Saturday, September 25, 2010

A Gathering of Crows Book Review

book cover of A Gathering of Crows byBrian Keene
Title: A Gathering of Crows
Author: Brian Keene
Publisher: Dorchester Publishing
Pages: 300
ISBN: 9780843960921

This review has been a long time coming. I've actually read the book more than once in the past several months, since it's July 27th release date, but have found it hard to come to realize that this is the final Brian Keene novel to be released through Dorchester Publishing.

It's no secret that Keene is no longer on their list of current authors writing for them. He even made the announcement on his blog a while back. But, I thought it best to wait until things had been sorted out to write this review, that way I could inform everyone who still doesn't know, about Keene's departure. And so now that you know, without any further excuses, here's my review for Brian Keene's A Gathering of Crows:

Set in a not so unusual location: Brinkley Springs, West Virginia, a podunk town hit hard by the recent economy. But unlike most towns of it's kind, the citizens of Brinkley Springs are being hunted down, gutted, getting their souls sucked out of their skulls, and all around mutilated by a shape-shifting murder of crows. Although that would be a killer plot for any novel (if executed properly), Keene ups the anti, throwing one of his most popular characters to date into the thick of things: Levi Stolzfus, an Amish powwow weilding magus, and all around badass.

When I first heard that Levi would be a major character in A Gathering of Crows, I couldn't help but get excited. Introduced in Ghost Walk, -- the sequel to Keene's Dark Hollow -- Levi quickly became one of my favorite characters to come from Keene.

The first third of the novel takes a while to get in to, but from there on out, it picks up the pace and keeps hitting harder with every turn of the page. Including in the last third of the book: a major nod and further explanations into Keene's mythos, mainly with The Thirteen, as well as The Old Ones, and a bit of a history lesson with the lost colony of Roanoke -- which Keene deftly ties into the story -- leaving just enough unanswered for the reader to want to know more. Add in killer dialogue throughout, red-shirts that are as real as you and me, and you've got one hell of a novel.

A Gathering of Crows has hands-down become one of my favorite novels to come from Keene in recent years, easily making it in the top five mass market paperback titles. There's not much more I can say without being truly biased, and splattering spoilers all over this review, so I'll just keep it short and simple: Run to your local bookstore before Leisure pulls it, and buy a copy. Hell, buy several copies and give them to your friends. And while your at it, go ahead and pick up any other Keene books you don't have, because the way it's sounding now, there's not much time left to do so.

I'm giving A Gathering of Crows 8.5 TARDIS's out of 10.

Just go pick the book up.




  1. Great review. I too have read every one of his books since The Rising and can honestly say, you hit it spot on in this review. Thanks for writing it.


  2. Yeah, I'm kind of a Keene Fanboy. I hate the label, but it's true. I've read everything he's written that I can a.) afford, and b.) get my hands on. He's one hell of an awesome guy too, if you ever get the chance to meet him.

    Hope to see you back Will. I've got some more killer books I'll be reviewing in the next few weeks.