Horseman de Christina Henry

de Christina Henry - Género: English
libro gratis Horseman


Christina Henry Publisher: Titan Books ISBN: 9781789095982,9781789095975,9781789099959,9781789098488

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Ain’t no rest for the wicked witch a.k.a me drowning in my own tbr screaming nonstop after reading this most intense, darkest, unique retelling of Sleepy Hollow! I think I will have nightmares about Horseman for a long time and disturb everyone with my painful night terrors!

Christina Henry knows how to scare the living daylights out of you! This is short, scary, tremendously spin tingling, blood freezing story! Please don’t read it at nighttime and if you don’t tend to wear adult diaper, never plan to start reading! The results can be so humiliating ( I know from the first-hand)

We’re returning back to Sleepy Hollow where is famous with Horseman’s tale is still haunting townies’ souls. Is it urban legend? Is it dark fairytale you tell your children before they go to sleep?

According to Brom Bones: Horseman is the one who chased Crane out of town. What happened to Crane? If Ben Van Brunt’s grandfather is telling the truth, Horseman might be still lurking around to chase his enemies out of town!

After 20 years later, Ben is 14 and he is still haunted with his grandfather’s stories he told about Horseman and finding a headless body of a child in the woods near the village makes him rethink the bloody Horseman’s existence!

This gory, jaw dropping, fast pacing story is truly worth to read in one sit and your longest loudest screams!

I highly recommend this to the genre lovers who are addicted to the real taste of blood freezing horror stories and all time favorite classics.

Special thanks to NetGalley and Berkley Publishing for sharing this digital reviewer copy with me in exchange my honest opinions.241 s Melissa ~ Bantering Books289 1,658

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I don’t cry over horror novels.

Squirm, yes. Feel repulsed, yes. Sleep with one eye open, yes. Leave all the lights on in my house and raise my electric bill, yes.

But cry tears of sorrow and awe from the emotional resonance of the writing in a horror novel?

Nope. Never.

Christina Henry brought forth my tears, though. And they spilled over. Because her latest release, Horseman, is a mesmerizing, creepy, and (surprisingly) poignant continuation of Washington Irving’s classic tale, The Legend of Sleepy Hollow.

Henry picks the story up 30 years after the Headless Horseman chased Ichabod Crane from town and introduces us to 14-year-old Ben Van Brunt, grandson of Brom Bones and Katrina Van Tassel. Ben spends his days helping Brom on the farm and playing games in the woods, living quietly in the Hollow. Until he happens upon a child’s headless body while out exploring, and he and the villagers are forced to wonder whether the fabled Horseman has returned.

Part of my joy in reading Horseman comes from the nostalgia of revisiting Sleepy Hollow and its characters. But what Henry adds to Irving’s legend is clever and entertaining in its own right. The story is darkly atmospheric and fairy tale-esque, while also brutally gruesome, befitting the genre.

But where the novel truly shines is in its closing scenes when Ben has aged to 24. Henry slows the story’s pace and digs powerfully into the narrative, opening Ben a wound. She lays bare his anguished emotions, his torturous unrest. And this is why the tears streamed from my eyes, only to then gush when I reached the novel’s hopeful final passage, the sheer beauty of it nothing short of perfection.

Horseman gives way more than I ever expected it to give. And it taught me something quite important.

A good horror novel can make a girl cry. Profusely.

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**3.5-stars rounded up**

The Headless Horseman is back in this cleverly-imagined Historical Fiction Horror novel from Christina Henry!!

Horseman: A Tale of Sleepy Hollow is set twenty-years after Ichabod Crane's run-in with the infamous Horseman.

The legend is still told in town, but with that many years separating the incident from reality, people's belief in the accuracy of the story, and the Horseman himself, have begun to dwindle.

Even Ben Van Brunt's grandfather, Brom Bones, who was there on the night in question, passes the story off as village gossip. Nevertheless, Ben still enjoys playing Sleepy Hollow Boys in the local woods with his only friend, Sander.

Ben, born a girl, has never seen himself that way and chooses to live the way he feels, as a boy, regardless of how much his grandmother, Katrina, fights him on it.

