24 October 2014

Review: Crane by Stacey Rourke

This modern retelling of The Legend of Sleepy Hollow features Ireland Crane, Ichabod's feisty descendant who lives in present day. Ireland runs away from a broken relationship and finds herself a new job as a school counsellor in Sleepy Hollow. The town is pretty normal, but there is one hitch; people are getting murdered again, and some believe that the headless horseman has come back.

I loved so much of this book. It was really creepy and once again perfect for my Halloween-a-thon. It was a ghost story, but filled more with memories than actual hauntings, and of course, there were a few gruesome deaths.

I can't pretend. I haven't read The Legend of Sleepy Hollow, but now I really really want to, because from the sound of it, the film is nothing like it, and neither is this book. Crane really plays with the Sleepy Hollow story as it cleverly blends The Legend of Sleepy Hollow with Washington Irving's other story, Rip Van Winkle, and features Washington Irving himself. This is really very clever and lends a whole new twist. This story plays havoc with the original as it twists all the events that happen to skew everything in a light much more similar to Time Burton's adaptation where Ichabod is the hero. It makes excellent use of the viewpoints of Ireland and Ichabod to give a mystery to the novel, even if you have read the original.

As characters go, Ireland is a very suitable heroine, but she also makes a fantastic, grudging villain. I loved that idea and was very happy with how she acted throughout with her feisty remarks. I liked that Ichabod was included as a viewpoint as this went back to the original story nicely and their symmetry was quite pleasing to read. Rip was also a nice touch, with excellent use made out of his peculiar sleeping habits, which actually made sense. It was also good to have a character who had lived through both timelines, as this made it easy for explanations and so the pace was very good.

The only thing was that I felt something was missing with this story. Maybe there could have been a subplot or something that could have made the plot more complex. Instead this was quite short and it was over far too soon, with all the action happening very quickly. I would have preferred the suspense and action to carry on for much longer, as it still would have been an engrossing read.

As you would expect, the novel is quite bloody and fairly disturbing. I wouldn't say it gave me nightmares, but it certainly affected me as a few visions made their way into my sleep. The story is suspenseful, made worse when there is suddenly a time limit. A great read with a suitable ending which, unfortunately, you could see coming. All in all quite satisfying.