Tuesday, 14 October 2014

The Hawley Book Of The Dead

The Hawley Book Of The Dead
Rating: 4/5
Buy or Borrow: Buy
Source: Proof courtesy of the publisher

After a magic trick is sabotaged and goes tragically wrong, Reve is left without her husband, but with 3 kids to keep safe from the killer who is now stalking them all around Vegas. After a mysterious letter from her Grandmother she decides to do as it says and take them back to her hometown, Hawley Five Corners, except, after 5 girls and then the entire town vanished in the 20's, no-one in the nearby town of Hawley Village will come near their new home.

The house is surrounded by acres of forest, drenched in secrets, mysteries and magic. Reve finds a mysterious book called The Hawley Book Of The Dead, which gives her visions of what their stalker is up to. When he follows them to Hawley, and her twins go missing, Reve will have to solve the mysteries and find out the secrets, of her families history. It turns out there's more to her family than originally meets the eye.

Man, this should be called The Hawley Book Of You Should Have Listened To Your Mother. I know things have to happen a certain way to move the plot along and so on, but I really couldn't stop myself from getting so irritated with Reve's kids who literally never do what they're told. Ya know...taking dodgy magical items from strangers that mean a dodgy magician can listen in and find the book, and ya know...going out for a ride alone when they where told not to because they're being stalked by a total crazy. I literally got so annoyed. It's like in Game Of Thrones when no-one listened to Mama Stark and they all ended up dead, crippled, engaged to a psycho or pretending to be a boy and getting in trouble every 5 seconds.

I really loved the magic, and all the magic tricks and so on, and I loved the actual real magic. I thought the history of the family was very rich and intriguing. I really enjoyed learning about the family history and trying to work out what had happened back in the day and coming up with theories that where then proved wrong. I mean there where some parts that I could guess, but there where others that left me surprised so it was a good mix of both!

The pacing was fairly good, it started off strong, it drew you in, and then the end was a race to the finish full of suspense, but for a little bit in the middle it kind of slowed down and I was a little bit bored for a while, but there where still interesting tidbits to keep the mystery alive even if the pace had died a little bit.

The plot was fairly complex, there where threads from the past and a secret government experiment going on, that was tied in to the main story very well, the little bits of information from the family history where always thrown in at the right moment and the main plot, was a bit of a surprise at the end and it was just a very well thought out and complex plot that brought lots of threads together.

I liked the world, the world building was fantastic and vivid, there where creepy elements at first with their house and the disappearing villagers, and then the missing girls  being found. The mystery and intrigue was kept up the whole way through, there where nice little gaps in the story when the book told you more about Voss and what happened to Maggie and where Voss was that added nice little breaks from the narrative and gave you a lot of information in an interesting way. The end had the perfect amount of suspense as well.

I liked the characters well enough, like I said, her kids really irritated me, but I really liked Reve herself and the other members of her family, and Jolon was cool too. I did think it was weird that she rather suddenly appeared to get with Jolon, but whatever. Reve was a character you could empathize with and understand her logic and her actions so her narrative was easy to read and was engaging.

Overall The Hawley Book Of The Dead, while having a few pacing problems and moments of blah, was for the most part, full of mystery and suspense and two very different kinds of magic. It was really enjoyable and had a nice creepy element to keep you on your toes!

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