When Chloe Sabourin wakes in a dark, New Orleans cemetery with no memory of the previous days, she can hardly believe the story her friends tell her. They say Chloe was possessed by a witch named Thisbe, who had used the darkest magic to keep herself alive for over a century. They tell her that the witch is the one responsible for the unspeakable murders that nearly claimed the life of Chloe's friend, Lucy. Most unbelievable of all, they say that Thisbe is Chloe’s own mother. As she struggles with this devastating revelation and tries to rebuilt her life, Chloe wants nothing to do with the magic that corrupted her mother…especially since she feels drawn to it.
Now, a new series of ritualistic killings suggests that Thisbe is plotting again, and Chloe is drawn unwillingly back into the mystical underworld of the French Quarter. To stop Thisbe before she kills again, Chloe and her friends must learn what they can from the mysterious Mama Legba. But when her boyfriend Piers vanishes, Chloe will have to risk everything and embrace her own power to save the one person she has left… even if that means bringing down her mother.
Paperback, 336 pages
Published: October 8th 2015 by Flux
Four stars: A solid, atmospheric mystery with Voodoo set in New Orleans.
Chloe is still struggling to make sense of all that has happened. Her whole world is shattered, the rug pulled out from under her. Chloe's beloved mother is actually a powerful witch, over a century old, who took possession of her own daughter. Chloe is determined to relinquish her mother and avoid magic. Unfortunately, there is a deep, dark voice whispering inside of her, and soon Chloe is haunted by visions of Thisbe's past. When ritualistic killings start happening again, Chloe knows that Thisbe is back, and she knows that she is the only one with any chance of stopping her. Can Chloe find a way to stop the evil Thisbe?
What I Liked:
- I am always drawn to book set in New Orleans that feature Voodoo. I loved that this book captures New Orleans, and that it brings forth Voodoo without the gimmicks. This is Voodoo that reaches back hundreds of years to its roots. When slaves performed rituals to protect themselves from evil spirits. This is also a tale about what happens when Voodoo is used for dark purposes. This ended up being an exciting, suspenseful and creepy little read.
- This is a companion novel to last year's Sweet Unrest. I highly recommend reading the first book before going into this because there are many important events that take place that are pertinent to this tale. I enjoyed Chloe's voice more than Lucy as Chloe is older and more mature, and one who has grown up surrounded by Voodoo and the belief in magic and spirits. At the beginning, Chloe is completely lost as she is trying to come to terms with the true identity of her mother and the evil that is consuming her. She starts out weak, but as the story progresses, she slowly finds her strength and will. By the end, Chloe is able to dig deep and do what she needs to do.
- I was surprised that I ended up having a bit of a change of heart regarding Thisbe, the witch. Chloe starts having visions of Thisbe in the past. As I learned the truth about what happened to Thisbe, I understood her a bit better, and the reason for her motives. Granted, she still was dabbling in dark magic, but it was a little easier to see why she behaved the way she did, and I actually felt a bit of sympathy toward her. Thisbe is a case of a character not being all bad, but one who falls into that gray area.
- I enjoyed the writing. Ms. Maxwell writes lovely descriptions and metaphors that enhanced the read.
- I loved the New Orleans setting. I thought Ms. Maxwell did an excellent job of capturing the true flavor of New Orleans. I especially liked the scene in the abandoned amusement park. Creepy.
- The ending brings everything to a close. No cliffhangers or nagging questions. I closed the book satisfied with the journey.
And The Not So Much:
- Even though I had read Sweet Unrest, there were times when I struggled with book amnesia. There isn't a lot of recap, especially since this book is told from another view point. If you haven't read the first book, you will be lost. Even though this is a companion novel, it isn't one you can jump into without having read the predecessor.
- I didn't like the way Chloe behaved toward Piers early on. He is her boyfriend, and he wanted nothing more than to protect and take care of Chloe but she kept shoving him away. Then there is something that happens with him, which wasn't a surprise at all, I could see it coming from the get go.
- I was fascinated by Thisbe and Roman. I enjoyed the scenes that thrust the reader into the past, but I found that I was wanting to know so much more about the relationship between Roman and Thisbe, especially what happened when they kept meeting each other again and again over time. I wish there was more focus on this toxic relationship, since it is the key to Thisbe's downfall.
- I also was curious as to how Roman got to Augustine. Did he kidnap him from the cabin or accost him outside?
Gathering Deep was an entertaining and exciting tale that plunges the reader deep into the heart of New Orleans, past and present, with all of its Voodoo and spirits. I thought this was a terrific follow up, and in fact, I enjoyed this book more than its predecessor. If you want something that explores Voodoo and spirits, take a chance and read this one, but make sure you read the companion novel, Sweet Unrest, before going into this one or you will be lost.
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.