After reading ‘Dead Flesh (Keira Hudson Series Two, Book One)’ and the novella, ‘Dead Night – Potter’s Secrets (Keira Hudson Series Two, Book 1.5)’, the reader is aware that Keira and her friends are existing in a different world, almost a parallel universe. A world that they once knew but has now been ‘pushed’ and life is not quite the way it was before.
The beginning of this novel carries on from ‘Dead Flesh’ as the gang are at Hallowed Manor with the addition of Sam, who, since leaving the chapel at Ravenwood Boarding School and almost being matched with a wolf, is ill and feverish. With Kayla looking after him she hopes he will make a full recovery but this is uncertain. It is not known how far the matching went. Will he die? Will he be human? Or, will he become a skin-walker? He does show some signs of this, however it is not absolutely clear.
Kayla will do anything in her power to try and save Sam. He is in-between stages of turning and he is very ill. So when he asks to be taken to the Fountain of Souls, this is exactly what Kayla wants too. After a discussion the whole gang prepare to leave Hallowed Manor. However, during the beginning of their journey they are followed by skin-walkers. Hopefully, without spoiling too much, there is a great deal of intense action in these first few chapters and the gang are on the run from the skin-walkers and Berserkers. They manage to find an old train station to rest in whilst the reader is given more insight into Isidor’s character.
As the story unfolds the reader discovers that this particular novel, even though written from the points of view of Keira and the points of view of Isidor, has it’s main focus on Isidor. Isidor is a character, until now, that the reader knew little about – especially about his past. This book opens up Isidor’s soul as we begin to understand his character and some of his reasons for the way he is. The action of this novel dies down and becomes more emotional, focusing largley on the storyline and using Isidor as narrator to his own past. There are questions that previous novels have left me asking about Isidor, and here the answers are revealed.
We are introduced to a new character, Melody Rose. I absolutely took to her from the first time we hear about her. She is a beautiful, kind human girl. She is treated differently by some of those around her as she has been brought up in a strange manner. But, as she is different it allows her to understand others that are different and, therefore is more accepting and treat them more as an equal. It would be cruel of me to go into any more detail regarding Melody or the storyline without giving any more away. I am, therefore, hoping that if you have not read this novel yet to please do.
I must admit that this is not my favourite novel of the series for a few reasons. However, bear in mind that I have read all of the books to this series, up to this point, including the novellas. As this book focuses on Isidor and the last novella ‘Dead Night – Potter’s Secrets’ focused on Potter I have missed Keira terribly. Her character has not been featured as much and I would like to hear about her ‘seeing’ ability again in solving mysteries and crimes – a return of her investigative side. Also, Potter did not feature too heavily in this book either. But, as said above, I do understand that the reader needed to be more connected to Isidor and understand his past and character.
I was missing a little action in the middle of Isidor’s story, however this did pick up a little towards the end of the novel again, knowing that the following book ‘Dead Statues (Keira Hudson Series Two, Book Three)’ will begin with more adventure to come. I felt that this novel was a little short and towards the end we are given the chance to read some short stories that the character, Isidor, had written after being influenced by humans and the world above ground. I wasn’t too sure about these, however, after reading some other reviews I should have guessed myself that Tim O’Rourke certainly does not write these stories without having an underlying meaning to them. As the series continues to grow the reader will discover their meaning and connection and I am excited to be on this magical journey. I would love to become Keira just so I could piece it all together myself!
One of the things I love about Tim O’Rourke’s writing is that he always sets each scene well. He never overstates anything, allowing the reader to visualise for themselves, however he does give us enough atmosphere to create our emotions and connect with the characters, storyline and scenery. I have noticed, especially in the more recent books, that the weather plays a huge part in this. It is either night time or dark and cloudy, with stormy weather, i.e. wind, rain, thunder and lightning.
The use of music, usually playing on the iPod, also means a great deal. This also sets the mood of the scene that we are reading. It helps to tell the story of the characters. There is no iPod in this novel, but a radio. There is a song that is referred to more than once, regarding two of the characters in this book and it does help everything connect beautifully. The song is not for me to name, but for the reader to discover. The song choice initially surprised me but it does fit perfectly well.
At the time of writing this review I have begun to read the following novel, ‘Dead Statues (Keira Hudson Series Two, Book Three)’ and although I have only read a few pages I am gripped!
Reviewed by Caroline Barker