Monday, November 30, 2015

Book Review: SLEEPY HOLLOW by Dax Varley

I received a free copy of this book in exchange for my honest review

You've heard the story of The Headless Horseman and Sleepy Hollow.  Now experience it through the eyes of  Katrina Van Tassel.  Haunted by her own encounter with the Headless Horseman, Katrina does her best to save those she loves (including the handsome new school teacher Ichabod Crane) from becoming the Horseman's next victim.  Told in 1st person point of view,  SLEEPY HOLLOW  is a lively retelling of Washington Irving's Legend Of Sleepy Hollow.


 From the first page,  SLEEPY HOLLOW by Dax Varley drew me in.   The writing style is fresh, fun, and moves along at a good pace.  I agree with the reviewers who say Katrina comes across as too 'modern' for a 1700s girl.   It reminded me strongly of the tone the TV show 'Reign' takes to historical drama and history.  It's very loosely based on the source material but that doesn't make it any less enjoyable.   Judge it by its entertainment value instead of historical accuracy.   SLEEPY HOLLOW is very much YA read with clever, strong willed heroine,  handsome hero (Ichabod) and evil that needs containing (the Horseman).  The pacing is perfect for the genre.  It kept me turning pages and wanting to find out more.

There are a few things I didn't like as much.  (1) We're dumped into the middle of the story where the relationships between Katrina and her friends are very established but the reader doesn't really get a glimpse of how things used to be to help us believe that the friends have any real sense of loyalty to each other....or why they're even friends to begin with.  (2) Katrina loves fritters a bit too much.  The word fritter is practically every other word in the scene at the church get together.  (3) She also wants to poke her eyes out or stab things in her eyes a lot when anything or anyone annoys her.  That sentiment might be okay once or twice but, to me, it came across as too heavy handed.  Was it really too hard to come up with another way to show annoyance? (4) The lack of chapters.  I'm the sort of reader that likes to read to the end of the chapter.  With no chapter breaks, it became "okay, which scene should I stop reading after?"  This is more of a personal preference versus an actual fault but I've never seen a book with zero chapter breaks.

All in all,  I did enjoy the book.  I'm curious enough to pick up the second book in the series, though I may wait for a sale first.


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