Monday, January 20, 2014

Severed: A Tale of Sleepy Hollow by Dax Varley {REVIEW}

Book Title:  Severed: A Tale of Sleepy Hollow
Author: Dax Varley
Genre: Romance, Fantasy, Horror, Historical Fiction
Publication Date: August 27th 2013
                            by Createspace
ISBN/ ASIN: 9781492253600

[Review Copy]


Katrina’s still haunted by her encounter with the Headless Horseman - the night he beckoned to her. Now he has risen again, slashing heads and terrorizing the quiet countryside.
Her only joy during this dismal darkness comes when Ichabod Crane, a gorgeous young man from Connecticut, moves to Sleepy Hollow and their attraction turns to romance.
When the Horseman marks Ichabod as his next victim, Katrina, despite dangerous efforts to save him, sees no other choice than for them to flee.
But the Horseman awaits. Now it’s up to her to sever the horror and alter the Legend of Sleepy Hollow.

My Rating: 3 out of 5 stars

My Review:

First things first. I had never read the original tale of the Sleepy Hollow. I heard about movies of the same name but usually I don't watch a book based movie until I've read the book so I was blank on the whole Sleepy Hollow thing. The only thing I knew was that there was probably a horseman with no head who rode on a horse and haunted the woods. That sounds totally lame but that's all I knew lol. So even though this book didn't meet my high level of expectations, I was fine enough to give it 3 star :) I'm going to pinpoint things I liked and things I didn't like, as going in details would require researching the original version of the story and I'm too lazy to do that :p

The overall setting seemed good and appropriate for the  plot. It matched up to the gothic-ness of the storyline. And as I've mentioned about me not knowing about the original story, I have a feeling this book successfully lives up to the setting of the original book as well.

As for the heroine, I liked Katrina at the beginning. But I wasn't convinced by the way she acted and felt. Sure, love, for me, is almost a crucial and inseparable element in every story. I don't have issues with Kat falling daydreaming about Ichabod within a short span of time. But while the village is in terror of the Sleepy Hollow, it's not really a good time for her to be ready to risk everything she has and everyone around her for that one person she's barely known. I'm always up for the element of romance and love, but such a kind seems unrealistic to me. Moreover, I think I would have like Katrina a lot better if she had sounded a little less modern compared to the age she belonged to. It was pretty much the same for other characters. It seemed anachronistic and I find that disappointing.

The mystery element is really good. It is probably one of the things that made me go for a 3 star rating. Even if you don't like the characters, or find the love part too unrealistic, you'd still find it hard enough to skip reading it, mostly because of the well-built mystery. However, I'm not satisfied with the ending because, well, I wasn't expecting that kind of an ending. Anything else would have been better, but all the expectations I had throughout the story went away as soon as I reached the ending :( And there were questions left till the end with no logic given, which is a let down for me. This looks like a standalone so no luck in hoping to find answers in the next book either :(

Concept-wise, it is a really good book. I loved the setting too, as already mentioned. I feel the characters needed a little shaping. Also, if the suspense was carried out in a more successful way till the end, I would have simply loved the book. Nevertheless, if you are a Sleepy Hollow fan or like to read re-tellings (like me) I would suggest you to give it a try. Don't have great expectations, but it still a nice book :)

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