Tuesday, November 8, 2011

"Since golden October declined into sombre November..."

Death Watch (#1 in The Undertaken series) by Ari Berk: When Amos Umber goes missing, his son Silas is overwhelmed by loss and incomprehension. Why his father and where could he be?

Silas eventually learns that his father was not just any mortician but an Undertaker, an individual who is able to bring peace to those spirits trapped on earth in various states of limbo. As his father's disappearance continues, Silas and his mother are forced to leave their home and go back to the small town of Lichport, where Silas was born, and move in with his uncle Charles.

As time moves on, Silas explores Lichport's abandoned streets and cemeteries and begins to grow suspicious of his uncle Charles and of his uncle's strange house. Silas can't quite put his finger on it but he knows that whatever it is has to be connected to his father's disappearance. Silas' exploration eventually leads to the discovery of his father's old office and of the Death Watch, an old Hadean clock with the power to grant its possessor the gift of seeing the dead.

I've been waiting since the summer months to talk about this book. First off, I love the cover. The dark and eerie colours fit the book so well and I like how the title of the book seems to rise up out from the 2nd darker colour. Also the little drawing of the skull with wings and a compass is pretty cool.

The story has a lot going for it too since it's a good ol' supernatural mystery. Also, ever since I read American Gods and Thoth and Anubis turned out to be the town morticians, I've been interested in the figure of the mortician. Not in a morbid sense but in a this-could-be-a-great-character-for-a-book-no-one-ever-talks-about-the-mortician kind of way.

Death Watch by Ari Beck comes out November 15th 2011 in hardcover.

Darker Still(#1 in the Magic Most Foul series) by Leanna Renee Hieber: It's 1882 in New York City and Natalie Stewart is obsessed with the painting of the young British Lord Denbury. Every time she visits the painting, Natalie notices that something is different about it. As if Lord Denbury has moved within the framed confines of his painting. She also begins to feel like Lord Denbury's painted eyes are looking right at her.

Trapped by dark magic, Jonathan Denbury's soul is stuck in a painting while his possessed body runs around New York causing mischief. But Jonathan believes there may be a way out but to do that, he would have to lure Natalie Stewart into the painting. Because only together do they stand a chance at breaking the curse.

This novel sounds exciting. Partly because it reminds me slightly of The Picture of Dorian Gray and Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde Of course, it won't be anything like those books and I don't expect it to but just the allusion to them caught my interest. Also the cover is quite pretty and I can be quite shallow when it comes to book covers.

Darker Still by Leanna Renee Hieber is already out in paperback!

(Note: title quote from T.S. Eliot)

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