“Bride of the Tornado” by James Kennedy is a captivating and utterly unique novel that seamlessly blends elements of magical realism with a poignant coming-of-age story. Kennedy, known for his innovative storytelling, once again proves his mastery of combining the ordinary and extraordinary in this extraordinary tale.
I’ll tell you now we are not in Kanas any more!! The Bride of The Tornado is set in a fictional small US town that is under the constant threat of Tornados, but these aren’t normal tornados, almost sentient like in their behaviour; they threaten to destroy the way of life in the small town, only one thing stands in their way, The Tornado Boy, a mysterious figure, whispered about in hushed tones, a figure of myth legend and fear, set apart from the rest of the town. But when our protagonist, a strong-willed teenage girl, becomes infatuated with The Tornado Boy, everything is literally thrown up in the air: the town, its way of life and everyone who lives there. However, it is the truth of who the Tornado Boy is, that is the real horror of this story, as small-town politics, and the machinations of those who run the town are brought to the front, life for everyone here will never be the same again.
Kennedy’s prose in “Bride of the Tornado” is nothing short of enchanting. With vivid descriptions and evocative language, he brings to life both the ordinary and extraordinary aspects of the world of The Bride of The Tornado, From the swirling chaos of the threatening tornados to the intricate details of the small-town setting and the small-mindedness of the folks from the town, every scene isimmersive and richly textured. Delivering a strange sense of unease and a sense of threatening foreboding.
But it is in the characters that Kennedy truly shines. Our narrator is not your typical teenage girl, strong-willed, disruptive, and desperate to find answers to who the tornado boy is, as much as she wants to find answers to her place in this mixed-up world. She is presented as a fully realised character who is also a totally believable protagonist.
The Tornado Boy himself is presented as somewhat of a cypher, which works perfectly for this story; in many ways, he reminded me of Jack from Supernatural, filled with immense power but totally and utterly naive with regard to who he is and what his potential is. And when the truth of who or what he is is revealed, we are left feeling both sorry and horrified about the truth of who he is.
However, it is Mr X who is the real star of The Bride of The Tornado, an utterly vile and compelling villain; every second that he appears on the page, he exudes sheer evilness.
The blending of magical realism with everyday realities is where “Bride of the Tornado” truly excels. Whether it is our protagonist’s attempt to find the person she wants to be or the day-to-day mundane life of a teenage girl in a small American town, the subtle undercurrents of the supernatural that ripple through the narrative, Kennedy effortlessly balances the fantastical elements with the emotional depth of the story. Until the the final acts of the story where everything explodes in a visceral gust of bloody mayhem. The themes of love, loss, resilience, and the power of human connection are expertly explored, resulting in a profoundly moving reading experience. Kennedy encourages readers to slow down, savour the beauty in the smallest moments, and reflect on the mysterious forces that shape our lives.
“Bride of the Tornado” is a book that defies categorization. It is equal parts dark fairy tale, introspective coming-of-age story, and profound exploration of the human condition. James Kennedy’s masterful storytelling, imaginative world-building, and compelling characters make this novel an enchanting and thought-provoking read.
The Bride of The Tornado by James Kennedy
A young woman’s secretive midwestern town is engulfed by a mysterious plague of tornadoes every generation–and she must escape it before it claims her.
Stephen King’s The Mist meets David Lynch’s Twin Peaks in this surreal, mind-bending horror-thriller.
In a small town tucked away in the midwestern corn fields, the adults whisper about Tornado Day. Our narrator, a high school sophomore, has never heard this phrase but she soon discovers its terrible meaning: a plague of sentient tornadoes is coming to destroy them.
The only thing that stands between the town and total annihilation is a teen boy known as the tornado killer. Drawn to this enigmatic boy, our narrator senses an unnatural connection between them. But the adults are hiding a secret about the origins of the tornadoes and the true nature of the tornado killer—and our narrator must escape before the primeval power that binds them all comes to claim her.
Audaciously conceived and steeped in existential dread, this genre-defying fever dream of a novel reveals the mythbound madness at the heart of American life.