Published: August 12th, 2013
By: Dax Varley
Katrina is still haunted by her encounter with the Headless Horseman -- the night he beckoned to her. Now he has risen again, slashing heads and terrorizing the quiet countryside. Her only joy during this dismal darkness comes when Ichabod Crane, a gorgeous young man from Connecticut, moves to Sleepy Hollow and their attraction turns to romance. When the Horseman marks Ichabod as his next victim, Katrina, despite dangerous efforts to save him, sees no other choice than for them to flee. But the Horseman awaits. Now it's up to her to sever the horror and alter the Legend of Sleepy Hollow.
Another retelling of the original Washington Irving story, The Legend of Sleepy Hollow. I went into this excited, but wary, because as a retelling from the female perspective (Katrina) it was a bit of a dicey concept. You're talking about a girl from the late 1700s. Just how interesting could she be, without the author making her too modern for the novel to work in the context it's meant to be in? And that kind of turned out to be the biggest problem for this particular book. In making Katrina a strong, independent girl, with dreams that extended beyond her life in the Hollow, the author also made her home life a bit unbelievable. She and her friend Elise are entirely unchaperoned and allowed to chase after young men like there's no tomorrow. Elise's obsession with Ichabod and the way she is all up on him is decidedly inappropriate for the late 1700s - it would have been absolutely disgraceful in real life.
Also, the mystery of the Headless Horseman riding again, the murders and his motive for them, was very boring once it was revealed. You spend the entire book trying to figure out how everything ties together and then in the last few pages finding out the identity of the "Horseman" really didn't make any sense and the reason for his haunting was stupid. It had no connection to Katrina, so it really was weird why he haunted her - he had no reason to, as she wasn't part of his revenge. And the hinting at the original Horseman haunting her was never followed up on, which was also disappointing. The killing of Brom Bones disappointed me too, especially after Katrina seemed to realize that he was the better choice, over Ichabod Crane anyways. He rescues Katrina from an impossible situation and almost certain death (while Ichabod just sits back and watches it all happen!) and then oops; Sorry, he's beheaded too! He spent most of the book seeming like an asshole, then in his last few pages he became someone I cared about. Brom also had hella more personality than Ichabod (even if it was mostly annoyingness and sexism).
The romance between Ichabod and Katrina was very lackluster, insta-love type stuff and his behavior is very rakish towards her for the time period. The way they carried on was absolutely scandalous. And no one does anything about it! All in all, it did have some wit to it and was amusing to read at certain points. But mostly this book was boring, with characters who acted averse to their historical time period and a badly thought-out mystery. I would recommend that if you're looking for a Hollow retelling, that you read Crane by Stacey Rourke instead!
VERDICT: 2.5/5 Stars
*I received this book from CreateSpace, on NetGalley. No favors or money were exchanged for this review. This book was published on August 12th, 2013.*