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Review: Severed: A Tale of Sleepy Hollow (Dax Varley)

The Deets:

Audience: YA
Pages: 256
Publisher: August 27th 2013
ISBN: 9781492253600
Genre: mystery, retelling
Source: e-ARC from the publisher




Severed: A Tale of Sleepy HollowKatrina’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.




Books like this makes me wish I was more acquainted with all the classics. I never read Washington Irving's "The Legend of Sleepy Hollow", so I have no idea how closely Severed follows the plot. The only version of Sleepy Hollow I can remember is the Disney version with the bumbling Ichabod Crane riding backwards on a horse. Hardly the picture of old world smolder pictured in this version.

 Needless to say, I was reading Severed for the fun of it.

It was a quick read. The writing flowed smoothly and the characters were pretty enjoyable. Katrina and Ichabod stole the show, of course. I thought Marten would have more of a presence, but he seemed like a place holder more than anything. I was a bit disappointed by his quick appearances because they just felt like ways to move the plot along without offering much to the story. The same went for Brom. I just knew he had a different role in the story, but I was fooled. He was very disagreeable, and I didn't care for him much. Even so, I was surprised by the outcome.

There were only two things that really nagged me while reading. First, why did the ghost speak to Katrina? It made sense at first, but as the story wrapped up, it did not. Why was the ghost seeking her out? What role did she play? I didn't feel like that was given an adequate answer. Also, there was no resolution with the snooty best friend. We all know how things end up when someone feels cheated out of a potential love interest. This particular "friend" was very childish and irrational in her actions, but no consequences occurred. There was also no resolution to that conflict. It was as if she also disappeared into smoke like a specter.

This was a quick read. The story was decent, but some elements still felt underdeveloped to me. If you like retellings, give this one a try.

 

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