Night and Nothing #1
Fantasy/Fairy Tale Retelling
Source: Finished copy from publisher for review
Finn Sullivan has lost her older sister to suicide. Fleeing the memories left in San Francisco, she and her father move to an upstate New York town filled with socialities, hippies, movie and Theatre folk, where every corner holds possibilities and mysteries. As she settles in and begins college at the local university, HallowHeart, she discovers her sisters journal, filled with ominous musings on otherworldly beings. She also meets the devastatingly handsome Jack Fata—and the rest of the enigmatic Fata family.
As Finn’s fascination with Jack and his family deepens—and theirs for her does the same—she learns that they and the rest of the town denizens are far more than they seem, both for good and evil. Her sister’s journal suddenly seems much more menacing and realistic than she could ever have imagined.
Soon Finn learns that attention from the Fatas brings dangerous consequences. To free herself and save her friends and her love, Finn must confront the Fatas and unravel the secrets surrounding her sister’s death.
Most of us grew up hearing or reading fairy tales. Being Irish, I'd heard many stories about the fae but always thought of them as whimsical or benign. Not so true of the mystical characters that Katherine Harbour has created. Ms. Harbour has done a wonderful and titillating job of weaving a story where we can't distinguish good from evil until it's too late.
After the death of Finn's sister, Lily Rose, she and her father move back to the tiny town of Fair Hollow, her father's old home and hometown. This is a town filled with a sinister history. The description of the students at the college Finn attends reminds you of those you might see at a renaissance fair, complete with historical costumes. You can easily envision all of the students running around in velvet and lace.
Finn makes two immediate friends, Christie and Sylvia. The three of them soon discover that some of the residents of Fair Hollow are not exactly what they appear to be. Finn might not have delved deeper into the strange goings on in town if not for her sister's journal though. A journal filled with stories of faeries and other mythical creatures. And then there is Jack!!! Finn is captivated by Jack even after she realizes he is not what he seems and is missing something crucial.
Ms. Harbour does an excellent job of making our heroine the right combination of young woman with a savior complex and just plain frustrating. Like in any good horror story, Finn runs blindly ahead into danger, causing us to want to scream at her to STOP, but we're also glad that she's plunged ahead because we're hanging on to see what happens next.
Ms. Harbour uses literary references, such as Yeats and Shakespeare, to reaffirm the possibility that there may indeed be a faerie world and most of us just can't see it. There are a lot of Gaelic references as well, but don't be put off because there is a glossary at the back of the book. And thrown in for good measure is an old hotel that would rival the one in The Shining.
For me, Thorn Jack was a page turner, filled with mystery, dark thrills, and romance. As we read the epilogue, we hear soft voices that lead us to believe that we have not seen the last of the faerie world. I find that exciting and can't wait for the next book.
This book was sent to me by the publisher free of charge for the purpose of a review.
I received no other compensation and the above is my (or in this case, Cathy's) honest opinion.