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Review: The Hawley Book of the Dead

Title: The Hawley Book of the Dead
Author: Chrysler Szarlan
Source: NetGalley
Genre: Paranormal
Length: Hardcover 352 pages
              Ebook 386 pages
Publisher: Ballantine Books
Reviewer: Cerridwen


4 Rating





Revelation “Reve” Dyer grew up with her grandmother’s family stories, stretching back centuries to Reve’s ancestors, who founded the town of Hawley Five Corners, Massachusetts. Their history is steeped in secrets, for few outsiders know that an ancient magic runs in the Dyer women’s blood, and that Reve is a magician whose powers are all too real.

Reve and her husband are world-famous Las Vegas illusionists. They have three lovely young daughters, a beautiful home, and what seems like a charmed life. But Reve’s world is shattered when an intruder alters her trick pistol and she accidentally shoots and kills her beloved husband onstage.

Fearing for her daughters’ lives, Reve flees with them to the place she has always felt safest—an antiquated farmhouse in the forest of Hawley Five Corners, where the magic of her ancestors reigns, and her oldest friend—and first love—is the town’s chief of police. Here, in the forest, with its undeniable air of enchantment, Reve hopes she and her girls will be protected.

Delving into the past for answers, Reve is drawn deeper into her family’s legends. What she discovers is The Hawley Book of the Dead, an ancient leather-bound journal holding mysterious mythic power. As she pieces together the truth behind the book, Reve will have to shield herself and her daughters against an uncertain, increasingly dangerous fate. For soon it becomes clear that the stranger who upended Reve’s life in Las Vegas has followed her to Hawley—and that she has something he desperately wants.

Brimming with rich history, suspense, and magic, The Hawley Book of the Dead is a brilliantly imagined debut novel from a riveting new voice.


The blurbs are correct that if you were a fan of The Discovery of Witches you will really like this book. It also had hints of The Night Circus in it with both Reve and her husband being illusionists.

There's alot of family secrets in the Hawley women history and Reve slowly uncovers these as the race is on the protect her girls from a magical element that has been hunting them for years.

The author did a wonderful job of weaving different elements of the paranormal in without making things seem like they've been done before. Szarlan pieced this together wonderful and I highly recommend it!! I could not wait to talk about it!



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