by Robert Caufield
Genre: Fantasy / Horror
Print Length: 264 pages
Reviewer: Alexandria Ducksworth
Like Hocus Pocus for adults, Grief is the wild supernatural ride you didn’t know you needed.
If you’re a fan of the paranormal, author Robert Caufield delivers it all in Grief. It has witches, dark magic, zombies, and even a gargoyle. With barely a slow movement present, this fast-paced fantasy novel will shock you and hit you with something strange.
The fictional New England town of Ravensden carries a dark secret buried deep beneath its streets. People are mysteriously disappearing, leaving the remaining town citizens with serious questions as to why and where they are.
Detective Roderick visits Ravensden to crack down on the case and meets Mayor Edward Hawthorne for further investigation. Erika, the mayor’s niece, shows Roderick the side of Ravensden people barely notice in the town mines.
Local legends mentioned two famed witch sisters Camilla and Candace Hayes had an epic battle in the old Ravensden caverns. Whether the past is true is shrouded in mystery. Roderick is now in a race to get to the bottom of Ravensden’s secrets before the monsters lurking beneath swallow the town whole.
Grief is highlighted by a complex plot and complex characters. Each chapter stars a new character point-of-view, so the reader may be seeing through Erika’s eyes, Hawthornes, Roderick’s, or even Candace’s from the past. The more you read their perspectives, the more expectations are shattered. Who doesn’t love a little twist?
Hawthorne, for example, is no goody-two shoes mayor of a sleepy New England town. This man hangs many skeletons in his closet. Even Erika has a shady side she attempts to keep hidden from the public, including from Roderick. There are two sides of every person in Grief, like in real life.
The magic in this world is puzzling, with purpose. It’s good and mysterious that Caufield doesn’t reveal everything about it until the very end. One thing’s for sure though, little good has come of it. Just ask the Hayes sisters. Sure, there may be immortality to whoever wields it, but at what cost?
Caufield makes a number of smart moves that keep readers swirling down its rabbit-hole of a plot. The first level is the solving the town’s mystery. Further levels involve the town’s witch hunt past, the monsters, and the evil magic from overseas. The deeper I dove into Grief, the more I enjoyed it.
Grief is a great introduction to its world as the first book in the Iridescent Trilogy. You’ll be eagerly anticipating more out of the later books. I know I am. After this first one, you won’t be looking at owls the same way ever again.
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