Crane - Stacey Rourke

Thank you to Patchwork Press for providing me with an egalley of the book to review.

I expected something really unique when I read the summary for this book. The high ratings also seemed to reassure me that this would be a book that’ll be memorable, witty, and full of adventure and characters that put an unusual new spin on a much loved story. It reminded me of The Hollow Trilogy by Jessica Verday as well as the Sleepy Hollow TV show, both popular new adaptations of the story.

This one, however, turned out nothing like that, and at 40% I ended up dropping it.

There was honestly nothing keeping my attention or interest in this story. The main character, Ireland Crane, attempts to be a strong female protagonist that has experienced difficulties in her past, including a pretty brutal break up after her boyfriend cheated on her. But there’s no substance to her, no backbone that she attempts to have. She wasn’t a female lead that I was fond of or could connect to, instead choosing to take the route of many other female protagonists who have emotional fits, jump to conclusions, make hardly any sense with their actions or words, and use clichéd jokes and sarcasm to try appealing to the reader. None of these worked for me.

Not much happened in terms of the plot either. There’s a lot of going back and forth between the past and present town of Sleepy Hollow, between Ichabod and Ireland Crane. Ichabod turned out to be just as flat and undeveloped as Ireland was (in which case the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree I guess). There wasn’t much going on and the details that were added into the story, such as describing how the villagers treated Ichabod, Rip Van Winkle, and Washington Irving, only added fluff to the story in what felt like an attempt to make up for the lack of a skeleton underneath. I didn’t learn anything about Van Winkle and Irving, and I had already read 40% of the book. It’s not a good sign when so much goes on but it feels like nothing significant has happened.

The development in the plot wasn’t a shocker either, and although I presumed the plot would be something I could more or less foresee it was disappointing nonetheless to see that it was even more predictable and, well, BORING than I anticipated.

Definitely not the book for me. I didn’t find anything interesting or new here. The cast of characters is simple and standard enough to appeal to most people, the plot is pretty predictable and, again, standard. Perhaps I should stop approaching books with such high hopes, or not rely so strongly on other reviews – the disappointment level will be lower.