Sunday, 31 May 2015

Book review - "The Boatman" by Kat Hawthorne

Isabel Wixon is weird. Not only does she see dead things, but her only friends consist of a talkative ventriloquist’s dummy and the gentlemanly spider that lives in her hair. Real friends? Too hard. Inventing friends is much easier.
Inventing the Boatman—a terrible monster that lures kids into a strange sleeping sickness and never lets them go—probably wasn’t one of her better ideas though.
“Don’t take his oars,
W’ever you do,
No matter how weak he seems.
He’ll hold you fast,
And not let go,
And trap you in your dreams.”
This is a genre I'd like to see more books in, and Kat Hawthorne's "The Boatman" does not disappoint. I found the story was filled with great world building and character descriptions, though sometimes the story itself was weighted down with heavy exposition for a middle grade read. But this brings in more appeal to a young adult market and as it progressed I was drawn deeper and deeper into the mystery of the Boatman until there was no turning back.
Isabel, herself, shuffles through her dreary life in her Aunt Slaughter's (great name!) mansion next to the family Slaughter graveyard, where she is harassed by ghosts and the mystery of the Boatman. I enjoyed her sidekick, the ever-loving Monty, who could make Isabel laugh and keep her positive. But Monty can't join Isabel in her dreams...and that is where the Boatman awaits her. I was thoroughly creeped out by both his eerie description as well as other characters she made come alive with her imagination (talking dolls haunted my nightmares as a child - need I say more?). Without giving away too much information, all I can say is "The Boatman" is the right mix of terrorizing thrill as it is clever and intriguing. This is one Hidden World I recommend reading!
On a side note, the illustrations are amazing - a perfect fit for this creepy middle grade tale. I fell in love with Dora Mitchell's menacing creation the instant I laid eyes on the cover, and was ecstatic to see more mixed in throughout the chapters.
Buy your copy today:
Amazon UK
Author Bio:
Kat Hawthorne tends to lurk (somewhat menacingly) in the darker corners of the literary world. In addition to a smattering of published poetry, Kat’s short fiction has appeared in such literary magazines as Underneath the Juniper Tree, Thrills Kills and Chaos, Infernal Ink, Dark Edifice, Shadows Express, Fiction and Verse, and The Rain, Party, & Disaster Society. Her literary novelette, The Oddity, was published by MuseIt Up Publishing on July 11th, 2014. In partnership with Enter Skies Entertainment, Kat wrote the narrative portion of Fearless Fantasy, an online role-playing game published by tinyBuild Games and hosted by Steam. As well as being a nerd of the highest order, under her “day name” Kat is a graduate of Ryerson University’s copy, substantive, and stylistic editing programs, and has since earned a specialization in editing books intended for young readers. She is an acquisitions, stylistic and copy editor at BookFish Books LLC and runs her own business where she offers her editing services on a freelance basis.
Please visit for more information about Kat’s writing, or to learn about her editing work.
Find her online: Facebook, Twitter, Goodreads
Or visit her on her websites: ,

No comments:

Post a Comment