Review: Rise of the Snake Goddess (Samantha Knox #2) by Jenny Elder Moke

Rise of the Snake Goddess (Samantha Knox, #2)Rise of the Snake Goddess by Jenny Elder Moke
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Samantha Knox and friends are back and they’re going on another 1920’s antiquities-filled adventure, this time to Crete off the coast of Greece.

After the near death drama of the first book, Curse of the Specter Queen, Sam, Bennett and Jo headed back to their normal lives. Sam and Jo now joining Bennett at college.

Sam has been looking forward to possibly being involved in a field expedition to Crete lead by her Archaeology Professor. Unfortunately, the Professor has other opinions and Sam is ultimately excluded from participating.

She’s definitely disappointed, but have no fear, you know Sam is going to get all up in it nonetheless.

After Sam, Bennett and Jo discover a letter asking for help with an ancient artifact, as luck would have it, located in Crete, the trio packs their bags and heads out.

Sam will prove to her sexist Professor one way or another that she is worthy of her position in school. As a matter of fact, she just may be the most valuable student he has.

Following a series of clues, Sam ends up discovering the artifact in question, the golden girdle of the Snake Goddess, buried deep in a tomb. Taking the girdle and proclaiming her find is not going to be easy though.

In fact, dangerous incidents begin occurring almost immediately upon the object’s retrieval. It’s even stolen from Sam and she needs to get it back; to protect it and its legacy.

The Snake Goddess has awakened and she’s not happy.

I’m happy to report there’s no second book syndrome here!

I actually enjoyed this more than the first book. To me it felt faster in pace and the writing has definitely improved. Overall, a good showing by Elder Moke.

In this installment, I felt like I got to know Sam’s character a lot more. Her motivations, aspirations and her steadfast dedication to her education and tasks.

Jo again brought such humor. I love her as a best friend and sidekick. Bennett frustrated me a little bit in this one, but I still like the idea of his relationship with Sam. I also like how their romance doesn’t overshadow the other plot points.

I also enjoyed the themes of women’s rights and power that Elder Moke brought to this story. The Snake Goddess was the perfect device for allowing that conversation to be had naturally.

I loved the growth Sam displayed in this one as well. She’s not a scared, uncertain little girl any more. She’s a woman truly coming into her own and I’m here for it.

I really hope we get to go on further adventures with Sam and her friends. I’m not sure how long this series is slated to be, but I’m truly hoping for more.

Thank you to the publisher, Disney Books and Disney Audio, for providing me with copies to read and review. I really enjoyed this one!

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Review: The Hacienda by Isabel Canas

The HaciendaThe Hacienda by Isabel Cañas
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

**4.5-stars rounded up**

After her father is killed in the Mexican War of Independence, Beatriz and her mother are forced to move in with her mother’s family who had previously disowned her.

They’re cruel and haughty about Beatriz and her mother’s now tenuous situation within the community. It’s not good.

Therefore, when handsome Don Rodolfo Solórzano proposes to Beatriz, she jumps at his offer. This could be their opportunity to climb back up the social ladder.

Beatriz would be the lady of Solórzano’s countryside estate and with that will come the security she’s been craving. Many people marry for reasons other than love. It’s the 1830’s. How bad could it be anyway?

Unfortunately, after arriving at Hacienda San Isidro, Beatriz finds that it isn’t quite what she expected. Still she remains optimistic. If she pours love into the large estate hopefully she’ll be able to breathe some new life into it and then move her mother in as well.

Rodolfo swiftly returns to work in the capital, leaving Beatriz to fend for herself with just the staff and his abrasive sister, Juana, for company.

Under these circumstances, it doesn’t take long for Beatriz to realize that there’s something really off about this hacienda.

Beatriz begins hearing voices, having terribly vivid nightmares and constantly feels like she is being watched. She wouldn’t consider herself a nervous person, but this goes beyond anxiety inducing.

Beatriz fears the hacienda is haunted and she suspects that perhaps the first Dona Solórzano is to blame. How did she die exactly? No one seems willing or able to give her a straight answer on that.

Pushed to her limits, Beatriz knows she needs to figure this out and rid the hacienda of what ails it before it’s too late.

With this goal in mind, she turns to a young local priest, Padre Andrés, for help. Together the two set out to exorcise the malevolent presence from the hacienda for good.

Isabel Canas delivers heavy Gothic Horror vibes in this novel. The atmosphere is so strong. The descriptions of what Beatriz was experiencing were absolutely chilling. There were times I had difficulty reading it at night.

