Author: Christina Henry
Thank you, NetGalley for this book.
I’ve only recently become aware of Christian Henry’s work, specifically her Alice series. I’ve heard great things about it and have added it to my TBR. I had completely forgotten that I had this book from NetGalley, so when it turned up as my next read, I was really excited to see if all the hype was real. And, wow, it was. This book was so creative and fun.
From Goodreads: Everyone in Sleepy Hollow knows about the Horseman, but no one really believes in him. Not even Ben Van Brunt’s grandfather, Brom Bones, who was there when it was said the Horseman chased the upstart Crane out of town. Brom says that’s just legend, the village gossips talking.
Twenty years after those storied events, the village is a quiet place. Fourteen-year-old Ben loves to play Sleepy Hollow boys, reenacting the events Brom once lived through. But then Ben and a friend stumble across the headless body of a child in the woods near the village, and the sinister discovery makes Ben question everything the adults in Sleepy Hollow have ever said. Could the Horseman be real after all? Or does something even more sinister stalk the woods?
I love that this story was told from a kid’s perspective. Ben is a strong character with specific ideas and goals. You really root for Ben throughout the book. I’ve only read Sleepy Hollow once or twice and don’t remember much but that didn’t cause me any issues. As long as you have the general gist that a headless horseman terrorizes the town of Sleepy Hollow, running off the schoolteacher Ichabod Crane, you’re set. I really enjoyed this book. It’s categorized as horror, but it’s not super scary or graphic. It really could be a YA book, even. Ben is a great character that you just love and respect. I will definitely be checking out more of Henry’s books.
Title: Cloud Cuckoo Land
Author: Anthony Doerr
Genre: science/historical fiction
Thank you NetGalley for this book!
I was really nervous to pick this one up. I’ve just heard so much about it but was intimidated by its breadth. The length wasn’t an issue. I’ve read several that are over 1000 pages. But just the span of time, the characters, the interweaving plots made me nervous. I took my time with it and am so glad I did. What a spectacular book.
From Goodreads: Thirteen-year-old Anna, an orphan, lives inside the formidable walls of Constantinople in a house of women who make their living embroidering the robes of priests. Restless, insatiably curious, Anna learns to read, and in this ancient city, famous for its libraries, she finds a book, the story of Aethon, who longs to be turned into a bird so that he can fly to a utopian paradise in the sky. This she reads to her ailing sister as the walls of the only place she has known are bombarded in the great siege of Constantinople. Outside the walls is Omeir, a village boy, miles from home, conscripted with his beloved oxen into the invading army. His path and Anna’s will cross.
Five hundred years later, in a library in Idaho, octogenarian Zeno, who learned Greek as a prisoner of war, rehearses five children in a play adaptation of Aethon’s story, preserved against all odds through centuries. Tucked among the library shelves is a bomb, planted by a troubled, idealistic teenager, Seymour. This is another siege. And in a not-so-distant future, on the interstellar ship Argos, Konstance is alone in a vault, copying on scraps of sacking the story of Aethon, told to her by her father. She has never set foot on our planet.
I can’t even begin to explain just how expansive this book is. The story is told with a fable woven throughout, and all the storylines draw back to this fable, but in ways you don’t expect. Even though this one took me a while to get through, it was worth it to be able to savor this one. It’s just such a beautiful book.