Author: Billy Coffey
Publisher: Thomas Nelson
Release Date: August 4, 2015
New setting, new characters, darker premise, same great Coffey!
A few miles outside of Mattingly, Virginia lies the small town of Crow Hollow. Up on the mountain from Crow Hollow lies several mines. Not really mines, more of naturally formed caves, but everyone agrees that evil dwells within the mines and they have been chained off for years as far back as anyone can remember. One night, four teenagers have the idea to go spend the night up at the mines. There they encounter Alvaretta Graves, who the town believes is a witch. After a confrontation, the witch curses the teenagers and the town. The days that follow are dark after children throughout the town become physically affected. The town that once stood tall is reduced to rubble and ash. But is it really the witch’s doing?
As always, I get really excited when I see a new Billy Coffey book. I have grown attached to all the residents of Mattingly through his first several books and I was looking forward to learning more about another one of the residents. So, imagine my surprise when I found that that the description didn’t include any known characters (although one does make an appearance and another is referenced). So, I thought, maybe it’s a prequel. Nope, it wasn’t that either. So I said, alright Billy, let’s see what you’ve got. What he had was probably his best written story telling book that he has published. The characters immediately came to life with Scarlett, Cordelia, Hays, and Naomi and I was quickly enthralled by the fact that the challenges these characters face are the same that everyday teenagers face, but maybe amped up just a little bit.
Even though this may be his best story, it is also possibly his darkest yet as well. Although we don’t venture into Happy Holler (read The Devil Walks in Mattingly or In the Heart of the Dark Wood for more on the evil that lurks in Happy Holler), we get a real glimpse into the evil that can live within a person’s heart. However, throughout the darkness, Coffey always manages to inject some form of humor that will lighten the mood as you are reading and make you have to chuckle, if not suddenly fall over while howling with laughter. It is a rare gift that he has.
Very well written. The story played out great. Not the ending that I was expecting, but I don’t really have a clue what I was expecting. All I know is that I hope to find out more on these characters in the future. I feel another book that focuses on Hays in the future. Or at least that is my hope.