**3.5-stars rounded up**
Sleepy Hollow is back in this cleverly-imagined Historical Fiction Horror novel from Christina Henry!!
Horseman: A Tale of Sleepy Hollow is set twenty-years after Ichabod Crane’s run-in with the infamous, Headless Horseman.
The legend is still told in town, but with that many years separating the incident from reality, people’s belief in the accuracy of the story, and the Horseman himself, have begun to dwindle.
Even Ben Van Brunt’s grandfather, Brom Bones, who was there on the night in question, passes the story off as village gossip. Nevertheless, Ben still enjoys playing Sleepy Hollow Boys in the local woods with his only friend, Sander.
Ben, born a girl, has never seen himself that way and chooses to live the way he feels, as a boy, regardless of how much his grandmother, Katrina, fights him on it.
It’s on one of these occasions, playing in the woods, that the first body is discovered. A local boy, missing his head and hands. Ben feels a dark energy permeating from the woods; could the Horseman be back?
When more victims start to be discovered, Ben doesn’t understand how people can continue to deny the ominous presence lurking just outside the village.
Discovering his own parent’s deaths may not have occurred how his Grandparents relayed to him, Ben now realizes he has a mystery to solve. Something is going on in his town and he needs to do whatever he can to protect the ones he loves.
Horseman sets a spooky tone from the very start; perfect material for this time of year, I have to say. If you are a fan of previous Sleepy Hollow content, including the original tale, I really feel this one is worth checking out.
I am always impressed by Henry’s dark imagination. While this is a bit of a slow burn, I had a great time reading it.
In my opinion, the story was original and fresh. The paranormal/spooky elements were well-constructed and I enjoyed getting to know Ben as a character.
As a 14-year old, Ben was strong-willed and courageous. Spurred on by the mysteries circling the town and his family, Ben was willing to do anything to get to the bottom of it all. I was definitely able to get behind that level of determination.
This is the perfect type of tale to pick up as we get closer to Halloween, but really, aren’t spooky stories perfect all year-round?
Thank you so much to the publisher, Berkley Books, for providing me with a copy to read and review. I truly appreciate it.
Horseman releases today, Tuesday, September 28th!!