Tuesday 6 March 2012

Auraria: A Novel by Tim Westover - Book Review

Title: Auraria: A Novel
Author: Tim Westover
Publisher: Q & W Publisher
Publication Date: 10th July 2012
Pages: 286
Format: E-Book - EPUB
Genre: Historical/Fantasy
Source: Review Copy from Publisher

Water spirits, moon maidens, haunted pianos, headless revenants, and an invincible terrapin that lives under the mountains. None of these distract James Holtzclaw from his employer’s mission: to turn the fading gold-rush town of Auraria, GA, into a first-class resort and drown its fortunes below a man-made lake. But when Auraria’s peculiar people and problematic ghosts collide with his own rival ambitions, Holtzclaw must decide what he will save and what will be washed away.

Taking its inspiration from a real Georgia ghost town, Auraria is steeped in the folklore of the Southern Appalachians, where the tensions of natural, supernatural and artificial are still alive.
(Goodreads Synopsis)

I was approached by the publisher to review this book and I must say that I found it to be a delight piece of whimsy.

This is a story where the supernatural is treated as a mundane fact of life and the reader follows Holtzclaw into this world. It is a world where moon maidens bathe in streams, leaving traces of gold behind, and where ghosts play the piano in bars.

What I enjoyed about this story was the blending of fact, folklore and fiction. The book takes inspiration from a real haunted town and mixes in local folklore to create an enchanting tale that is at times both funny and yet somehow sad. The characters were quirky and memorable and the story moved along at a good pace once it got going.

This is a book that will appeal to fantasy/paranormal readers who like tales with a whimsical vein. It might also be of interest to some fans of historical fiction who don't mind a splash of the supernatural and a little humour added in.

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