April 21, 2015

The Book of Kindly Deaths - Eldritch Black

The Book of Kindly Deaths book cover
The Book of Kindly Deaths by Eldritch Black
Publisher: Spencer Hill Press
Publication Date: September 16, 2014
Source/Format: Publicist (Thanks Estelle!) || e-galley
[I received this book from the publisher. This in no way affects my review.]

When twelve-year-old Eliza Winter finds a secret room in her missing grandfather's sprawling, Gothic house, her safe, sheltered life is blown apart. Inside, below a stained glass window where moonlight shines no matter the time of day, sits The Book of Kindly Deaths.

In defiance of her controlling mother, who has always forbidden her to read anything strange or imaginary, Eliza takes the book. As night sets in, Eliza reads one haunting story after another. And the further she journeys inside the book, the more the boundaries between our world and a shadowy land of monsters and forbidden places begin to blur.

When the strange, crooked man from the book arrives on the doorstep claiming to be a rare-book collector and demanding entry into the house, Eliza's world is turned upside down. To escape him, she must dive all the way into the spine-tingling world of The Book of Kindly Deaths to save her grandfather--and write an end to the nightmare she's caught inside.

The Book of Kindly Deaths is a creepy middle grade, perfect for those who like to be spooked or to come face to face with terrifying things. It starts off a bit slow, with the set-up taking place across a few chapters and the characters feeling far removed. However, once Eliza discovers the titular book and starts to read it, things most definitely pick up and it winds up being a thrilling, fantastical read. 

Here are a couple things of note about The Book of Kindly Deaths:

This is the story of a girl named Eliza Winter. Like most heroines, Eliza is a pretty normal gal… until it’s revealed that her family legacy involves being the keeper of a very important book. Eliza has a curious mind, and a brave soul (despite occasionally allowing herself to be afraid), and she’s a likable enough girl to read about.

This is a story filled with all sorts of creepies and crawlies and scaries. CONFESSION: I’m not overly fond of terrifying things. But the stuff Black writes about is also imaginative and surprisingly relatable, even though they did make the hairs at the back of my neck prickle with paranoia and unease from time to time. So, it’s up to you to decide whether you’re in the mood for something that will appeal to the side of you that likes scary stuff.

This is a story with excellent lore. Apart from the fact that the monsters are really eerie and strange, the lore behind their existence, the stories in the book, the connection between the book and Eliza’s family – it was all real well done! I really appreciate it when an author weaves a premise together well, and manages to sync up the plot down to the tiniest of details.

This novel is a very unique middle grade, taking the spunky young heroine facing down great evils on behalf of her family to a whole other level. Reminiscent of Alice in Wonderland in a way, The Book of Kindly Deaths is certainly worth reading.


  1. Adding this to my wish list! It sounds really interesting!

  2. I don't usually read Middle Grade, but this sounds like something I'd have devoured as a kid. Must read!


    Sarcasm & Lemons

  3. I was thinking the exact same thing! Sometimes I get a book thinking it will be YA and then I'm always a little bummed when it's actually middle grade. I'm saving these ideas for when I have a kiddo.

  4. I haven't read any Jojo Moyes's books, but I think this event you're doing is so sweet. I've loved reading the posts this week. Your family is adorbs, btw!

  5. Good idea! I just take a moment to relive my Harry Potter days. ;)


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