Raising the Horseman by Serena Valentino
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
A cross between a retelling and a sequel of “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow” by Washington Irving, “Raising the Horseman” seems to not know what it wants to be.
On one hand we have the standard story of Sleepy Hollow as told to us through the OG Katrina Van Tassel and her diaries which flesh out the plot and the characters. But then we also have the modern day Kat Van Tassel and several direct character equivalents like Blake instead Brom and Isadora instead of Ichabod.
One of the issues I had was with the narrative voice of Katrina’s diaries. They start out with a paragraph sounding like a diary would but then slide right into narration that goes beyond the scope of what someone would know and write in their diary. An off hand comment towards the end of the book tries to explain this by saying Katrina wrote things that other people told her.
Another issue is that the author takes a lot of things for granted. We never get an actual description of the Horseman and he’s barely mentioned as a character until the end and it left me confused wondering why I should care when he hasn’t been around. Several other characters were also poorly developed but integral to the plot.
Did I enjoy reading this book? Yes. Especially because I saved it to read around Halloween. Is the world interesting and kept my attention? For the most part, yes. Were there also many things that interrupted my enjoyment? Also yes.