633 Following

Lora's Rants and Reviews

My own unapologetic opinions on books and writing. I DO NOT accept review requests but only review books I choose to read and I don't post reviews on Amazon. I'm also persnickity about genre and plot. DO NOT FOLLOW ME IF YOU'RE HERE TO ADVERTISE, ESPECIALLY NON-BOOK PRODUCTS. I WILL BLOCK YOU!!!

Currently reading

Kitchen Witchcraft
Rachel Patterson
Conrad Monk and the Great Heathen Army
Edoardo Albert
Magic Medicine: A Trip Through the Intoxicating History and Modern-Day Use of Psychedelic Plants and Substances
Cody Johnson
Hero at the Fall
Alwyn Hamilton
Progress: 6%
Pieces of Her
Karin Slaughter
John Peters in the land of Demons
Tempests and Slaughter (The Numair Chronicles, Book One)
Tamora Pierce
Hark! The Herald Angels Scream
Christopher Golden
Barnabas Tew and The Case Of The Missing Scarab
Columbkill Noonan
Sound—The Fabric of Soul, Consciousness, Reality, and the Cosmos
Ramiro Mendes, João Mendes
Progress: 9%

The Hawley Book of the Dead

The Hawley Book of the Dead - Chrysler Szarlan

by Chrysler Szarlan


The beginning grabs you right away. Both poetic and shocking, the reader is brought into a world of a woman (Reve) and her husband who do a stage magic act, their twin daughters, and an incident with a gun that went wrong. Overshadowing it all is the unexplained scent of lilacs.


It continues as a story of a woman dealing with bereavement and police suspicion and quickly becomes a mystery when a mysterious man in a black suit stalks the widow.

From there it slows down rather a lot. There are teasing moments when a different kind of magic is hinted at and locals are reluctant to go out to Hawley five corners, but apart from depressing doom and death it's mainly a story of the widow and her daughters settling into their new home, Reve's childhood home.


I have to admit that I glazed over about a quarter of the way through, still waiting for something significant to happen. The occasional teases never seemed to bear fruit and if they eventually did, my mind had wandered and I missed it. There was a lot there that could have been a gripping story, but it just went on about day to day details of normal life for far too long and lost my interest.