my first professional writing.  I’ve written a few more articles for Haunted Attractions Magazine since then, along with a few other industry publications.

Hath No Fury is about two childhood friends, Mark and Amy, who are separated when Mark's grandmother is suddenly murdered. Mark grows up within a religion of witchcraft, and is thrust into the world of good vs evil.

*Takes a deep breath* Okay, so this book was very different from other books I normally review. Although it was clear that the author had done his research, which is GREAT, I really felt like the story moved really slowly and was, at times, difficult to follow. After a while it was hard to keep my focus, wondering if the plot was going to pick up speed. I think between the style of writing and the lack of character development, I just couldn't really get into this book. Which is surprising, because since it is a fusion of fact and fable, I expected intrigue to capture me within the pages.

This is not at all like your usual paranormal/fantasy work. I can't necessarily say it's a big adventure, either. It felt, to me, almost like it could be a biography. Nothing against biographies, I actually enjoy biographies. I just had major difficulty getting through this book at the speed it was taking me. I really think it could've been condensed to make it more interesting.

Although the storyline and magick was very descriptive and spherical, the characters and writing itself was a bit flat for my taste. This is another book that could have a lot of potential, and I was just expecting a lot more out of it.

'Til Next Time,

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