Cursebreaker: Order of the Scrolls
Ten-year-old Luke runs away from his home near Denver, because his father’s abuse is potentially lethal. Rescued by a pastor and his wife, Luke learns about Christianity and discovers his gift of prophecy. Luke enjoys his new life until spooked into flight again. This time, he is hit by a car and becomes involved in what looks like a blackmail scheme to get the young deputy district attorney who hit Luke, Joshua Parnell, to throw a case for the Fratelli gangster family. However, Papa Fratelli, who is possessed by the family demon, has additional motivation concerning Luke’s prophecy gift. If he can destroy Luke, the threat of Luke finding and using the hidden sacred scrolls to banish their demon to damnation will be gone and the family’s success will continue.
While not heavy on historical context, Cursebreaker melds a 16th century curse with a 1930s Denver gangster setting. The feuds with the rival gangster families, drama in the courtroom, and conflict in Luke’s family life give Wentz ample opportunities for action scenes to be enhanced by the demonic possession and prophetic ability storylines. Characterization is stereotypical right down to the hooker with a heart of gold, and the dialogue is sometimes unrealistically verbose. However, the story and message will still appeal to some readers.