OMG and is this her debut full length novel!? Canas knocked it out of the park with her first swing!?

I’m seriously fangirling hard over here. Honestly, it has the exact vibe I was hoping for when I picked it up.

I actually never read the full synopsis, so Padre Andrés and the role he played in the story took me completely by surprise. I loved that element and his character in particular. Also, the dynamic between Andrés and Beatriz was built out really well.

I would consider this to be a slow burn, so I can see how some Readers may not vibe with that inital build. However, if you are willing to put in the time, it will pay off and it really doesn’t take long before the spooky stuff begins.

I would definitely recommend this to Horror fans who enjoy a historical setting, as well as to anyone who loves gothic-feeling fiction, or haunted house tales.

Thank you so very much to the publisher, Berkley, for providing me with a copy to read and review.

I really enjoyed my time with this one and cannot wait to see what Canas serves up next!!!

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Review: The Fervor by Alma Katsu

The FervorThe Fervor by Alma Katsu
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

**3.5-stars rounded up**

A minister takes his wife and some local kids for a picnic in the mountains. Mayhem ensues. A newspaper man and woman share a romantic interlude at cabin in the woods. An evil is unleashed.

There’s something out there and anyone who goes near it is putting themselves, and anyone they come into contact with after, at risk.

Spiders, spiders everywhere, in the trees and in my hair…

It’s the 1940s and as WWII rages on, hostility towards individuals of Japanese descent in the United States is on the rise. Internment camps have been opened with some public support.

While her husband, a military pilot, is off fighting overseas, Meiko Briggs and her daughter, Aiko, get sent from their home in Seattle to such a camp in rural Idaho. With no other family to help them, Meiko and Aiko are on their own.

They keep their heads down, hoping for a day when they can be reunited with Mr. Briggs and return home. They want their old life back.

We follow Meiko and Aiko during their time at camp. There’s an illness spreading there and Meiko suspects there is more to it than meets the eye. It starts out with cold-like symptoms, but quickly escalates making the infected anxious and violent; like things weren’t bad enough already.

We also follow the minister, Archie, as he deals with the aftermath of his ill-fated picnic on the mountain, as well as the newspaper reporter, Fran. Through these multiple perspectives the whole truth of the fervor is revealed.

Katsu’s signature style is on full display throughout this tale; melding historic events with Horror and supernatural elements.

While the human-side of this story is horrifying enough, the supernatural elements involve yokai, entities from Japanese folklore, specifically the Jorogumo, a spider demon. These aspects were absolutely fascinating.

The content of this novel provides a great opportunity for exploration of topics pertinent today, such as xenophobia and aggressive nationalism.

Also, the whole idea of the illness and it’s spread, the fear related to that; obviously, that’s quite topical as well and left me with plenty to think about. I think those aspects will make this a great pick for book clubs, or just to discuss with friends. It’s nuanced. We love that.

I would describe this as a slow burn, however there are plenty of creepy elements and intrigue sprinkled throughout. This kept me compelled enough to keep going. I needed to find out what was going to happen.

My slight critiques would be that I wished the Jorogumo would have played an even larger, or maybe more overt role, and the switching amongst the multple-POVs sometimes made it feel a bit disjointed. I did enjoy how it all came together eventually though.

This novel absolutely solidified my belief that man is the most dangerous monster of all. I picked up on that same message in Katsu’s earlier release, The Hunger, as well.

Seriously, the things people are willing to do to one another when they’re afraid…

Overall, this was a strong novel. It’s smart and explores a lot of really interesting and important topics. I continue to be impressed with Katsu’s imaginative take on Historical Horror. It’s so unique and refreshing. Well done!

Thank you so much to the publisher, P.G. Putnam’s Sons, for providing me with a copy to read and review. I have been highly anticipating this one and it did not disappoint.

The Fervor releases this Tuesday, April 26th!!!

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Review: Secret Identity by Alex Segura

Secret IdentitySecret Identity by Alex Segura
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

**4.5-stars rounded up**

In 1975-New York City, Carmen Valdez finds herself working for the head of Triumph Comics as his administrative assistant. Carmen dreams of becoming a writer, but for now her assistant position will have to do.

Unfortunately, it’s just the way in the industry, in the times, in the culture. Carmen has so many ideas, but good luck having them heard.

When one of her coworkers, a seemingly harmless man named Harvey, approaches her with a proposition to fulfill her dreams, she can’t refuse.

