I received this ARC from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
Bell Weather by Dennis Mahoney
Expected publication: July 7th 2015 by Henry Holt and Co.
Goodreads Summary: When Tom Orange rescues a mysterious young woman from the flooded Antler River, he senses that their fates will deeply intertwine.
At first, she claims to remember nothing, and rumor animates Root—an isolated settlement in the strange wilderness of colonial Floria. Benjamin Knox, the town doctor, attends to her recovery and learns her name is Molly. As the town inspects its spirited new inhabitant, she encounters a world teeming with wonders and oddities. She also hears of the Maimers, masked thieves who terrorize the surrounding woods.
As dark forces encircle the town, the truth of Molly’s past spills into the present: a desperate voyage; a genius brother; a tragedy she hasn’t fully escaped. Molly and Tom must then decide between surviving apart or risking everything together. Dennis Mahoney’s Bell Weather is an otherworldly and kinetic story that blends history and fantasy, mystery and adventure to mesmerizing effect.
Review: There were so many things that I loved about this book. The world that Dennis Mahoney has created has elements of reality but also fantasy. The land of Floria, and around Root in particular sounds incredible with all of the various weather phenomena, such as St. Verna’s Fire, and wildlife, such as the winterbears. The author describes everything in rich detail but not to the point where the descriptions clog up the story. The entire plot was so intricately woven that it kept me on my toes. The characters are all unique and fascinating in their own ways. When I first read about the sickly brother named Nicholas as a child, I never dreamed that he would become a master manipulator and conspirator. From the moment that Tom pulled Molly from the river, I wanted to know everything about her. I was not disappointed because I was soon treated with learning about her from birth through childhood and how she came to Floria from Bruntland. I became attached to her character and hoped she would get the happy ending she so deserved.
There were only a couple of things I felt were missing from this book. There are many mentions of Abigail being a Lumenist and a few mentions of John Lumen, the man the religion is based on but there aren’t any real descriptions of what the religion entails. I think it would have been interesting to get a little more background on Lumenism. There were also mentions of the different indigenous people that inhabited Floria but never got to meet any of them in the story. Looking at other’s reviews I’ve seen mentions of this being a possible series (I hope so!) and perhaps the author will go into more detail in future books?
Overall I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book and will definitely be recommending it!
Also, check out the Bell Weather website to take a look at the awesome interactive map to find out more about the world that Dennis Mahoney has created!
UPDATE: In response to my review I got these tweets from Dennis Mahoney himself! 🙂
So excited that there will be a book 2. And if you’re at all interested in this book, check out his #TwitterFiction from yesterday! I just finished reading it and loved it!