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The Book of Kindly Deaths by Eldritch Black
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The Book of Kindly Deaths

by Eldritch Black

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I very much enjoyed this novel.

The story is incredibly dark, reading like a cross between Coraline, A Series of Unfortunate Events and the work of H.P. Lovecraft. Its not the most pleasant reads at time as its filled with grotesque and unsettling imagery (with plenty of bad things happening to good people), making it a fantastic light read for a horror-loving young adult.

The Grimwytch was a really imaginative world. I loved how the surreality of it was offset by the references to familiar things - such as hideous creatures with a liking for cheese. The structure of the novel was also rather unusual as its first half was really a collection of short stories, while Eliza's plot didn't really get moving until past the half way mark. While I initially thought the stories dragged on a little too long, they did all turn out to be significant in the end as elements from each of them feature in Eliza's final adventure.

However, I was disappointed that more time wasn’t spent on Eliza’s story as this ultimately felt very rushed. The story was wrapped up rather suddenly and neatly with the villain of the piece only getting introduced in the final 10% of the novel. The plot thread concerning Eliza’s mother also trailed off without proper resolution. Her overbearing mother never showed any indication that she was changing her ways until the final page of the story and we never discover how she reacts to the knowledge that Eliza has discovered the family secret.

Yet, the cast of the novel were very strong. Eliza is a very determined and likable heroine, more than able to hold her own and never faltering in the face of unimaginable danger. I also rather liked Shard and hope that he features more in any future books. That is, if there are any future books, but I really hope that this isn't the last! I'd love to read more of Eliza's adventures! ( )
  ArkhamReviews | May 7, 2015 |
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