The Horseman is unending, his presence shan't lessen.
If you break the curse, you become the legend.
Washington Irving and Rip Van Winkle had no choice but to cover up the deadly truth behind Ichabod Crane's disappearance. Centuries later, a Crane returns to Sleepy Hollow awakening macabre secrets once believed to be buried deep.
What if the monster that spawned the legend lived within you?
Now, Ireland Crane, reeling from a break-up and seeking a fresh start, must rely on the newly awakened Rip Van Winkle to discover the key to channeling the darkness swirling within her. Bodies are piling high and Ireland is the only one that can save Sleepy Hollow by embracing her own damning curse.
But is anyone truly safe when the Horseman rides?
©2014 Stacey Rourke (P)2015 Stacey Rourke
Absolutely. This book is brilliant. This author has created a retelling of Sleepy Hollow that is enticing and truly engaging! Sleepy Hollow is a great premise on which to build a story and this book brings so much more. The main character is strong, funny, and like the rest of Mrs. Rourke's characters, she's a strong and independent mind.
The story is original and kept me laughing and wanting more from start to finish.
Crane is told in multiple points of views. We get the current time period in Ireland's voice and the history in Ichabod Crane's voice. The past and the present work together to solve the mystery of the Hessian as he once again rides through the streets of Sleepy Hollow. Brilliant! It intertwines it all so well with a sarcastically funny lead character that it was truly a delight.
No but I definitely will after this book. And whilst I haven't checked yet I hope she's up for narrating more of Stacey Rourke's work as the narration added to the humour and the enjoyment of the book. Great narration for a great book!
I have to admit that I did listen to it on one sitting! I was on a long journey and I tend to flick between music and a couple of books but I started listening and I had to finish it.
This audiobook was provided by the author, narrator, or publisher at no cost in exchange for an unbiased review courtesy of AudiobookBlast dot com.
"A fantastic take on an old story."
Let's take a moment to absorb the absolutely awesome cover this has!!! Anyway, I have had this on my kindle since it first came out and have been dying to read it, so when I got the chance to listen to the audio, I jumped at it, well I'm so glad I did because I loved this!!! So freaking fantastic in audio.
Who doesn't know the Sleepy Hollow story by now, and if not, why not?? Stacey Rourke has taken that story and made it her own. She has created a seriously creepy and engaging book and one which I devoured. I listened to this over the course of 2 days and honestly didn't want to put it down.
I won't say too much about the plot because I don't want to spoil it, but what I will say is it's fast paced and creepy. It's told from 2 different centuries but flows seamlessly. We get to see the story told from Ichabods' time and from Ireland Cranes' time. I loved that it was like this and thought it added so much more to the whole book. Ichabod, Rip and Washington were fascinating to read about! I especially loved Rip in Ichabods time. He was a devilish rogue and quite lovable!
Ireland was a fiesty MC. She moves to a new town and gets a job at the school, only for the horseman to show up again after years being dormant. She goes through a lot and my heart broke for her at times! She was strong, brave and sassy, everything you could want in a female lead!
In all this was a unique take on an old story. The author has such a wicked sense of humour and it shows with the witty remarks. It's a well written and developed book and I am so looking forward to book 2!! The ending set it up nicely for the next one and I cant wait to see where Irelands' journey takes her.
The audio of this was amazing. Karen Krause did a great job with the different characters and I knew which was which. She brought the story to life and was easy to listen to.
*I received a copy of this in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.*
I loved this book. It was an amazing read that I finished in one sitting.
Stacey Rourke has written a book that moves along at a great pace, has interesting and amazing characters and a story that will grab you and keep you enthralled till the very end.
This audiobook was provided at no cost in exchange for an unbiased review courtesy of AudiobookBlast dot com
Overall Rating: 4.75
Goodreads Rating: 5
Genre based ratings:
Character Development: 5
I received this audiobook from Audiobook Blast (dot) com for free in exchange for my honest review. This review is my own opinion, I have not been paid or bribed or blackmailed into giving it.
