Mini Book Review: The Hawley Book of the Dead by Chrysler Szarlan

SPOILER ALERT: I enjoyed the book but had some concerns with the storytelling. Story spoilers below this line.

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The Hawley Book of the Dead: A NovelThe Hawley Book of the Dead: A Novel by Chrysler Szarlan
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I really liked the subtle magic and fae history woven into the story. The plot drives itself towards a big finale and that compelled me to keep reading to find out what happened. I expected more of the magical act story, and was surprised when the plot took a different direction.

Things that bothered me were things that dragged the story momentum – like the regular referral to the death of the main character’s husband. The author uses a lot of descriptive which I had a love/hate relationship with. At times I wanted more description of characters.

There was very little character development beyond the heroine. The book reads like a Hardy Boys mystery and ends like one with a total wrap-up and an easily predictable outcome. The big bad guy looming turns into ash and the other bad guy is vanquished. Guy and girl hook up and the missing kids come home. The ending is odd in that the big bad guy is never confronted by the heroine – he appears only off-screen.

I wish the plot line with the grandmother was more fleshed out. The falconry choice was an intriguing vocation for her. There were foundations laid for storytelling that didn’t happen. I’m left with too many questions.

All that said I enjoyed The Hawley Book of the Dead.

View all my reviews

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