The Hawley Book of the Dead by Chrysler Szarlan

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Chrysler Szarlan has created a story, which crosses the line between magic and urban fantasy. The magic and illusion of magic shows, and the magic of something akin to witchcraft, passed down from generation to generation of female family members.

The past becomes part of the present, as the tragedies that hit Revelation and her family become linked with unsolved mysteries that have left a small town isolated and deserted.

I think the first half of the book focused far too much on what happens to the husband, because the actual main attraction emerges in the second half.

It often felt like Szarlan hopped from one sub-plot to another and didn’t concentrate enough on the main plot. Despite that the story and idea has a lot of potential and certainly plenty of possibilities for further books.

I did leave me with a few unanswered questions though. The reader finds out why Hannah disappears, where the other girls ended up, but that didn’t gel with what happened with the rest of the town.

Is the book driven by the keeper, is the keeper driven by the book or do the emotions of the keeper drive the book? That is the real question and perhaps Szarlan will answer in a sequel.
I received a copy of this book courtesy of NetGalley and the publisher.


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