I want to point out, if this is the first review you have ever read of mine, that I do not write *book reports*. I feel that you can read the synopsis of the book on Goodreads, Amazon or Audible, and get a really good idea of what the book is about. My reviews are my opinions, thoughts and feelings, what I liked and what I disliked about the book, or in case of audiobooks, about the narration as well. I try not to give away spoilers, but in some cases, I can’t always help it. If I am going to give a spoiler, I try to state that I will give a spoiler. I do try to give clear cut examples when necessary when explaining my opinions or thoughts.
Where do I even start in this review? It has been a while that I listened to a book that was so captivating in a way that had me completely enamoured that I wanted to listen to it until I was finished. In one sitting. Whether I was working or not, cooking dinner, washing dishes, cleaning my house. It did not matter.
Stacey Rourke writes beautifully. I liked that it bounced from past, with Ichabod, to present, with his heir, Ireland. At first, the bouncing back and forth threw me off, but as the plot kept thickening, it began to make sense. Rourke takes the story we all know and creates this magnificent retelling into events that relates it to Ichabod’s heir who happens to end up in Sleepy Hollow after a miserable break up. As Ichabod’s story’s timeline continues, it relates Ireland’s present storyline, and then the big AH-HA! moment occurs, and I felt like I couldn’t listen fast enough!
As far as where it lines up with other books in the same genre, this is a great retelling. I think, in my opinion, you shouldn’t mess with a classic, because it is a classic for a reason. Rourke did something absolutely amazing with Crane, however, so I had to give it a 5 star rating in the retelling section of my rating breakdown (above). Another top rating for Goodreads is that it is classified as horror, and I cannot fully see why. Yes, I guess in some aspects I can understand why it would be horrorish, but to be a “top” genre listing, I would have expected more “horror”. There was really only ONE big scene that was “gruesome”, even though there are multiple deaths/murders in the book (without giving anything away, as a reader/audience member, you are only present truly for two of the deadly events, but you only know who the Headless Horseman/Haitian is for one of them). I just dont classify that as “horror.” When I think “horror,” I think early Anita Blake Vampire Hunter by Laurell K Hamilton that caused me to lack sleep at night. Or, in it’s day, H.P. Lovecraft stories. I felt the death in this book was just as exciting as the rest of the story, and when the audience finds out the AH-HA, “whodunnit” moment, it becomes that more exhilarating, because, me personally, I didn’t expect it or see it coming. In line with other fantasy and paranormal genres, Crane has enough fantasy and paranormal aspects to keep the reader enticed and enjoy and it deserves a 5 star rating.
I think there was excellent character development throughout the entire story. Each character had their own weaknesses and growth. Ireland went through a horrible breakup, in many books these days, a 24 year old female would have sulked around feeling sorry for herself, but not Ireland. Ireland Crane got herself a new ‘do, a kickass new tattoo, a new job, moved to a new town and started a new life. Of course, her life wasn’t exactly what she was expecting. The town was sketchy and deaths started happening the moment she got there, but hey, it sure beats the life she left! Right?! I mean, a couple days after she moves in, her landlord is beheaded, she throws coffee on a really hot “maintenance man”/property owner, nearly gets fired from her job, meets the Rip Van Winkle, discovers the Horseman is out to get her AND her cheating ex fiance hunts her down trying to convince her she needs to get over seeing him sexing up on some fluzey in their bed. Ireland Crane is pretty badass in my book. And I barely even scratched the surface. However, even if Ms. Crane is the main character, she is not the only character. I couldn’t really find any flaws in the the development or character sketches of any of them. I felt each character played their importance. There weren’t really any “unnecessary” characters or character interactions.