He wants her help creating a new character. Of course her involvement would need to be kept secret initially, at least according to Harvey, but he sells her on the fact that after it is a success, they could reveal the truth to their boss. Then he’ll have no choice but to take her ambitions seriously.

Carmen isn’t naive. She knows she can’t trust Harvey completely, but honestly, what choice does she have. She’s desperate for a chance and her boss has repeatedly shot her down. This could be it.

Putting her reservations aside, Carmen agrees to help Harvey and over multiple brainstorming sessions, the two create Triumph’s first female hero, The Lethal Lynx.

After their scripts have been submitted, with Carmen’s name absent from the credits per their earlier agreement, Harvey is brutally murdered. With Harvey’s death comes absence of proof that Carmen played any role in their creation.

Harvey was the only person who knew the amount Carmen contributed to The Lethal Lynx. She is completely gutted. Carmen needs to find out what happened. It doesn’t seem random, but who would want Harvey dead?

Secret Identity took me completely by surprise. I wasn’t quite sure what to expect going into this. Being pitched as a ‘literary mystery’ made me a little nervous. That’s not really my genre.

I’ve read from Alex Segura before, however, and enjoyed his writing style. Additionally, the fact that this has the comic book industry as the backdrop was extremely interesting to me. I decided to give it a go.

I’m so glad that I gave it a shot. This is literal scientific proof that reading outside of your comfort zone can be a good thing! Just trust me on this.

This entire book is dripping with atmosphere. 1975s New York City was a thing; a character unto itself. Segura brought all of that to life within these pages.

Carmen was an extremely likable character. It was captivating getting to know her, a bit about her past, and of course getting to see behind the scenes of the comic book industry.

I was super impressed with the film noir-quality Segura was able to channel into this story. It is such a unique and enjoyable experience.

As a side note, I did listen to the audiobook and highly recommend that format. Included in the narrative are occasional excerpts from The Lethal Lynx comics, for which super fun sound effects are included in the audio version. That was really a treat!

I would definitely recommend giving this one a go. There’s so much to enjoy in this story for a vast array of Readers.

Go ahead, give it a shot!

Thank you so much to the publisher, Flatiron Books and Macmillan Audio, for providing me with copies to read and review.

I had such a great time listening to this book and will definitely be picking up further works from Alex Segura!!

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Review: One for All by Lillie Lainoff

One for AllOne for All by Lillie Lainoff
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

**3.5-stars rounded up**

One for All is pitched as a gender-bent retelling of The Three Musketeers, but don’t go into it expecting an actual retelling.

I would classify this as more of a continuation of the Musketeer legends, but with female protagonists.

Our intrepid hero is Tania de Batz, who hasn’t let her chronic illness smother her dreams. That’s her mother’s job.

Tania’s father is a former Musketeer who has regaled his daughter with stories of his adventures. Tania aspires to be like him, to be a fencer and to protect the crown from harm. Her loving father supports her, until the day he is mysteriously killed.

While Tania’s mother wants nothing more than to marry her daughter off, for her own good, of course, Tania’s father’s final wish was for her to attend L’Académie des Mariées.

A finishing school! Tania can’t believe her father would wish such a thing upon her. Isn’t that just the final stop before finding a suitable husband!?

Luckily for Tania, her father had her back after all. L’Académie isn’t a finishing school. It’s a secret training ground for female Musketeers. Musketeers who will front as socialites, but are actually seeking out intel to stop attacks on the crown.

They’re like crazy secret spy ladies who never back down from a fight. We love that!

For the first time at L’Académie, Tania feels accepted. She doesn’t feel like her newfound sisters-in-arms are judging her because of her illness. They trust in her and her abilities.

Then a boy comes along. Leave it to a boy to spoil things. Etienne is Tania’s first target and he gets under her skin in all the wrong ways.

This is a fun book. I enjoyed getting to know Tania and following her journey as she finally got the chance to achieve her dream of becoming a Musketeer.

I was drawn to her struggles from the very beginning. I felt for her, the way her mother treated her. It was sad and frustrating, but I sort of got where her mother was coming from, even though I didn’t agree with her.

I loved the relationship between Tania and her father though. It was heartbreaking that he was taken from her so soon. Her ambitions to follow in his footsteps seemed like an impossibility at the time for a woman, but he found the way to make it so.

I also really loved the found-family aspect of this story. Once Tania arrives at school and meets her new sisters, that was so fantastic.

The dynamics between all the girls was strong and believable. They made a great team!

While the plot of this didn’t grab me quite as strongly as I had been hoping for, I still really enjoyed my time listening to the audiobook.

