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Review: The Corpse Whisperer Sworn by H.R. Boldwood

Posted by Gilbert Stack on July 5, 2020 at 6:00 PM

The Corpse Whisperer Sworn by H.R. Boldwood

The sequel to Boldwood’s excellent novel, The Corpse Whisperer, manages to simultaneously heat up the action, tangle heroine Allie Nighthawk into an even more complicated mystery, move the setting to zombie central in New Orleans, and, most importantly, ramp up the personal costs of the struggle to stop the spread of the undead for everyone involved. And in the midst of all of this, Boldwood also introduces a whole lot of great new characters. So, yes, Sworn, is like giving an overdose of steroids to the original novel, but instead of roid-rage, we get an even better adventure than we did the first time around.

 

In The Corpse Whisperer, we got to know brash, never-think-before-acting, Allie Nighthawk, one of those rare individuals who can raise a zombie from its grave. She has an act-first personality that the reader will come to love even as she unintentionally makes life difficult for just about everyone who knows her. In The Corpse Whisperer Sworn, we find out how Nighthawk got this way, digging deep into her past to learn how she learned to control her abilities and why the first love of her life is now determined to kill her—after he torturers her to the point where she doesn’t want to live any more.

 

There’s lots of pain in this one, but Boldwood smartly offsets it with great action and plenty of humor. All of my surviving favorite cast members from the first novel are back with a handful of great new characters thrown into the mix as well. Boldwood also spices up this book by introducing magic into the world—something that zombie hunting law enforcement has a great deal of difficulty accepting is real. It’s yet another point of separation between Nighthawk and the traditional professionals that boosts the feelings of isolation that tormented her in the first book. Nighthawk’s life is so dramatically different from her peers that most people can’t even understand her problems much less contribute to solving them. So even in crowd, Nighthawk seems to stand alone.

 

As with the first novel, the characters and their relationships with each other are what pull this book head and shoulders above the typical zombie-related urban fantasy. When you love even the minor cast members, it keeps you at the edge of your seat through the entire reading—because let’s face it, you know that some of them aren’t going to make it to the end of the book. Hopefully, those who survive will all be appearing in the next volume.

 

I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review.

 

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1 Comment

Reply H.R. Boldwood
9:36 PM on July 5, 2020 
Thank you for a glowing review, Gilbert! I I'm humbled.