Book review: “Sleepy Hollow: Children of the Revolution” by Keith R.A. DeCandido


Sleepy Hollow: Children of the RevolutionSleepy Hollow: Children of the Revolution by Keith R.A. DeCandido

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Adaptations hardly ever do the source material justice. In fact, they often do just the opposite. They bomb. They are truly awful. Video game adaptations of film and televisions suck. Film adaptations of video usually bomb as well— Truly bad.

Books are not exempt from this unwritten rule, either. More often than not, novelizations of films and televisions are usually half-assed…they’re easy ways for publishers and TV shows to make a quick buck. Hardcore fans love ‘em, because they fill in on the lore of their favorite media properties but they lack in the quality department. Ultimately, they usually end up in a bargain bin somewhere dusting away.

“Sleepy Hollow: Children of the Revolution” by Keith R.A. DeCandido is one of the few exceptions and counter-examples to the aforementioned rule. It reads well. From a technical standpoint it reads akin to that of a script from the television show. Most of the scenes are expressed in third-person via Ichabod Crane, and the plot line closely follows Crane and his partner Abbie’s exploits in modern day Sleepy Hollow.

One of the largest complaints that I usually have with book adaptations is their bare bones quality. They’re oft difficult to read. The writing is either done poorly because of time constraints (or a less-than experienced author), and the meat-and-potatoes of the novel suffers making it almost unreadable. DeCandidio has knowledge of the craft. Whether he was in a time crunch (or not) he pulls it off, and if you’ve ever read any decent third-person, supernatural themed novel then you’ll enjoy “Sleepy Hollow: Children of the Revolution.” Its construction is solid.

Plot-wise it places in the midst of the first season— Right between the episodes, The Golem and The Vessel. The catalyst of the novel stems from a vision that Crane receives from his wife, Katrina, concerning medals bestowed by George Washington during the Revolutionary days. Moloch and his minions want the powerful relics for evil, thus the witnesses (Crane and Abbie) need to thwart them to further their objective of saving humanity. It follows the rough formula of each episode of the series, but it cuts nicely between two episodes to bring readers a little more information and insight into the characters and overall arc of the series.

All-in-all, “Sleepy Hollow: Children of the Revolution” is a good read. It is solid in its own right as a supernatural thriller, and it pays fan service nicely to the acclaimed television series. It is definitely worth the gander.

For more information regarding the Sleepy Hollow television show and related media check out ARSchultz’s website (ARSchultz.com) and Facebook page. And, don’t forget to check out the sure-to-be amazing premiere of Sleepy Hollow season 2 tonight on FOX.

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Joseph Nassise’s “By the Blood of the Heroes: The Great Undead War: Book I”


Joseph Nassise is written a slew of supernatural, dark fantasy thrillers that have all hit my Kindle at one time or another.  My mother turned me on to him several years back and I remember vividly reading the Templar Chronicles–which if you haven’t read them I would highly recommend picking up a copy.  It is a high-octane thriller that takes the supernatural genre and puts a great new lens on it.

When I started professionally writing I emailed several of my favorite artists and authors for advice, and Nassise was one of the few authors who emailed me back.  He was more than willing to chat with me about his work.  That alone kicked him up a notch in my book—punned intended.

Earlier this month I attended a virtual launch party for Joseph Nassise’s newest novel, “By the Blood of the Heroes: The Great Undead War: Book 1”  A company by the name of Shindig hosted the event, and basically it worked like a traditional launch party except from the comfort of your own home.  Mr. Nassise’s video feed was front and center, and he began by reading the first chapter-and-a-half of his novel, and then as people joined the event a smaller video would pop up onto the screen down below in the ‘audience’ section.  The whole event was placed over a snazzy a library background and run by a Shindig moderator who ‘pop’ in every once in a while to provide information and direction.

After Joseph Nassise finished his reading, he did a brief Q&A, and then ‘mingled’ with the crowd in private chat sessions.  Overall, I was quite impressed.  I can definitely picture Shindig’s virtual launch parties taking off.  It cuts down on the overhead costs of a traditional book tours and provides people who normally wouldn’t be able to go to a launch party a chance to attend one.

If you get a chance to pick up Nassise’s new novel, or any of his others, definitely snap it up.  “The Great Undead War” replaces the invention of Mustard Gas during WWI with the fictional Corpse Gas, and centers around a ‘what-if’ scenario involving zombies.  It has already released and is available on Amazon for a scant $10.00.  Check it out!

“Instinct” by Jeremy Robinson


Jeremy Robinson’s “Instinct”

Read 3.10.2011

“Instinct,” as mentioned in other reviews, is the second Chess Team Adventure, or Jack Sigler, novel. All-in-all, I have been fairly impressed with the Chess Team Adventures. They are always quick-paced and action oriented. More often than not I finish the book without even realizing how much time has passed. The prose is fluid, and the characters are wonderful and distinct.

“Instinct” follows the Chess Team and a CDC scientist as they transverse the treacherous jungles of Vietnam in search for a cure that essentially stops the heart of its victims causing instantaneous death. Somewhere along the line the virus becomes weaponized and is implemented against the President of the United States. The virus is traced back to a remote section of Vietnam, hence the Chess Team’s incursion to discover a cure at the virus’ origin.

The story is great and packs a punch as the Chess Team battles the Vietnamese Death Volunteers and a race of beings that are essentially modern day Neanderthals. The Death Volunteers pose the initial threat, however, towards the end of the novel it is the Neanderthals that take the focus and keep the plot moving.

I really enjoy Jeremy Robinson’s prose, and I have read quite a few of his novels. Personally, I enjoyed the first Chess Team Adventure (“Pulse”) more so than this one. There seemed to be too much going at times and some of the more interesting aspects of the novel (e.g. the history of the Neanderthals, Mount Meru, etc.) seemed to be too quickly wrapped up and brushed aside, which was unfortunate. I would have liked to see more emphasis on the Neanderthals and their ties to humanity, but to play my own Devil’s Advocate “Instinct” is not dubbed a Historical Thriller so it makes sense not to focus solely on the history aspect of the novel.

Overall, if you like faced paced, action novels that focus on one of the world’s most elite military group and their bonds then definitely pick up Jeremy Robinson’s “Instinct”–you won’t be disappointed.

(Originally published at Goodreads (dot) com)