Booke of the Hidden
Read: 5th – 7th October 2017
My Goodreads Rating: 5 Stars
So, before we get into what I thought about this book, I want you to know that I was lucky enough to be given a digital version of this book for free from the publisher (Diversion Books) after making a request via Netgally.com in exchange for an honest review.
The expected publication date is 31st October 2017.
Thanks for the advance copy.
So what’s this book about?
Booke of the Hidden is the first novel (approx 314 pages) in a new six book adult urban fantasy series set in the beautiful, rural village of Moody Bog, Maine, USA. Our key human characters include; our heroine, Kylie Strange, a local coven of Wiccans – retired doctor and part-time plasterer, Doc Boone, middle aged Seraphina, a bohemian free-spirit and ‘sensitive’, Nick Riley barista and Goth and sixteen year old Jolene Ayrs, researching whiz kid and budding Wiccan – Moody Bog’s Sheriff and hotty, Ed Bradbury and Ruth Russell, a descendent of Moody Bog’s founding families. At this early stage in the series, there is no set mythology (e.g. Norse, Christian, Egyptian, etc) to the paranormal elements of the tale, so the non-human species that we encounter, which includes the elusive and enigmatic Mr Erasmus Dark, are more of a generic amalgam rather than from a specific belief system.
If you’ve read any of my reviews before, you’ll know that I don’t post spoilers of any kind or reveal any plot twists in my book reviews, so here’s what the official blurb has to say about the story:
To get a fresh start away from a bad relationship, Kylie Strange moves across the country to open a shop in a seemingly quiet town in rural Maine. But she gets more than she bargained for.
During renovations on her new tea shop, Strange Herbs & Teas, she discovers a peculiar and ancient codex, The Booke of the Hidden, bricked into the wall.
As soon as she opens the Booke of the Hidden, the quiet town of Moody Bog suddenly becomes a lot more interesting. Every small town has its legends and unusual histories, and this artifact sends Kylie right into the centre of Moody Bog’s biggest secret.
While puzzling over the tome’s oddly blank pages, Kylie gets an unexpected visitor — the mysterious and handsome Erasmus Dark, an inscrutable stranger who knows she has the book and warns her that she is doomed. Kylie brushes off this nonsense, until a series of bizarre murders put her, the newcomer, at the centre. With the help of Erasmus and a ragtag group of local Wiccans she befriends, Kylie unravels the Booke’s secrets while dodging the handsome but sharp-eyed sheriff, all the while hunting for a killer—that might not be human.
Award-winning author Jeri Westerson crafts a tale of magic, murder, and romance, drawing us into the mystical world that surrounds Strange Herbs and Teas.
So, what did I like about it?
Jeri Westerson is a new-to-me author; I found her writing style engaging, intelligent and easy to read. I loved the way Ms Westerson weaved her plot; it was complex enough to keep me intrigued without being convoluted. I felt that there was a good balance of humour, action, tension, mystery and romance and the pace of the plot felt just right.
I loved the way Ms Westerson crafted her world and its history; I found myself in the area of Moody Bog almost instantly, how she described the location, surrounded by wilderness and Moody Bog itself with its collection of small town, village style businesses just brought the place to life in my imagination.
I really liked our heroine, Kylie; she’s intelligent and has heaps of gumption (even if she does struggle a bit on the romantic front during this book). I also loved the fact that the secondary characters that Ms Westerson created to populate her world felt just as real as our leads and had strong, memorable personalities, they weren’t just filling the page; kind old Doc Boone, wise Reverend Howard Cleveland, Jolene who had definitely been ‘hiding her light under a bushel’ and who out there doesn’t know a person like Ruth Russell with her self-important air! I loved that Ms Westerson wrote her characters with the complexities that we’d see in those around us, that they had a good balance of strengths and insecurities to make them feel real, even the supernatural ones.
I love the fact that Booke of the Hidden kept me guessing what would happen next and had me holding my breath at times, on the edge of my seat. But fear not, good readers it’s not all tension and scares there are giggles and a good sprinkling of tummy tingling passion to balance it all out.
In short, I found myself desperate to find out what would happen next throughout this book, staying up late to finish just one more chapter – I was gripped!
So, ummm, was there anything I disliked about it?
Nope – loved everything about it!
Although, I will warn you, as Booke of the Hidden is the first book in a new six book series, not all of our questions or mysteries are resolved within these pages, however, I can happily confirm that there is no life or death cliff-hanger ending – you all know how much I detest those – thank you Ms Westerson! (Further brownie points earned)
So, basically what I’m saying is…
I really loved this book; it promises to be a fantastic series. I have pre-ordered my own copy of Booke of the Hidden from Amazon and will be waiting with bated breath for book 2 “Deadly Rising.”
If you love well written tales of magic, curses, mystery and horror with a bit of romance I think you’d enjoy this book, I think it’s a perfect mix of scary, paranormal, mystery and adventure, however, I would just like to add that due to the explicit sexual nature of some of the scenes within these pages, I’d only recommend this book to adults who are not offended with this type of content.
So, has my review of BOOKE OF THE HIDDEN encouraged you to find out more? Just click on any of the links below to check out the book yourself or to find out more about the author. To see the other books I’ve read, take a look at my profile on Goodreads.
See BOOKE OF THE HIDDEN on Goodreads.com