Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Review: The Hawley Book of the Dead by Chrysler Szarlan

Title: The Hawley Book of the Dead
Author: Chrysler Szarlan
Format: Hardcover
Publisher: Ballantine
Publish Date: September 23, 2014
Source: I received a copy from the publisher; however, this did not affect my review.

What's the Story?:

From Goodreads.com: "Revelation “Reve” Dyer grew up with her grandmother’s family stories, stretching back centuries to Reve’s ancestors, who founded the town of Hawley Five Corners, Massachusetts. Their history is steeped in secrets, for few outsiders know that an ancient magic runs in the Dyer women’s blood, and that Reve is a magician whose powers are all too real.

Reve and her husband are world-famous Las Vegas illusionists. They have three lovely young daughters, a beautiful home, and what seems like a charmed life. But Reve’s world is shattered when an intruder alters her trick pistol and she accidentally shoots and kills her beloved husband onstage.

Fearing for her daughters’ lives, Reve flees with them to the place she has always felt safest—an antiquated farmhouse in the forest of Hawley Five Corners, where the magic of her ancestors reigns, and her oldest friend—and first love—is the town’s chief of police. Here, in the forest, with its undeniable air of enchantment, Reve hopes she and her girls will be protected.

Delving into the past for answers, Reve is drawn deeper into her family’s legends. What she discovers is The Hawley Book of the Dead, an ancient leather-bound journal holding mysterious mythic power. As she pieces together the truth behind the book, Reve will have to shield herself and her daughters against an uncertain, increasingly dangerous fate. For soon it becomes clear that the stranger who upended Reve’s life in Las Vegas has followed her to Hawley—and that she has something he desperately wants."

My Two Cents:

"The Hawley Book of the Dead" is the story of Revelation, a Las Vegas magician, who has a magic act with her beloved husband. Her magic is real though and is no illusion. She also has a family made up of two twin daughters and a younger daughter. This is no ordinary family. After the tragedy strikes the family, Revelation is afraid that some of her old issues with magic has come to roost upon her and her family. This book is a great story with a healthy dose of magical realism, mystery, and suspense that will delight many readers.

I love my fiction with a little bit of magic! Magical realism is so much fun. This book definitely has it in spades. I loved the way that the author was able to incorporate Revelation's powers and those of her youngest daughter into something that felt very real throughout the book. This book has a healthy dose of mystery surrounding the magic which makes it all that much more interesting!

I really like that the book was told from the perspective of Revelation. That really allowed me to get into the story. I think it was also helpful to have the story be told from a first-hand point of view as it helped to keep the mystery that happens throughout the book and is solved at the end of the book a secret until the very end.

This is definitely one of those books that's great if you have a long, cold, wet afternoon where you can fully engage in a good story. This book is best ride it in large doses. I really enjoyed the story and know that I will be thinking about these characters for a long time to come.



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