The Horseman is unending,
his presence shan’t lessen.
If you break the curse,
you become the legend.
Washington Irving and Rip Van Winkle had no choice but to cover up the deadly truth behind Ichabod Crane’s disappearance. Centuries later, a Crane returns to Sleepy Hollow awakening macabre secrets once believed to be buried deep.
What if the monster that spawned the legend lived within you?
Now, Ireland Crane, reeling from a break-up and seeking a fresh start, must rely on the newly awakened Rip Van Winkle to discover the key to channeling the darkness swirling within her. Bodies are piling high and Ireland is the only one that can save Sleepy Hollow by embracing her own damning curse.
But is anyone truly safe when the Horseman rides?
Paperback, 298 pagesPublished May 26th 2014 by Anchor Group Publishing
Source: Publisher in Exchange for an honest review.
Three and a half stars: An exciting twist on a classic tale.
Ireland is relieved to be away from New York City. She is looking for a quiet reprieve in Sleepy Hollow. She can't wait to get settled into her cute house and her new job. Unfortunately, a quiet reprieve is not what she gets. Right after Ireland arrives in town, someone starts murdering people by cutting off their heads, leading people to wonder if the legendary Headless Horseman is riding again. Ireland discovers a strange guest in her home, and quickly finds herself embroiled in the mystery. Will Ireland uncover the truth behind the murders or lose her head in the process?
What I Liked:
- The Legend of Sleepy Hollow has long been a favorite tale of mine so I was excited to read this modern spin on the famed classic. I loved the creativity and uniqueness of the tale. Basically you get a story where past and present collide. You are treated to flashbacks of the original tale via Ichabod Crane's view point, and then fast forwarded to the future to peer through one of his descendants', Ireland's, eyes. I thought the blend worked perfectly, and I enjoyed the new take on the old tale.
- I loved that three main characters in the past are Washington Irving, Rip Van Winkle and Ichabod Crane. I thought that was a clever twist, and I liked getting to know them better. It was especially fun to see the narcoleptic Rip Van Winkle navigating the twenty first century.
- There are some big twists and surprises in this one, and I liked that I was caught off guard, especially when it came to the Headless Horesman. I loved the new ideas Ms. Rourke cooked up to spice up the legend. I thought her version was actually a bit better than the original, and that is saying something.
- I was torn between the past and the present, but if pressed, I would have to say that I enjoyed the playing out of the tale in the past just a tiny bit more. I think because the setting and story were more creepy and atmospheric in the past vs. the present. Still I enjoyed both tales and thought they blended perfectly.
- The ending is jaw dropping and thrilling. I appreciated that most of the loose ends regarding the main storyline were completed, though I did have many lingering questions.
And The Not So Much:
- After the climatic events in the past regarding Ichabod's encounter with the Horseman, Irving and Van Winkle meet with a wizened group of guys that seem to be in the know as far as paranormal happenings. I was confused by these old men and I had so many questions regarding them. It left me scratching my head. I am sure more answers are forthcoming in the next book, but I wanted more now. Yes, I am impatient like that.
- The romance in the present didn't quite work for me. It moves way too quickly, and I thought it needed more time to grow and develop. The author provides a good explanation for the sudden feelings, but it just didn't sit well with me. I like my romances to take their sweet time.
- I was a bit disappointed that Washington Irving played such a minimal role in the book. I was excited that he was introduced early on as one of the characters, I was thinking how clever to include the famed author as one of the players, but then he kind of fades out and his part is rather small. I want to know more about his role in the events.
- One sticky point for me was Noah's heritage. It isn't clear how the Van Tassel line continued, it was implied he was a descendant close to Katrina, but then after the events, how is that possible?
- I enjoyed this read overall, but what held it back for me was the amount of lingering questions. It felt like I got more questions than answers, and I think I am just frustrated by these types of reads in general. I am a reader that likes to pick up a book and get a well developed story with a solid ending, and the ending of this one was bit open ended, not a cliffhanger but close.
Crane is an exciting and entertaining new take on a well worn classic. If you are fan of The Legend of Sleepy Hollow, this is a book worth checking out. I thought the creativity was excellent, and I loved the way the author refashioned the story. She blends the past with the present and delivers a thrilling story. If you are on the hunt for a good story at an exceptionally reasonable price, grab this one.
"I think you doubt yourself, sir. A kind heart is a treasure, or to use your own words, a resource. Its value cannot be measured."
I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own and I was not compensated for this review.