Reese, James 1964–
Reese, James 1964–
CAREER: Writer. Held various jobs in the nonprofit sector in the areas of the arts and the environment.
FICTION; "HERCULINE" TRILOGY
The Book of Shadows, William Morrow (New York, NY), 2002.
The Book of Spirits, William Morrow (New York, NY), 2005.
Also author of a play staged off-Broadway at the Actors Repertory Theatre in New York.
WORK IN PROGRESS: The concluding volume of "Herculine" trilogy.
SIDELIGHTS: James Reese is the author of books featuring the supernatural and with strong sexual content. In the first book of the "Herculine" trilogy, the heroine, Herculine, is an orphan in post-Revolutionary France who questions her true nature in terms of gender. She is eventually accused of being a witch and is rescued from a convent by a sorcerer who teaches her the ways of the occult so she can liberate two spirits, the lovers Father Louis and Madeleine de la Mettire, from their human forms. Herculine eventually succeeds in freeing the spirits, learning more about herself and the occult along the way until she recognizes her true identity and leaves Europe for the "New World" in the Americas. Michael Spinella, writing in Booklist, noted that the book is "rich in style and allusion, both literary and historical." A Publishers Weekly contributor called Reese "a star pupil in the Anne Rice school of dark sensuality."
In The Book of Spirits, Herculine is in early 1800s Virginia, where the protagonist becomes involved in the issue of slavery while further developing supernatural powers. In addition to his fictional characters, the author includes historical figures, from Indians such as Chief Osceola to Edgar Allan Poe's mother. In a review in Booklist, Debi Lewis wrote, "Part historical fiction, part supernatural tale, this is difficult to put down."
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
Booklist, February 1, 2002, Michael Spinella, review of The Book of Shadows, p. 924; July, 2005, Debi Lewis, review of The Book of Spirits, p. 1901.
Kirkus Reviews, January 1, 2002, review of The Book of Shadows, p. 15.
Library Journal, February 1, 2002, Laurel Bliss, review of The Book of Shadows, p. 133.
Publishers Weekly, February 4, 2002, review of The Book of Shadows, p. 51.
James Reese Home Page, http://www.jamesreesebooks.com (January 21, 2005).