Friday, 16 August 2013

The Storycatcher

Author: Ann Hite
Genre: Historical Fiction, Paranormal
Type: Kindle e-book
Source: NetGalley
Publisher: Gallery Threshold Pocket Books
Publication Date: September 10, 2013
First Line: "The salt from the ocean hung thick and heavy in the air."

Book Description from GoodReads: Shelly Parker never much liked Faith Dobbins, the uppity way that girl bossed her around. But they had more in common than she knew. Shelly tried to ignore the haints that warned her Faith’s tyrannical father, Pastor Dobbins, was a devil in disguise. But when Faith started acting strange, Shelly couldn’t avoid the past—not anymore.

Critically acclaimed, award-winning author Ann Hite beckons readers back to the Depression-era South, from the saltwater marshes of Georgia’s coast to the whispering winds of North Carolina’s mystical Black Mountain, in a mesmerizing gothic tale about the dark family secrets that come back to haunt us

Disclaimer: My sincere thanks to Gallery Threshold Pocket Books and NetGalley for providing me with a complimentary e-book copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.

My ReviewI'm a huge paranormal and historical fiction fan so when I saw that this book would incorporate the post-slavery era with a bit of paranormal I thought it would be perfect for me. Unfortunately I found it very hard to get into this book and even harder to rate it. 

Let's start with the positives.  There is no question that this book is beautifully written.  The descriptions of life on Black Mountain, NC to the shores of the Georgian coast were vivid, beautifully described and added to the atmosphere of the book.  It also has a very eerie, dark and mystical feel which only added to the compelling mystery. 

The story is told from the point of view of several different characters and the story jumps from the 1930's back to the 1800's to tell the story.  Unfortunately, these two factors made it difficult to keep up with the plot.  I always felt a little confused for the first few paragraphs when a new character began telling her story until I figured out who was talking, what era we were in and what was going on.  But, just when my interest started to wane the mystery would pull me back in.  This back and forth continued for the entire book. 

While many of the female characters tended to blend in with each other (in my mind, at least) the one character who really stood out for me was the very creepy Pastor Dobbins.  This guy was a great 'bad guy' and really brought a sinister edge to the book.  I also loved how Ms Hite described the spirits, or 'haints', in the book.  They weren't just clich├ęd 'scary ghouls in the cemetery' kind of ghosts but had their own character development and story to tell.

So, in the end, I enjoyed the mystery and the atmosphere of the book.  Unfortunately the build-up of the plot took longer than I was expecting and the use of multiple points of view and eras got in the way with me giving the book a higher rating.

My Rating: 3/5 stars

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