Crane starts out on the ground running. I can’t really think of a time where it was ever slow. There wasn’t ever really a dull moment where I was looking at the watch, thinking to myself, when is this book going to be over? All I kept thinking is, “Is Raven on Audible yet?”. (Which it is not by the way….however, the first 3 books in this series is out in book format). The entirety of this book keeps a pace that is steadily increasing and does not taper off. It ends exactly where you expect book to begin, with the Raven stating “Nevermore.” So I am extremely excited. It is one of those books I want everyone to read or listen to! I gave the plot line a 5 star rating for the fact that 1) I didn’t get bored. 2) It kept a fast past. 3) It not only keeps your interest, but it continually peaks your interest. Rourke keeps introducing characters, items, stories, etc that you want to find out more about. 4). This book is not that long. For the audio version, it is 8 hours in length. I just listened to another audiobook that was the same length and it took me over a month to listen to. I finished it a couple of weeks ago, I am still not done with the review. I started this book and finished this book, within a couple of days (unfortunately, life happens sometimes and I can’t read or listen as much as I would like). I finished the book about 10 minutes ago and this review is almost finished. That is how much I enjoyed this book. If an 8 hour book takes me 30+ days to listen to and another 2-3 weeks to attempt to finish a review, then it probably isn’t going to have a high rating, but if an 8 hour book takes me a couple of days, and I finish the review the exact same day I finish listening? Then I probably absolutely loved it. :) That is a good plot line if you ask me. An author that can keep you that engrossed in a story, is worth a listen or read.
I fell in love with Karen Krause. This was my first book of hers, and I do hope it is not my last. She brought every character to life. She has a true talent for voices. Each one was significantly different, that you would think it was an “all cast” production. She delivers each snarky punch line to it’s fullest extent. I loved her so much, I told her on twitter, just so she knows. I appreciate that Mrs. Krause was kind enough to provide this audiobook for free. I look forward to the remainder of this series, and I may need to go hunt down other books she has been a part of bringing to life!
Finally, my last words that I will leave with you. I know this review seems weird, compared to some of my others that I have written in the past, but I just don’t want to give anything away. The Headless Horseman has really never been one of my favorite stories. Truly. I remember seeing the cartoons when I was younger, and I am familiar with the story. But it was never my favorite. I haven’t even seen the Johnny Depp version (which, by the way, I got a chuckle out of the reference in Crane). Ms. Rourke has made me want to give the Horseman a fair chance. She made me want to get to know Ichabod and Katrina the same way she has allowed me to get to know and love Ireland and Noah. So that has to say something, right? Also, the covers of these books are GORGEOUS!!!!!
"I was provided this audiobook at no charge by the author, publisher and/or narrator in exchange for an unbiased review via AudiobookBlast dot com.”
i want the rest of the books on the series. it was different and great
"Clever, fun take on the Headless Horseman story"
Exciting, funny, amazing
Absolutely, the story, moving back and forth between the original in the 1790's and the present day got progressively more exciting and scary.
She was perfect! Her characterizations made it very easy to follow who was talking, and her depiction of Ireland made her very real. She knows how to do humor too, which isn't always the case with narrators.
Hang on to your head, it's going to be a scary night!
I was just so impressed at the humor, originality, and story line of this book. I want to re-read it already.
"Think you know the story of the Headless Horseman?"
OMG. YES!!!! I loved this story. Such a dark, twist (if that is possible) on the original classic. Rourke is a masterful as weaving the past into the present and combining two heart pounding tales.
What if the monster that spawned the legend lived within you?
Think you know the story of the Headless Horseman of Sleepy Hollow? Think again.
Stacey Rourke delivers a heart pounding thrill ride in her newest tale, Crane. Your heart will race and your breath will hitch with each terrifying step the Horseman’s steed takes as he closes in on his next unsuspecting victim.
Some of the residents of Sleepy Hollow are not who they appear to be. Who has called the Hessian forth? Can a past injustice and a lost love be righted? Most importantly who dawns the Hessian's cloak in search of centuries old revenge?
Fans of The Gryphon Series will love that the main character, Ireland, carries on the author’s trademark witty, flirtatious, and sarcastic sense of humor. The climatic end to the novel left me gripping my steering wheel. I was so engrossed in the story. My heart was pounding.
I give this tale a 5 Star Review. Stacey Rourke weaves a tale that includes dark flashes from the past when Ichabod Crane first encountered the Horseman to present day Sleepy Hollow and the unexplained murders of 2 of its prominent residents. You will not be disappointed on the journey this book takes you.
Karen Krause does a great job narrating this book.In Crane,we meet Ireland Crane,a descendent of Ichabods.She makes her new home in Sleepy Hollow and people start dying.She tries to find out WHO is bringing this old legend to life.With help from a recently awake Rip Van Winkle,she finds out.
