"Yay, a fun twist on a classic story!" I said to myself. "And just in time for Halloween, too." Little did I know that The Secret Journal of Ichabod Crane is actually a tie-in to a TV series.... Serves me right for not buying cable.
Knowing this is important, since the major obstacle to my really, really enjoying this book was ignorance of the television plot, which involves deceased Revolutionary War soldier Ichabod Crane suddenly awakening in the year 2013 to do battle with the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse. While the author does attempt to sketch the story's twists and turns, his aim (of course) isn't to describe what happened on screen, but to supplement it-- which sets up a confusing/frustrating experience for newbies like me. So many demons, witches, horsemen, sin eaters, druids, etc! So much action reduced to almost laughably spare lines! After saying "What the heck?"one too many times, I stopped even trying to follow (it felt too much like work) and instead concentrated on the fun stuff.
Of which there's plenty. The first-person voice of Ichabod Crane is strong and likable, especially when its sometimes grandiose formality contrasts with the off-the-cuff, casual language of policewoman Abigail Mills. And Crane's smart, often humorous observations on 21st-century living are what give this book value for people, like me, who can't make out the story! The guy's weaknesses, too, are irresistible:
"Does anything remain untaxed in this world? Surely not-- and all the same, the sensual pleasures of the confections known as 'donut holes' are ample compensation for unjust taxation. For a 'donut hole,' I would pay any tariff." (p. 31)
Me too, Ichabod. (He'd be shocked at my flippancy!)
Does this novel make me want to check out the TV series? Not particularly.... But it does make me want to seek out other books by author Alex Irvine! Hmmm, what else has he written? Too bad (for me) that he seems to work mainly in sci fi and movie/TV companion pieces.
Disclosure: I received a free copy of this book through the Blogging for Books program.