- Author: Rosie Andrews
- Series: Standalone
- Genre: Historical Supernatural Mystery
- No. of pages: 320
- Dates read: 02.05.2022 – 06.05.2022
- Star Rating: 4 stars
Plot: Norfolk, 1643. With civil war tearing England apart, reluctant soldier Thomas Treadwater is summoned home by his sister, who accuses a new servant of improper conduct with their widowed father. By the time Thomas returns home, his father is insensible, felled by a stroke, and their new servant is in prison, facing charges of witchcraft. Thomas prides himself on being a rational, modern man, but as he unravels the mystery of what has happened, he uncovers not a tale of superstition but something dark and ancient, linked to a shipwreck years before. Something has awoken, and now it will not rest.
I went into this book with no expectations whatsoever. I had a vague idea of what the story was about and that was it! This book was actually sent to me by the publisher for an exciting project I am a part of. So, thank you to Raven Books!
The first thing I want to get out of the way is the one criticism I have of the book. This book is split into 3 parts. Within these 3 parts, we also flick between the main character’s past and present. A major 60-year leap. The change in time was done really well and I really enjoyed the sections set in the character’s present.
My one criticism is that the first part was just not as engaging as the following parts. At one point I did consider putting it down before we got to the end of the first part (which was where it finally kicked off and I was fully invested) but before that, I was struggling to get through it. I felt the structure of setting everything up ran into boredom territory.
Moving on though. The plot was super interesting. At first, I thought the author was trying to set up, what I thought was, a very obvious “plot twist”. I thought the author was holding on to everything for this one twist. I was nervous because to me it seemed super obvious but Andrews did a great job of taking that reveal and spinning it on its head. The book shifted entirely from a story about uncovering the truth to a story about surviving the truth and it was done so well.
The characters were really interesting. I really liked our protagonist Thomas and his internal struggle with what was ingrained in him from a young age to the reality of life. It was written so well and I found him to be a super likeable protagonist. His sister was also interesting as she sort of plays the foil to Thomas. While he allowed himself to learn more about the world and that it might contradict his pre-conceived ideas of life, she was averted to that and focused more on what she already knew and doubled down on it. I felt that dynamic was really enticing in this novel.
Overall, this was a book that at first I wasn’t sure if it was for me but as I continued I had to applaud the story.