This audiobook was provided to me at no cost for a fair and honest review
"Headless Horseman - Legacy or Curse?"
Crane is a new twist in retelling of the Headless Horseman. Centuries later, Ireland Crane, a descendant of Ichabod Crane, is the first Crane to return to Sleepy Hollow and in returning has reawaken the curse. The story is told between the present (Ireland) and the past (Ichabod). As Ichabod Crane and his two friends, Washington Irving, and Rip Van Winkle have defeated the Headless Horseman and the person who is controlling him, someone from the present has risen the Headless Horseman.
In triggering the curse, Rip Van Winkle has awaken from his sleep to help a Crane descendant to defeat the Headless Horseman again. In helping Ireland, Rip has to revealed the truth in Ichabod's mysterious disappearance in any hope that Ireland could defeat the Headless Horseman and to keep Noah from the line of fire.
This story is quite perfect Halloween read to revisit the tale of the Headless Horseman. This is a story bordering of what is fiction and what is fact. Not only does the story show the past repeating itself, it also shows where sacrifice had to be made to keep the curse from manifesting itself. There is quite a bit of humor and wits in story. The readers/listeners are going to get a kick of humor toward the end.
Of course, the story continues with Ireland, Noah, and Rip. They may have defeated the Headless Horseman but someone has a grander sinister plan in stored for Ireland and the Headless Horseman. I can't wait to see what happen next with Ireland and Rip and will Noah remains by Ireland's side.
The narrator, Karen Krause, provided a matter-of-fact voice for Ireland. I love the bantering between the officers and Ireland at the beginning of the story when Ireland was considered a suspect. Rip is just hilarious in how the narrator portrayed him. Readers/Listeners need to think in the legend context of Rip Van Winkle's personality.
I was given this audiobook by the author/narrator/publisher via Audiobook Blast in exchange of an honest review. I was not compensated or influenced in any way for writing this review.
"sleepy hollow, unauthorized version"
I have come to think of this fantasy as the “unauthorized version of the Legend of Sleepy Hollow”, but, of course, it is far more. The author takes that legend as her inspiration, redesigns, expands and retells it, giving the story a whole new perspective.
She gives us familiar characters, but she redraws them, giving them strong personalities and deep complexity. She also links the legend with the 21st century, without breaking its link to the 18th century, and she does all this with excellent writing and a deftness of touch and detail that make this an absolutely delightful read. Her sense of fantasy is sometimes very dark, yet, beneath that darkness, there is a more profound expression of, and testament to, the things that make life worth the living: friendship, love, joy and hope. Though there is humor here, too, there is no flippancy, and, in the end, I, as a reader, had to take this book seriously, and recognize its thoughtfulness while enjoying the fantasy.
The narrator gave an adequate and creditable performance. I received this book in exchange for this unbiased review via the courtesy of AudioBookBlast dot com.
"truly creepy bloody Sleepy Hollow retelling"
This was a truly dark and creepy re-telling of the Headless Horseman fairy tale, told from a split perspective. We are presented with a "behind the scenes" story of Washington Irving's historical time of the original tale, as well as a concurrent contemporary tale as strange events are visited visited upon the modern descendant of the original Ichabod Crane, a woman named Ireland Crane. She moves to Sleepy Hollow and becomes embroiled in the horrific deaths that are happening, seemingly caused by the Headless Horseman. Ireland is helped by Rip Van Winkle (the original compatriot of Irving and Ichabod Crane, not yet dead) to try to stop the horror.
Full of twists and turns, this is a satisfying horror tale. It delves a bit too deep into torture porn for me, and I had to shut it off and stop listening or fast forward through a few grisly parts. The plot is well-tuned and surprising. There is a fair amount of humor in both the historical and contemporary stories, and Rourke's writing is visceral and quite polished. I loved the backstory she created around the historical tale (we all thought we knew) of the Headless Horseman and Ichabod Crane and Katrina Von Tassel.
The audio narration by Karen Krause is excellent. If you like twisted, bloody, dark re-tellings of fairy tales, check this out. Perfect for Halloween reading!
NOTE: This audiobook was provided by the author, narrator, or publisher at no cost in exchange for an unbiased review.
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