Oct 5, 2014

Review: Hawley Book Of The Dead

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.

Brimming with rich history, suspense, and magic, The Hawley Book of the Dead is a brilliantly imagined debut novel from a riveting new voice.

* * * * *

I don't really know what I expected when I picked up this book.  The blurb was almost guaranteed to catch my attention as I feel that suspense and magic go hand in hand but I have been disappointed before by blurbs especially the longer ones.  So I decided to suspend all judgement and see just where the book took me.

And boy did the book take me!  It took less then a chapter for me to be utterly engrossed with Reve, her issues and her world.  She is a really strong woman but to deal with the fact that she pulled the trigger that killed her husband and has a stalker.  It's enough to give me shivers.  Also because she is such a vibrant character, Reve really does overshadow the other parties in the book.

The secondary characters are important to the book however.  I just loved Nan, Reve's grandmother, and her secrets that she will only reveal in her own time.  Jolan, Reve's old friend, is an interesting character in his position as sheriff.  He is torn between what he knows as real and is desire to trust what Reve is telling him.  And of course, there are the kids...

HAWLEY BOOK OF THE DEAD is a debut novel which blew me away because this author has such an unique voice and wonderful sense of timing.  The villein was revealed fairly early in the book yet I felt that I needed to keep looking over my shoulder because I wasn't quite sure what he was up to next.  It has a wonderfully satisfying ending but I am really hoping that the author finds someway to continue the series.

*** I received this book at no charge from NetGalley in exchange for a fair and honest review.  All opinions expressed within are my own.


  1. Okay - you totally captured my attention w/this one! I'm traveling on a plane in a couple of weeks and this is a MUST on my 'things to get before I travel' list. Thanks for the heads-up on this one Shaiha! :-)


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