The “S” on my alphabet challenge, “The Seven Deaths Of Evelyn Hardcastle” is one of the most unusual and original books I have read in a while. I feel almost limited as to what I can say as I’m determined not to give much away. It really is one of those books when any spoilers would be a cruelty to the reader.
As any of the people who know me personally or follow my medical side of things over at Caffeinated Crafting Cripple will know, I am visually impaired due to a combination of chronic migraine and possessing in my brain, so whilst I adore “physical” books, I do read a large proportion on my Kindle due to needing to adjust font size and back lighting. When my visually issues started I was determined not to let it be the end of being a book worm, and so e-books and audio books are my friends. I’ve posted about these things before, but sometimes it does make it difficult if for nothing else than to try and keep photos nice. So, I blame my brain.
Well, back to the more important issue.
“Evelyn Hardcastle” starts off without hesitation, throwing the reader into a state of exhilaration. We find our character shouting “Anna!” in a forest. The anxiety levels come through with utter clarity, and it is enough to make your heart race, an utterly wonderful beginning to a book. It really is quite impressive that a book can begin at such a level where you know nothing about the character and yet are terrified for them at the same time. The power with which it begins and captivates you is intense, and really quite incredible.
As I’ve already said, this book has a really individual set up. With all the books I’ve read over the years, I can say sincerely there is nothing like this I have come across before, and all the praise it earned earlier on this year when it was released was well deserved. Because of this individual set up, however, it can take readers a little while to get into, as it isn’t something we’ve been prepared for via previous books. STICK WITH IT. A few chapters in, and it is utterly gripping.
Within the book, there are several characters we meet intimately, and not all of them are likeable people. There is a clever power behind writing major characters that are disliked but still just as gripping, if not maybe more so, than the ‘nice’ people withing the number that you encounter.
While I read this book earlier in the year, it is very easy to write this review months later as it is still so vivid in my mind. It is one of those books I wish that I could wipe my memory of it and read it for the first time again. There are twists and turns and question marks and answers that give more questions and just pure brilliance. It is, for sure, one of my must reads of 2019.