Overall, I think One for All is a great story. Sure, it helps that it’s inspired by one of my all-time favorite classics. I loved having female Musketeers!

Thank you so much to the publisher, Farrar, Straus and Giroux, as well as RB Media, for providing me with copies to read and review.

This is an impressive debut for Lillie Lainoff. I can’t wait to see what she writes next!!

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Review: A Lullaby for Witches by Hester Fox

A Lullaby for WitchesA Lullaby for Witches by Hester Fox
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Hester Fox is back and she’s bringing her signature gothic atmosphere with her, but this time with a twist!

Fox’s previous works are all set in historic New England and this book is no exception, however, this time, we have a present day perspective as well.

I was pleasantly surprised by this change of pace and loved the alternating perspectives between past and present.

Augusta Podos grew up in Salem, Massachusetts, and as our story begins, she finds herself leading tours through the old jail there. While working in a museum is her dream, this isn’t exactly what she had in mind.

When she happens upon a job listing at Harlowe House in nearby Tynemouth, she jumps at the opportunity. Augusta can’t believe her luck when the position is offered to her. She is finally going to have the museum job of her dreams.

From the moment she sets foot at Harlowe House, Augusta feels a connection with the property. In particular, she is drawn to a portrait of a young woman that hangs in the dining room.

The portrait is said to be the mysterious, Margaret Harlowe, whose life has been lost to the sands of time. Nothing much is known about Margaret and many question if she actually existed at all. There’s no true record of her.

Augusta takes it upon herself to learn all she can about Margaret. She wants to honor her memory and keep it alive.

The past perspective follows Margaret Harlowe as she lives at Harlowe House with her family. Margaret was different and not really accepted in the town of Tynemouth. There were whisperings that she was a witch; a dangerous rumor.

It was true that Margaret dappled in herbalism and healing. In fact, many of the women who shunned her in the streets during the day would visit her under the cover of darkness, seeking help for their problems.

Margaret also had a secret relationship with a young man, Jack, that seemed doomed to end tragically. You can see it a mile away, but Margaret was blinded by love.

As Augusta digs deeper into Margaret’s story she begins to have disturbingly vivid hallucinations. Could Margaret be trying to communicate with her?

Augusta begins to lose control and as past and present come crashing together, it seems some history really should be left well enough alone. Along with her new friend, Leo, will Augusta be able to make it out of Harlowe House unscathed!?

I really enjoyed my time reading A Lullaby for Witches. It was fun to have both the present and the past timelines in this one. Learning about the two women, 150-years apart, but nonetheless connected.

Fox’s ability to bring historical settings to life is so strong. She seems to have a real passion for history; it is evident in the care with which she writes historical perspectives.

There were some subtle nods to Fox’s earlier works, family names and places, that were fun little Easter Eggs for me to discover along the way.

It was also fun to go along with Augusta on her investigation into the past. I appreciated how much Augusta grew over the course of the story. She starts out a little timid, but in the end I was so proud of her new found strength.

Overall, this is a fun and engaging historical mystery with a paranormal twist. I definitely recommend this to Readers who enjoy a lush Gothic atmosphere and New England-based stories.

I am such a fan of Hester Fox. I have read all of her novels and this one did not disappoint. In rankings, it may actually be my second favorite, just behind The Witch of Willow Hall.

Thank you so much to the publisher, Graydon House, for providing me with a copy to read and review. I was really looking forward to this one and had a blast with it.

A Lullaby for Witches releases this Tuesday, February 1st!!

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Review: Anatomy: A Love Story by Dana Schwartz

Anatomy: A Love StoryAnatomy: A Love Story by Dana Schwartz
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

In 1817-Edinburgh, Hazel Sinnett’s desire to be a surgeon is far from the norm. Seriously, a woman being a surgeon?

It’s true. It was the times. Women of a certain standing were meant to look pretty, take on inconsequential hobbies, be quiet and care for a husband and household.

Hazel isn’t interested in all that, but unfortunately, she knows the realities of her circumstance. In order to protect her position within society, she will need to be married.

In a way, Hazel is lucky. She’s been betrothed to her cousin Bertrand since the two were children. They’ve known each other forever and get along quite well.

Hazel feels that Bertrand may even learn to understand her passion with anatomy and helping people. At least that is what she hopes.

Jack Currer is a resurrection man, digging up recently deceased bodies and selling them to doctors and anatomists within the city.

