Review copy provided in exchange for an honest review
The era used as the setting of Unbury Carol, the old west (loosely defined), isn’t my favorite. So, I took a chance knowing that sometimes you win and sometimes you lose, and this time it fell somewhere in between. I thought the story was good, but it didn’t grab me quickly. Instead, it was a slow burn that took far more pages than I would typically read before giving up. Initially, I continued ahead wanting to know what the outcome would be for Carol. But soon after, I was no longer interested in her. Carol and her friend Farrow were hard to care for, and I found them to be weak characters and uninteresting.
Carol’s internal dialogue while in her coma was boring and didn’t do much for me. I found the villains far more interesting and these were the characters that kept me engaged. Luckily, I kept reading and the story revealed some rich characters, a great deal of tension, and anxiety for many others, including Dwight and Moxie. The antagonists, Moxie and Smoke, were revealed slowly but with precise details. This gave them an imposing and threatening nature that made them feel real, and their story line was my favorite. I found it frustrating the time it took Moxie to travel the Trail. It felt like there was no urgency to save Carol. In the end, many details and loose ends were tied up nicely. It’s hard for me to recommend this book. I think many people I think will lose interest early on, even though Josh did a great job with the writing and an authentic dialect.
Length: 367 Pages
Publisher: Del Ray
Release date: April 10, 2018
Carol Evers is a woman with a dark secret. She has died many times . . . but her many deaths are not final: They are comas, a waking slumber indistinguishable from death, each lasting days.
Only two people know of Carol’s eerie condition. One is her husband, Dwight, who married Carol for her fortune, and—when she lapses into another coma—plots to seize it by proclaiming her dead and quickly burying her . . . alive. The other is her lost love, the infamous outlaw James Moxie. When word of Carol’s dreadful fate reaches him, Moxie rides the Trail again to save his beloved from an early, unnatural grave.
And all the while, awake and aware, Carol fights to free herself from the crippling darkness that binds her—summoning her own fierce will to survive. As the players in this drama of life and death fight to decide her fate, Carol must in the end battle to save herself.
The haunting story of a woman literally bringing herself back from the dead, Unbury Carol is a twisted take on the Sleeping Beauty fairy tale that will stay with you long after you’ve turned the final page.
Josh Malerman, biography
Josh Malerman is an American author and also one of two singer/songwriters for the rock band The High Strung, whose song “The Luck You Got” can be heard as the theme song to the Showtime show “Shameless.” His book Bird Box is also currently being filmed as a feature film starring Sandra Bullock, John Malkovich, and Sarah Paulson. Bird Box was also nominated for the Stoker Award, the Shirley Jackson Award, and the James Herbert Award. His books Black Mad Wheel and Goblin have also been nominated for Stoker Awards.