In life, in death: family remains.
Silas Umber has finally come into his own as the Undertaker of Lichport when a mysterious invitation calls him beyond the marshes to Arvale, the ancestral manor of the Umbers. There, his extended family endures, waiting for a living Undertaker to return and preside over the Door Doom, an archaic rite that grants a terrible power to summon and bind the dead in judgment.
As Silas assumes the mantle of Janus, the Watcher at the Threshold, deep below the earth in the catacombs and sunken towers, grim spirits grow restless at his arrival—hungry for freedom and eager for vengeance against a family with a long history of harsh judgments. Now, Silas must right an ancient wrong and accept that even a house of ghosts can be haunted by its past—for in matters of family, we are who we were.
This book was the sequel to “Death Watch”, and I must admit, I liked it infinitely more than its predecessor. Probably due to the fact that this book was a lot shorter (333 vs 536 holy crap). It felt like more action was packed in this book, and aside from that, I was really glad to know more about Silas’ family. I can’t imagine having such an extensive family network. I see about 50 relatives every Chinese New Year, and I can barely keep track of all of them, much less a family of a few hundred. Their dining hall must be of at least this size and length in order to accommodate so many family members:
(Yes, I’m well aware that that’s the Hogwarts hall)
The book sometimes gave me the creeps, with its really vivid descriptions and Gothic feel. It didn’t help that I also read parts of the book at night. Can you just imagine reading this in the middle of night when the house is completely silent and dark?
There were bones in the corner, partially covered in rags, rotten and threadbare, perhaps once a garment. Next to the bones lay the desiccated corpse of an infant.
This scene was also proceeded by screams AND SOME WEIRD FEELING THING WHICH DID NOT HELP THE WHOLE CREEPY VIBE AT ALL. As you can tell, this book did a great job of freaking me out, which made me love it even more.
The only problem I had with the book was with Silas. I couldn’t relate to him most of the time, and I didn’t like him the rest of the time. He was just so… Infuriating. He didn’t listen when the elders tried to warn him (specifically, Mrs. Bowe). He made a promise to Cabel Umber before he knew what it entailed. HE WENT TO GO REVIVE BEATRICE. USING SOME ANCIENT DARK SPELLS.
DARK SPELLS ARE NOT TO BE MESSED WITH. THEY ARE FORBIDDEN FOR A GOOD REASON. THEY GIVE YOU YOUR HEART’S DESIRE, BUT THEY ALWAYS HAVE A PRICE. AND THE PRICE MIGHT BE TOO HEFTY TO PAY. If I can understand this basic logic, I don’t see how Silas can’t understand it. Yes, it might give him Beatrice, but it will take away something else precious that he has. He has no clue what he will have to sacrifice in return, but he still decides to do that crappy thing anyway.
It’s never a good thing when you like everybody else except for the main character. In fact, it is extremely ill-advised for authors to write about someone who is just generally… An annoyance to read about.
In conclusion, the book is creepy but also good, the main character sucks, the supporting characters are lovely (especially Silas’ grandfather), the writing is LOVELY and y’all should read this book. I’ll most definitely be picking up the final book of the series.