Series: The Borden Dispatches #2
Published by Roc on September 1, 2015
From Cherie Priest, the award-winning author of Maplecroft, comes a new tale of Lizzie Borden’s continuing war against the cosmic horrors threatening humanity…
Birmingham, Alabama is infested with malevolence. Prejudice and hatred have consumed the minds and hearts of its populace. A murderer, unimaginatively named “Harry the Hacker” by the press, has been carving up citizens with a hatchet. And from the church known as Chapelwood, an unholy gospel is being spread by a sect that worships dark gods from beyond the heavens.
This darkness calls to Lizzie Borden. It is reminiscent of an evil she had dared hoped was extinguished. The parishioners of Chapelwood plan to sacrifice a young woman to summon beings never meant to share reality with humanity. An apocalypse will follow in their wake which will scorch the earth of all life.
Unless she stops it…
I don’t typically read horror, but Cherie Priest has been on my watch list for a long time, and who can resist a book featuring Lizzie Borden?
CHAPELWOOD is the second book in the Borden Dispatches series. CHAPELWOOD is set 25 years after the events of the first book, MAPLECROFT. A few familiar faces from MAPLECROFT are back, namely Lizzie Borden and Inspector Simon Wolf. I quite liked seeing these two older characters (sort of) save the day — all too often, heroes are young and dashing. It was a nice change to have two older characters who used their brains and hard-won experience.
MAPLECROFT and CHAPELWOOD are the only Lovecraftian horror books I’ve read, but I think they fit the sub-genre quite well. I thought MAPLECROFT was scarier, but I liked CHAPELWOOD‘s subtle mocking of racism and rich white men in power. I also liked Ruth Stephenson, the real female power in this book. It was great to see Lizzie again, but she was more of a side character this time, called upon by Wolf for her experience. Ruth takes matters into her own hands, even when the situation is beyond hopeless.
I did find a few too many random things in CHAPELWOOD that left me wondering what the heck was going on there, such as with Nance or Storage Room Six. I mean, a storage room that eats certain papers is cool, but I just didn’t get where it fit into the story. Maybe my confusion on those things is because I’m not super familiar with the sub-genre.
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