Book Review: The Woman in Black: Angel of Death by Martyn Waites

17999130Title: The Woman in Black: Angel of Death

Author: Martyn Waites

Genre: Horror, Historical Fiction

Age Group: Adult

Rating: 3 stars

Purchase:

The fully authorised chilling sequel to Susan Hill’s bestselling ghost-story, The Woman in Black, released in 2012 as a film featuring Daniel Radcliffe. This is the book the follow-up film starring Jeremy Irvine (War Horse) and Phoebe Fox will be based on.

Autumn 1940, World War Two. Bombs are raining down, destroying the cities ofBritain.

The evacuations begin, and soon children are being taken to the country for safety. Teacher Eve Parkins is in charge of one such group. The children are scared and Eve does her best to calm them, but the truth is that she too is haunted by a personal tragedy she cannot put behind her.

Their destination is Eel Marsh House. Desolate and forlorn, it is situated on a causeway and is sinking into the treacherous tidal marshes that surround it.

Far from home and with no alternative, Eve and the children move in.

But soon it becomes apparent that there is someone else in the house with them, someone Eve can’t see but who is far more deadly than any number of German bombs …

The Woman in Black

The Woman in Black: Angel of Death is a sequel to “The Woman in Black”. The main problem? It’s not written by the same author, and you notice it almost right away. While “The Woman in Black” had a great narrative, was quite original back in the day, and offered characters that weren’t more than cardboard figures, here we get quite the opposite.

The characters are bland, boring, and very stereotypical. There’s nothing new, fresh or original. We have the disturbed protagonist, haunted by a secret in their past, who somehow becomes the target of the haunting. A young, traumatized boy, becomes the pawn of evil. A woman driven mad by despair. A soldier haunted by his past. Everyone has secrets, no one is safe, but everyone is a stereotype. Even the growing love between Eve and the soldier she meets on the train to Eel Marsh House, is a love riddled with stereotypes.

The writing wasn’t nearly as impressive as in “The Woman in Black”. There was no grain of suspense. The story itself was predictable. The villain – the ghost haunting Eel Marsh House – is a bleak impression of what she was in the original. Here we get a ghost that can be reasoned with, a ghost who defies all logic of ghosts (aren’t they bound by any rules anymore? Apparently not.). We even get scenes from the point of view of the ghost, which makes her a lot less scary than in the original.

I’m not a fan. The book wasn’t bad, but it pales in comparison to its original.

Comments

  1. I didn’t read the original (yet), but this one doesn’t even sound that compelling.

  2. It is a novel that I really want to read =D
    One of my next purchases.

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