Ichabod Crane and Abbie Mills continue their battle as the two Witnesses against Moloch and his forces. A cryptic message from Ichabod’s wife Katrina sets him on the path to track down Revolutionary Era war medals
Unfortunately records are scant and it’s hard to track down where all the medals ended up, what Washington designed them for and, above all, why they’re so important that Moloch’s minions are actually willing to kill for them
But if Moloch wants them then they have to stop him – or any other dark forces seeking them.
There is always a difficulty when adapting a TV series to book form in capturing the characters as they appear on screen – and this book has made it harder by having multiple points of view. I was actually impressed by how the book generally got it right and I could believe these were the characters on screen – generally. The slips that caught me were largely due to Crane – his language is usually beautifully archaic and elaborate but at times it goes quite ridiculously over the top, even for him, that jars me. Worse, in a chapter from one of the other characters that follows Crane, some of the tone will bleed over – so we’ll have Abbie or Jenny or Frank speaking and thinking with Crane’s very very out of place language. At times this also combines with some over-descriptiveness or general clumsiness to make some very clunky lines.
Despite these slips, I think it does a great job of continuing what we saw on the show and almost filling the gaps. A TV show is, by definition, limited to how much of a character’s thoughts it can show, unlike a book. With these POV shifts we got to build on the characters we’d already seen – so we not only have the rather comic depiction of Ichabod struggling with the modern world but also the frustration of it (even things we don’t think of like the sheer size of the population). We have a lot more of Abbie and Frank’s rapid adaption to the existence of the supernatural and trying to deal with how it has changed their lives, their jobs even their ambitions and aspirations, hopes and dreams. We have Frank’s shock and sadness over his daughter’s injury and disability. We have Abbie and Jenny’s fraught yet loving relationship writ much larger when we’re in both of their heads – the love, the guilt, the resentment all mixed together painfully as well as Jenny’s respect, admiration and bond with the old Sherriff also made really clear.
I liked it, I don’t know how much the show considers this book to be canon, but it really is an excellent book for development and enrichment of these characters and the conflicts and challenges they face and the adaptations they’ve had to made. I think the book is worth reading just for that.
I even quite liked the characterisation of the antagonists in this book – obviously we have the same demons and monsters as the show that are pretty much one dimensional in terms of what they do and why – they’re evil (and on the opposite side we have the ridiculously deified and sanctified American revolutionaries who save the world from eeeeeviiil which we’ve commented on in the show as well) but the human cultists are much more humanised and real.
I also quite liked how they’re adapting the world setting – particularly how characters outside the core cast are noticing that Abbie and Frank are involved in the very weird cases – it’s not just happening and everyone else has some weird amnesia or selective blindness.