Book Reviews · Reading

Review: The Gravedigger’s Son by Patrick Moody

For my final stop on the 2017 Debut Authors Bash, a month long event that pairs bloggers and, you guessed it, debut authors together, I’m doing a review. Hosted by the lovely Nichole, there have been LOADS of awesome reviews, interviews and giveaways throughout December–so go check them out!

31213108“A Digger must not refuse a request from the Dead.” —Rule Five of the Gravedigger’s Code

Ian Fossor is last in a long line of Gravediggers. It’s his family’s job to bury the dead and then, when Called by the dearly departed, to help settle the worries that linger beyond the grave so spirits can find peace in the Beyond.

But Ian doesn’t want to help the dead—he wants to be a Healer and help the living. Such a wish is, of course, selfish and impossible. Fossors are Gravediggers. So he reluctantly continues his training under the careful watch of his undead mentor, hoping every day that he’s never Called and carefully avoiding the path that leads into the forbidden woods bordering the cemetery.

Just as Ian’s friend, Fiona, convinces him to talk to his father, they’re lured into the woods by a risen corpse that doesn’t want to play by the rules. There, the two are captured by a coven of Weavers, dark magic witches who want only two thing—to escape the murky woods where they’ve been banished, and to raise the dead and shift the balance of power back to themselves.

Only Ian can stop them. With a little help from his friends. And his long-dead ancestors.

Equal parts spooky and melancholy, funny and heartfelt, The Gravedigger’s Son is a gorgeous debut that will long sit beside Neil Gaiman’s The Graveyard Book and Jonathan Auxier’s The Night Gardener.

My thoughts:

  • First things first: spooky middle grade books are my jam. I’m not quite sure what it is, but the mix of being kinda scared and charmed at the same time just seems to be my reading sweet spot.
  • THE GRAVEDIGGER’S SON is the perfect kind of spooky MG book. It’s simultaneously creepy & lovely and scary & heartwarming.
  • However, it’s also SO MUCH MORE. As a writer, I have a special kind of appreciation for good world-building. The world Ian lives in is SO rich, multilayered and complex and it’s this solid foundation on which the world is built.
  • One of my favourite parts of this book was Ian’s passion for healing. I found the discussion of plant properties and attributes so fascinating, and I loved seeing this side of Ian, and the conflict between his dream of being a healer and his ‘destiny’ to be a gravedigger.
  • OKAY, enough rambling about about how good the world-building is. The plot is also fantastic–it’s exciting and witch-y and has all the hallmarks of a classic middle grade epic.
  • Ian, our main character, is wonderfully developed and I absolutely adored the friendships made throughout the book. In particular, I have a serious soft point for Olivia heartrending decision, and I love how the decisions and actions of the kids impact on wider debates in the book — like good/evil and death/life. It was just done in a beautifully subtle way.
  • So, to conclude. This book is a mix between the good Tim Burton kid movies & James Nicol’s, THE APPRENTICE WITCH–a book I loved earlier this year. If you like creepy reads with incredible world-building, I really rec this book.

 

I’m excited to say that I have a signed copy of The Gravedigger’s Son to give away. Pop over to my rafflecopter to enter.

Here’s a posey photo of me pretending to read the book:

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