It's on one of these occasions, playing in the woods, that the first body is discovered. A local boy, missing his head and hands. Ben feels a dark energy permeating from the woods; could the Horseman be back?

When more victims start to be discovered, Ben doesn't understand how people can continue to deny the ominous presence lurking just outside the village.

Discovering his own parent's deaths may not have occurred how his Grandparents said, Ben now realizes he has a mystery to solve. Something evil is happening with the town and he needs to do whatever he can to stop it.

Horseman sets a spooky tone from the very start; perfect material for this time of year, I have to say. If you are a fan of previous Sleepy Hollow content, including the original tale, I really feel this one is worth checking out.

I am always impressed by Henry's dark imagination. While this is a bit of a slow burn, I had a great time reading it.

In my opinion, the story was original and fresh. The paranormal/spooky elements were well-constructed and I enjoyed getting to know Ben as a character.

As a 14-year old, Ben was strong-willed and courageous. Spurred on by the mysteries circling the town and his family, Ben was willing to do anything to get to the bottom of it all. I was definitely able to get behind that level of determination.

This is the perfect type of tale to pick up as we get closer to Halloween, but really, aren't spooky stories perfect all year-round?

Thank you so much to the publisher, Berkley Books, for providing me with a copy to read and review. I truly appreciate it.

Horseman releases today, Tuesday, September 28th!!arcs-read156 s Will Byrnes1,331 121k

Once, a long time ago, I’d stepped off the track close to the deep part of the forest. I remembered Sander going mad with anxiety, calling for me to come back, but I only wanted to know why nobody in the Hollow went any farther than that point. I hadn’t seen any witches, or goblins, or the Horseman. But I had heard someone, someone whispering my name, and I’d felt a touch on my shoulder, something cold as the wind that came in autumn. I’d wanted to run then, to sprint terrified back to the farm, but Sander was watching, so I’d quietly turned and stepped back on the track and the cold touch moved away from me. Washington Irving’s short story, The Legend of Sleepy Hollow, (there is a link to the full text of that in EXTRA STUFF) has been read by Americans since it was first published in 1819. What we remember most about it is the image of The Headless Horseman. There is some question about who this very un-pedestrian equestrian might be, a late Hessian, perhaps, whose cranium had had a close encounter with a cannonball, who was eager for revenge, and searched relentlessly for his lost noggin. Or maybe a canny wooer (one Abraham “Brom Bones” Van Brunt) of a local lass looking to frighten the superstitious competition out of town with a bit of over-the-top theatrical horseplay. The story about the horseman had predated Brom and Ichabod vying for the hand (and property) of Katrina Van Tassel, so, was it a real ghost story or just a hugely successful prank?

Christina Henry - image from her Goodreads page

In Christina Henry’s Horseman we are brought back to Irving’s one-horse town, Sleepy Hollow, two generations on. Brom and Katrina are grandparents now, managing their land, doing nicely with their farm. Brom remains a big man, both literally and figuratively, a powerful figure in local affairs, as well as someone still able to take on conflict kinetically when needed. Ben, our first-person narrator, Brom and Katrina’s fourteen-year-old grandchild, admires Brom completely, would nothing more than to grow up to be as much him as humanly possible.

The Headless Horseman Pursuing Ichabod Crane by John Quidor, l858 – image from The Smithsonian American Art museum

Ben and a friend are playing in the woods one day when they hear a group of riders pass, Brom in the lead. Ben is desperate to see what’s up, even though the group is headed to a part of the woods that is considered way too spooky to venture into, with good reason. Just beyond the circle of men was a boy—or rather, what was left of a boy. He lay on his side, a rag doll that’s been tossed in a corner by a careless child, one leg half-folded. A deep sadness welled up in me at the sight of him lying there, forgotten rubbish instead of a boy.
Something about this sight sent a shadow flitting through the back of my mind, the ghost of a thought, almost a memory. Then it disappeared before I could catch it… Both the head and hands seemed to have been removed inexpertly. There were ragged bits of flesh and muscle at the wrist, and I saw a protruding bit of broken spine dangling where Cristoffel’s head used to be.

