Hawthorne is the final installment in Carol Goodman’s Blythewood trilogy. The Blythewood trilogy is the story of how a man, traumatized by having his love rejected goes on to murder the subject of his affection, terrorizing her offspring, goes on a quest to destroy the world. The offspring and main character, half human, half darkling, keeps intervening.
It reminds of all of your favorite book-turned-movie franchises, diluted with that particular Carol Goodman flavor; her brand of magic, folklore, school setting and a mystery you can figure out. And Scotland, everything traces back to Scotland.
Despite this, and despite the story taking place in my favorite era, the early 1900s, I didn’t love it.
My theory is that this is because it feels rushed. For example, it feels as if there is never enough time to get to know and love the characters. Not even by the third book. Too many characters, too many new events.
The only character I sort of like is Raven, main character Ava’s love interest. And this is only because he’s broody, sulky and bitter. And I find it funny. Makes me think of Kiefer Sutherland, frequently in 24, and pretty much throughout The Three Musketeers. Kiefer’s really got the bitterness down.
Another feature I did enjoy, is how Goodman incorporates historic events, plays with the idea what if this never happened, or what if what we think we know about history was actually a cover up of a supernatural sort of event? Theoretically, a brilliant idea, but the execution in this book falls short. For me, I think I’d like it better if she developed each event, e.g. how the Titanic really went down, spent a significant number of pages on that event. But she keeps rushing on! It’s as if she’s got a zillion ideas and no patience to stick with any one of them.
Which I get. But I’m not sure it makes for enjoyable reading. Or maybe I’m just going to have to realize I’m not the target audience?
If you’re new to Carol, I’d say go with The Lake of Dead Languages and/or Incubus. Maybe skip the Blythewood trilogy.
What I’d wish though is that someone would take up this thread and write some fiction about it:
The great big loom, the fates, or specifically, the Norns. I need fiction about the Norns. More than what’s in Sandman.