Welcome to Forgotten Fridays. This mission of this feature is, twice a month, to review books that are more than a year old. And we review them TOGETHER! Most reviews have minor spoilers because it is hard to block them out in a back and forth dialogue about a book. So keep that in mind when reading, though we do try to not mention anything that would ruin a book for anyone.
This week, Bekka picked White Crow for our group. Kara wasn’t impressed, but Bekka and Lyn were very happy with the topic book this week.
Book Description: Some secrets are better left buried; some secrets are so frightening they might make angels weep and the devil crow. Thought provoking as well as intensely scary, “White Crow” unfolds in three voices. There’s Rebecca, who has come to a small, seaside village to spend the summer, and there’s Ferelith, who offers to show Rebecca the secrets of the town…but at a price. Finally, there’s a priest whose descent into darkness illuminates the girls’ frightening story. “White Crow” is as beautifully written as it is horrifically gripping.
Bekka: Marcus Sedgwick is one of my top favorite authors and so I’m REALLY excited to share this book with you guys. It was my first of his that I read, over a year ago, and it still leaves an impression.
Kara: Oh dear. Well…there were parts I liked and parts I didn’t. There is NO DOUBT that I love the way he writes. But I didn’t connect to the characters and I found myself zoning out at times. That said, I loved the inventiveness of the story, for sure.
Bekka: I did love the modern story, but it was the historical parallel that got me. That freakish doctor? A real guy. I did a ton of research after reading.
Lyn: For me, I was blown away by this book. I loved the story and the symbolism in the book. Bekka, was Dr. Barrow a real man?
Bekka: I can’t remember right now if that was his real name, but there was definitely a real man who was beheading people and trying to talk to their severed heads, yes.
Kara: Okay, see, that part of the story I really liked. I liked the flashback POVs. I liked the scary parts about the doctor. What I didn’t care for was the slow start with the girls and I didn’t understand why it took so long to get going for such a short book.
Bekka: I’m not typically a fan of slower-paced books, but this one had a strange dreamlike quality that really hooked me. It’s all in the writing. Plus, it’s always easier to get invested in characters who have your name. 😛
Kara: Good point! I think if it had started differently for me I would have liked it more. Unfortunately, I have a stupid short attention span and once I start to zone out, there is very little that can be done to get me back into a book. That said, I really want to read his newest AND Midwinterblood, which I have here. I think I might like them more because I really did love his writing. I swear. I am big on atmosphere. 😀
Lyn: I like how it built up to the climax. To me, it felt like a storm happening. The build up was like a hurricane, and the flashbacks supported the suspense of the novel. Also, he threw in a small sprinkling of Norse. Brownie points right there.
Bekka: I totally agree, Lyn. The entire book, to me, felt like those crescendoing violins in a horror movie. It’s unsettling and you know something bad is coming the whole time and it sets you on edge. Another thing I loved about this book was the setting.
Kara: well, yeah. I freaking loved the setting. I loved the way he described it, and the atmosphere he built with his word choices. I don’t usually like books that flip back and forth between then and now, but the past scenes were pretty creepy and a quite a bit unsettling. I am so glad you guys loved it, though. I consider it a success when 2 out of 3 of us want to marry a book. 😀
Lyn: I don’t know how he does it, but Sedgwick says so much with just a handful of words. I was shocked to see that this one was so short, but the amount of tension and the friction between most of the characters was like an uncomfortable feeling the entire time. He is a master of showing, not telling.
Bekka: And how about that ending! I’ve read four books by him now and the ending is always a surprise.
Kara: Okay, yeah. That shocked the hell out of me. I have never seen a book end that way.
Lyn: The endings are always worth reading the book! I had to read it three times, because I was just shocked. But I’ll make a note here. I was shocked how rushed the ending seemed. We had this beautiful build-up, and then, BOOM resolution, surprise ending, and conclusion. I felt that it was really, really rushed.
Bekka: I’ll agree with you there. After how sort of slow and drawn out the rest of it was, the ending did come quickly and in very few pages.
Lyn: That was the only reason I gave the book 4 stars. I wanted the ending to mean more. It was such a beautiful and creeping ending. It was so throttled and choppy.
Kara: So I have a question then. What Sedgwick book is your favorite? Both of you.
Bekka: This one, definitely. After that, Midwinterblood.
Lyn: I have only read two of his books. Midwinterblood is, so far, my favorite.
Side note: WHITE CROWS EXIST!!
Kara: That is so freaky and cool! And…I can’t wait to read his latest, She is Not Invisible.
Bekka: She Is Not Invisible is VERY different from the other books of his I’ve read. While Revolver was historical, and White Crow and Midwinterblood had historical storylines, SINI is set entirely in modern day with a very modern protagonist. Very different, but still amazing.
Kara: I can’t wait to try it. I told Lyn I would send my ARC to her after I am done. 🙂
Lyn: I am really excited to read it.
Bekka: So what are our ratings for White Crow? For me, it’s 5 stars.
Lyn: I am giving it 4.5 The ending was truncated, and it made me sad.
Kara: For me, it’s a 3. Wah wahhhh.
Bekka: 5 Stars
Lyn: 4.5 Stars
Kara: 3 Stars