Image from ClassicBecky’s Brain Food

And the game is on. Had this bully of a teen been cut down by a violent spectre or was there a more flesh-laden killer on the loose? There is a second mystery, as well. What’s the deal with the “ghost of a thought, almost a memory” that Ben experiences while witness to the carnage? But wait, there’s more. There were mysteries left over from Washington Irving’s original story, such as was it a ghostly headless Hessian who had driven Ichabod Crane out of town, and what had actually happened to Crane after he fell off his horse and vanished?

Image from Deviant Art – from Kanaru92

Irving makes a point of the superstitious bent of the locals in the Hollow. …the place still continues under the sway of some witching power, that holds a spell over the minds of the good people, causing them to walk in a continual reverie. They are given to all kinds of marvellous beliefs, are subject to trances and visions, and frequently see strange sights, and hear music and voices in the air. - from The Legend of Sleepy Hollow A belief in the supernatural, justified or not, prompts the locals to believe the worst (including the W-word) about any they find outside the norm, as defined by their constricted minds. They see dark forces and conspiracies where none exist, well, probably. And seek to blame someone, usually someone perceived as different. I know that reminds me of mindless seekers after blame and conspiracy who roam the planet today, but maybe that’s just me. Feeding the blame-and-conspiracy machine, there is a gender identification seam that permeates as one of the characters contends with being seen one way, while feeling internally entirely other. Other is not an entirely ok thing to be in early nineteenth century small-town America.

Image from Classic Becky Brain Food - by Jurei-Chan

Family has a lot to do with who we are, who we become, what we might be capable of, for good or ill. Ben’s love for Brom is manifest and a serious source of strength. Ben’s relationship with Katrina is more conflictual, yet with strong underpinnings. But what about other family? There is connection and help to be had in the household, with one of the staff providing a solid core of support. And what about community? Sander is clearly a bff, although not necessarily the best able to offer support in all circumstances. Ben does not seem to have much beyond that. Thus the need for Brom’s strength. Thankfully, Ben has internalized that, so has at least a chance to engage in battle without being entirely over-matched.

We trot along by Ben’s side as dangers present, whether it is obvious or not that they are perilous. Ben does get tingles about certain people, internal red flags of distrust. Are they valid or paranoid?

Image from Deviant Art – by Ochreface

The book is not marketed as YA, but it felt a YA title to me. Henry has written several books that take a new look at classic children’s stories, tending toward a younger readership. Most serious violence remains off screen, although we do get to see its aftermath. Profanity is absent. There is a piece in here about people, not all people, but some people, being susceptible to manipulation by an outside force encouraging the dark piece that resides deep within to come to the surface, to take over, even if only for a time. I had a problem with this, as it exempts some from having that bit. Certainly, some people are better than others, more ethical, more moral, kinder, smarter, more empathic, more honest, more responsible, but even the best of us harbors at least a sliver of darkness. This sort of not-quite black-and-white, but maybe charcoal-gray-and-white view of human potential for unpleasantness added to the YA feel. That said, there are a couple of tough physical battles and issues of sexual attraction and predation are raised, which gives it a bit more bite.

Image from Art Abyss – by Gabriel Williams

In literature, The Woods is generally a symbol of the challenges facing young people on the cusp of adulthood. Ben’s adventures fit quite nicely into that, passing through the fires of challenge to reach maturity in a very different and interesting way. Ben, gifted with considerable horse sense, meets those trials head on. I found Ben’s playtime activities, though, a bit off for a child of fourteen, ten maybe. Perhaps Henry was looking to make the distance Ben travels from this to that seem longer than it really was.

Image from Disney

But fret not. Though I am well past the YA demo I found this an engaging, fun, creative take on an old favorite. Ben is an appealing lead, struggling with the choices life presents, a dark horse to root for. There are adventures aplenty, head-scratcher mysteries to be solved, clues to be followed, warmth and family love to be appreciated, and a new, quite surprising interpretation of an old mystery. Is it scary? A bit. I am particularly immune to getting the creeps from books, and have a simple metric. Does anything in the book make the hair on my arms stand at attention? For what it’s worth, my pelt remained at ease. But it is clear that there is plenty of creepy material to be had in Horseman, and it is ly that many readers will get more of a frisson from those than might an old oater me.