It’s a dangerous job, but when Jack’s main source of income, his position at a local theater, gets taken away due to circumstances outside of his control, he has no other choice. Jack doesn’t come from wealth and has no family nest to crawl back into.

When their mutual arts of dealing with the dead bring them into contact with one another, Jack and Hazel are each set on a new course that will change their lives.

Anatomy: A Love Story reminded me a lot of my time spent with Down Comes the Night last year. Not because of its content, but because of its darkly gothic vibe that pleasantly took me by surprise.

I really enjoyed this. It had just the right ‘romance to darker bits’ ratio for my taste.

There is mystery, intrigue and a very slow-burn romance. Jack and Hazel are from different worlds, but together they work. They support one another in a way that neither of them have ever experienced before.

It was so comfortable watching their relationship blossom. It seriously filled my heart.

Another strong comparison would be to Stalking Jack the Ripper. Again, not so much for the content, but for the overall vibe.

Hazel is compelling, she doesn’t back down to convention. I always love that. Jack has a good heart in spite of his chosen profession. We stan a bad boy with a heart of gold. They shouldn’t work, but you know you’re going to root for them.

Thank you so much to the publisher, Wednesday Books, for providing me with a copy to read and review.

I was really impressed with this and look forward to reading more from Dana Schwartz.

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Review: The Red Palace by June Hur

The Red PalaceThe Red Palace by June Hur
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

In 1758, Joseon-era Korea, 18-year old, Hyeon works as a palace nurse, a position she has worked very hard to attain.

As the illegitimate daughter of a powerful man, Hyeon really didn’t have a lot of options. She enjoys her profession, however, and hopes that through it she may one day earn her father’s approval.

Hyeon keeps her head down, does her job and tries to avoid any conflicts that would reflect negatively on her, but when she and a fellow nurse are called to the bedside of the Crown Prince Jangheon late one night, Hyeon is thrust into a wicked web of palace intrigue that she cannot avoid.

That very same night, at the same time she is in the Prince’s chambers, a viscous attack occurs at the Hyeminseo that Hyeon used to attend. The attack leaves four women brutally murdered.

When Hyeon’s beloved mentor, Nurse Jeongsu, gets arrested for the crime, Hyeon knows there’s been a mistake. There is no way her caring teacher, a woman who has dedicated her life to helping others, could possibly be capable of the callous brutality of this massacre.

Hyeon’s desperate to save Jeongsu from the clutches of the police force, known for their brutal interrogations, and she doesn’t have much time. Therefore, Hyeon decides she needs to begin her own secret investigation into the murders.

Along the way she meets Eojin, a young police inspector, who teams up with her to uncover the truth behind the Hyeminseo Massacre, but will anything they find actually make a difference?

In the face of the dark secrets they begin to uncover involving every level of palace politics, Hyeon and Eojin seem so small, young and inconsequential. They’re both willing to take incredible risks in the pursuit of justice though and that should count for something.

The Red Palace grabbed me and never let go. This was such a surprising read for me, a little outside of my comfort zone, but such a delightful way to spend the weekend.

Hur 100% succeeded at sweeping me away to another time and place. I felt transported!

There are so many things to love about this book that I fear I may just begin swooning here. Let’s start with Hyeon. She had such incredible depth of character. I felt like I knew her. I had such empathy for her and her situation.

In spite of her challenging family life though, Hyeon showed such strength and dedication to task, even in the face of terrible danger. It was admirable.

Then there is Eojin, speaking of swooning. Calm, quiet, strong and respectful of Hyeon, he made a great partner for her during the investigation.

Eojin had his own complex backstory and motivation for wanting to get to the bottom of these crimes, which added to the general mystery. I enjoyed his steadfast nature and the evolution of their relationship was so satisfying.

Lastly, let’s talk about the atmosphere. I can’t even describe how great it was for me. The dark, dangerous streets. The secrets of the royal family hidden around every corner.

As I said earlier, I was transported. When I was reading this, I could picture it all playing out in my mind. Granted, I’m no cinematographer, but I think Hur did an incredible job leading me on my imaginative journey into the heart of this story.

Thank you so much to the publisher, Feiwel & Friends, for providing me with a copy to read and review.

I enjoyed this so much and cannot wait to pick up Hur’s other two novels. Apparently, YA Historical Mysteries are now my thing!

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Rereading The Winter People by Jennifer McMahon

The Winter PeopleThe Winter People by Jennifer McMahon
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

**4.5-stars**

I am sticking with my original rating of 4.5-stars, rounded down. There’s something about the final few chapters of this one that gets a bit convoluted for me.

