Review: Sleepy Hollow novel fills void until new season starts

Besides The Walking Dead, there’s one show I’m looking forward to more this season than any other: Fox’s Sleepy Hollow.

The first season, in which Colonial soldier Ichabod Crane finds himself thrust into the present to do battle with the Headless Horseman and other no-goodniks, was both smartly written and refreshingly fun entertainment.

Sleepy Hollow coverSo, I was more than excited to recently receive a copy of Keith R.A. DeCandido’s new paperback original set in the Sleepy Hollow universe, Children of the Revolution. The novel was the perfect thing to tide me over while waiting out the summer doldrums and the start of the new tv season next week.

Fortunately, DeCandido does a great job of capturing the essence of Crane’s character and his cast of supporting characters, while weaving an exciting tale about a coven of witches seeking to resurrect their long dead leader, Serilda. I won’t say much more about the plot to keep from spoiling the story, but suffice to say there is plenty of action, gore, scares, and humor that comes from being a soldier out of time while fighting supernatural bad guys.

As with the tv show, the book blends historical fact and fiction to perfection. The afterword includes a fascinating historian’s note about all the facts and not-so-facts that make up the adventure.

Capturing the essence of a tv show in a novel isn’t easy, but readers of many a TV tie-in have come to expect no less from the author. DeCandido, according to the book’s author page, has made a living by scribing adventures in others’ universes, from Firefly to Star trek, from Stargate to Leverage, and more. He was even awarded a Lifetime Achievement Award by the International Association of Media Tie-in Writers (who even knew there was such a thing?).

Children of the Revolution fits seamlessly between the first-season Sleepy Hollow episodes “The Golem” and “The Vessel.” The 283-page novel unfolds at a breakneck pace and I could easily envision it unfolding on the tv screen like any other episode.

Of course, the inherent drawback to writing in anyone else’s universe is that you know gong in not much is going to change for the characters. The author can only take these characters so far, lest he infringe on what’s unfolding on the screen. Even so, DeCandido makes it a fun read in any case.

Note: I received this book from Blogging for Books for this review.

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