Image from Sleepy Hollow wiki – from the film Headless Horseman

Horseman is a perfect read for the Halloween season. But you might not want to head off to a favorite outdoor reading spot if it is more than just a little way into the woods. The dark silhouette seemed to unfold—no, unfurl, sinuous and soft—and I thought how can an animal stand a man?
My breath seized inside my lungs because just for an instant I thought I saw eyes looking back at me, eyes that could not be there because no human was there, no human could possibly have eyes that—eyes that glowed, eyes that pulled, eyes that seemed to be tugging on my soul, drawing it out through my mouth.

Review posted – October 1, 2021

Publication date – September 28, 2021

I received an e-ARE of Horseman from Berkley, via NetGalley in return for not losing my head writing a review.

This review has been cross-posted on my site, Coot’s Reviews. Head on over and say Hi!

=============================EXTRA STUFF

Links to the author’s personal, FB, Instagram, GR, and Twitter pages

Items of Interest from the author
-----from her site - excerpt
-----from her site - Seven Short Stories

Items of Interest
-----Gutenberg - The Legend of Sleepy Hollow
-----Wiki on The Legend of Sleepy Hollow
-----History.com - What Inspired ‘The Legend of Sleepy Hollow’? by Lesley Kennedy
-----Classic Becky’s Brain Food - Legends of the Headless Horseman - Sleepy Hollow’s topless performer was far from the first
-----One cannot possibly read the The Legend of Sleepy Hollow or Horseman without recalling one of the greatest tabloid headlines of all time, of April 15, 1983, from the always-classy New York Post

-----Argent - Hold Your Head Up
-----Paul Anka - Put Your Head on My Shoulder
-----The Rollingstones - Wild Horsesfantasy fiction horror ...more134 s Paromjit2,985 25.5k

Christina Henry picks up the classic novel two decades later, at Sleepy Hollow, an isolated village rife with gossip, superstitions, folklore, legends of the headless horseman, a place that doesn't outsiders or those who are different. 14 year old Ben van Brunt, born a girl, sees himself as a boy, having been raised by his loving grandparents on their farm after the loss of his parents, Bendix and Fenna. He hero worships his larger than life grandfather, Brom Bones, a man who gets his own way, whatever it takes, and is both feared and admired in equal measure by locals. He has a trickier relationship with Katrina, his grandmother, who is insistent on getting him to behave and dress as a girl, and acquiring the appropriate skills, such as sewing, resulting in anger and regular clashes of will.

Ben is playing Sleepy Hollow Boys with his only friend, Sander, in the woods where the mutilated body of a boy has been discovered, without his head and hands. This will not be the only victim of a evil and terrorising presence that grows stronger in the haunted woods, that includes parts where no human ventures, and there is talk of the return of the headless horseman. Brom does not believe in any of this folklore, although an apprehensive Ben can feel and hear the presence of a horseman, and its protective connection which he cannot quite grasp or understand. As it becomes apparent to Ben that the truth of his parents death has been kept from him, he begins to become aware that there are many aspects of his family history he had no knowledge of. Will Ben be able to survive the increasing dangers and horrors that are set to come his way?

This is a atmospheric and creepy novel, with Sleepy Hollow a village that vibrates with a magic woven into its very being, a place that accepts the price of living in such a beautiful location is the horror and demons that go with it, including the loss of children. Henry goes on to portray a Sleepy Hollow that changes in the space of another decade when Ben is 24 years old, it has grown with more outsiders and become a more thriving and bustling place, although a poison still lurks. This is a wonderfully dark and engaging read, of family, love, loss, grief, of what one will do to protect loved ones, identity, being true to who you are, and acceptance. Many thanks to the publisher for an ARC.family-drama fantasy horror-fiction ...more115 s Debra2,745 35.8k

"There was a contagion in the very air that blew from that haunted region; it breathed forth an atmosphere of dreams and fancies infecting all the land." - The Legend of Sleepy Hollow by Washington Irving

The Horseman is not a re-telling of Washington Irving's Sleepy Hollow but a tale which takes place twenty years after the events of that book. Those who live in Sleepy Hollow know about the Horseman, but they don't believe in his existence. Ben Van Brunt's grandfather, Brom Bones was there when Crane was chased out of town. He will tell you it's just a legend. Nothing to concern yourself with.

