Author: Tim Westover
Publish Date: July 10, 2012
Source: I received a copy from the publisher; however, this did not affect my review.
Why You're Reading This Book:
- You're a fiction fan.
- You like a little bit of fantasy with your story.
From Goodreads.com: "Water spirits, moon maidens, haunted pianos, headless revenants, and an invincible terrapin that lives under the mountains. None of these distract James Holtzclaw from his employer’s mission: to turn the fading gold-rush town of Auraria, GA, into a first-class resort and drown its fortunes below a man-made lake. But when Auraria’s peculiar people and problematic ghosts collide with his own rival ambitions, Holtzclaw must decide what he will save and what will be washed away.
Taking its inspiration from a real Georgia ghost town, Auraria is steeped in the folklore of the Southern Appalachians, where the tensions of natural, supernatural and artificial are still alive."
My Two Cents:
This book was definitely different than I expected. It's sort of hard to categorize it. The story is definitely unique. I could see this story appealing to a wide variety of readers. As a historical fiction lover, I really liked the historical elements. The story takes place in the late 1800s. It was interesting to see what things were like then. There is also a really interesting fantasy element to it, mostly having to do with the characters, which I will get into later.
Auraria is in the middle of nowhere Georgia. It's not all that notable except for the people or rather beings that make their home there. I loved all of the different beings in this book. Westover does a great job with making them feel really real. That's definitely a talent! I love when authors are able to turn the fantastic into something familiar. It's sort of magical realism in a way. My favorite character was the Princess of the lake. She is just a really cool and very well written character.
The downside of this book to me really had to do with the main character, Holtzclaw. There is all of this fantastic stuff going on around him and he's just not that exciting on his own. He's definitely a good guy and is trying to do right by his employer, Shadburn, and by the people of the town but he struck me as a little bit flat. On the upside, he did help to make the more unique characters stand out a little bit more.
Bottom line: This book is great for those who like a little fantastic with their literary.