I do still think the atmosphere in this is top-notch. Also, I love how McMahon formats her stories. The way she is able to blend historical perspectives with the present; chef’s kiss.

I’m super stoked for their 2022-release, The Children on the Hill, said to be inspired by Frankenstein!!!

Earlier:

Rereading with, you guessed it, my fabulous niece, Alyssa.
I recommended this book to her, so feel it’s only fair that I read it along with her.

I am so excited to be revisiting this one. I have recommended it to countless people since I originally read it in 2019. I have a feeling it’s going to be a full 5-star experience this time around.

Original:

**4.5-stars**

In 1908, Sara Harrison Shea lost her daughter under tragic circumstances. Unsurprisingly, Sara was racked by grief and unable to move forward.

She would do anything to bring her daughter back.

In the present, Ruthie’s mom has gone missing. It seems she simply walked out of their house, into the surrounding Vermont woods, and disappeared.

With no note, and no signs of a struggle, Ruthie is forced to care for her creepy little sister whilst investigating the mystery of her mother’s sudden departure.

What Ruthie doesn’t know is that she is living in the very same house once occupied by Sara Harrison Shea. Is that mere coincidence, or is her mother’s disappearance related to that fact?

When she comes across parts of Sara’s diary hidden in the old farmhouse, she discovers that sometimes the past really can come back to haunt you.

Following both past and present timelines, this eerie tale is filled with an overwhelming feeling of dread.

I feel like Winter is the absolute perfect season to read this book!

When it gets dark early, when it’s cold, when the wind blows long and loud into the night. The atmosphere is richly developed and absolutely my favorite part of the story.

I went into this book completely blind, only knowing that quite a few of my book friends have loved it.

I was impressed with McMahon’s writing. She has a very strong Horror voice and I definitely look forward to reading more of her works.

I feel like with this one now under my belt, I know more what to expect from her, and I’m damned pumped for it.

There were a few issues I had with the storyline. Nothing major, but just things I wish would have had more information, or context.

The use of diary entries was well done and as always, I felt that made me feel more a part of the story; like I was investigating it myself.

Overall, I really enjoyed this one and would recommend it. If you like a ghost stories with a dark and ominous atmosphere, you should definitely check this one out!

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Review: The Orphan of Cemetery Hill by Hester Fox

The Orphan of Cemetery HillThe Orphan of Cemetery Hill by Hester Fox
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

**3.5-stars rounded up**

Tabby can communicate with spirits. She developed this gift at quite a young age and after her parents passed away, she and her sister, Alice, were taken in by their Aunt, who was well aware of Tabby’s blossoming talent.

Seances had grown in popularity in the first half of the 1800s and Aunt Bellefonte wished to use Tabby’s gift in order to make herself rich.

Obviously, anyone who would exploit a recently orphaned child that way, is not a character we can get behind.

Unsurprisingly, Tabby and Alice flee their Aunt’s household and make their way to downtown Boston, a bustling metropolis, where the girls hope they’ll be able to blend into the crowd and avoid their Aunt ever finding them again.

The girls weren’t really prepared for how busy and large the city actually was, however, and they end up getting separated. Without any means to find each other, the girls must do whatever they can individually to survive.

For Tabby, that means ingratiating herself to the steward of a large Boston cemetery, Eli. Over the years, she becomes for all intents and purposes, his daughter, helping him with the general maintenance and other duties.

Things get dark when a string of grave robberies begin to plague the city and a young man Tabby is fond of is accused of committing a dasterdly act, for which Tabby knows he cannot possibly be responsible.

Tabby must tap into her gift, which she has kept buried for so long, in order to try to get to the bottom of both mysteries. Little does she know, they’re all connected in one wild and wicked web.

Set in 1844, Boston, The Orphan of Cemetery Hill is steeped in the broody historical atmosphere I have grown to love from Hester Fox.

The gothic feel, paired with her likable characters, always make for an enjoyable story.

While I didn’t become quite as invested in this one as I have with some of her earlier work, I definitely really enjoyed reading it.

I loved the setting of Boston and the historical topics explored, particularly the robbing of graves for the use in medical and scientific exploration, as well as the popularity of seances at the time. Both of those things made this an intriguing premise indeed.

It’s no secret that I am a huge fan of Hester Fox. I will continue to pick up anything she releases until the end of time.

This novel, as is standard for her style, is perfect for this time of year; giving off all those chilly, creepy Autumnal vibes!

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