Ben Van Brunt, born a female declared "No one was ever going to make me be a female.... Once I was old enough, I was going to cut my hair and run away and be a man in some place where no one had ever heard of me." Ben loves his grandfather more than anything and wants to grow up and be the man that Brom is. Ben is brave, he is strong, and big for his age. He is the target for some in town but proves time and time again that the Van Brunt’s are not to be messed with.

When Ben and a close friend come across the body of a headless child near their village, Ben begins to question everything the adults in Sleepy Hollow have ever said. Is the Horseman real? Is there something more sinister in the woods?

"Sleepy Hollow strange things were true, and sometimes those strange things reached out their claws. If wasn't that people didn't care; it was that they accepted horror in exchange for wonder."

Those in town would tell you to watch where you go in the woods. To beware a certain area. There is a magic there, something that haunts the far woods. If you are quiet, if you listen closely, you can hear the whispers. Be still, and you can almost feel the invisible hands reaching out to grab you. There is a part of the Hollow that no one dares enter. You wouldn't want to lose your head, would you?

"But the woods near Sleepy Hollow were not the same as other woods. There were places deep and dark that no one dared go. No one dared go there because it was known that those places were the haunts of creatures not of this earth. To go there was to invite their notice, and these were not things that you wanted to notice you."

I loved this dark tale that made the hairs on the back of my neck stand up. I could hear the horses thundering hooves. I could feel the tingles up my spine. There is an urgent sense of danger, dread, and doom in this book. Horseman: A Tale of Sleepy Hollow has a dark and sinister feel to it. The atmosphere brings forth feelings of fall, cooler nights and darker skies.

But this book is not all scary. Sure, there are some chilling and dreadful scenes. But this book is also about family, about loving someone, about being true to yourself, about acceptance, about bravery and friendship. That is what makes this book even more powerful - the relationships of Ben, Katrina and Brom. It's quite lovely to read their scenes and be witness to their love, to root for them, to be moved by them.

This book was a five-star read for me for most of the book but it lost me a little toward the end. Mainly because it slows down slightly and felt a little stretched out before another major scene occurred at the end. Having said that, this was such a great book. Those silent hands reached out and grabbed me pulling me into the pages of this book.

Gripping, dark, tense and oh so deliciously wicked!

Thank you to Berkley Books and NetGalley who provided me with a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. All the thoughts and opinions are my own.

#Horseman #NetGalley

Read more of my at www.openbookposts.comhorror netgalley106 s Charlotte May771 1,233

Christina Henry strikes again!
4 stars ⭐️

“But the woods near Sleepy Hollow were not the same as other woods. There were places deep and dark that no one dared go. No one dared go there because it was known that those places were the haunts of creatures not of this earth.”

Ben Van Brunt has lived in Sleepy Hollow his entire life. He knows there are certain parts of the woods no one goes in. The town is full of superstition, in particular the story of the Headless Horseman.

When young boys in the town start to go missing, the town try to brush over it. Better that than admitting there is something truly insidious in the forest.

I don’t actually know a lot about the original Sleepy Hollow story so I was able to go into this pretty much blind.
Christina Henry, as usual does a great job of building tension and unease.

I d that the monster wasn’t entirely explained. That it is just ‘evil’ that simply exists and can’t always be destroyed. The idea that the Horseman becomes someone new every generation. That Ben never truly fit in the town, and after losing everyone he loved he becomes the new protector of the forest.

Overall, a spooky tale with a host of characters to love and hate.

“Sleepy Hollow and the people of the hollow believed in ghosts and goblins, believed in spooks and haunts.”


My favourite thing to see on the library app:

‘In Transit’
The only thing better is ‘on hold’
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