Review and Giveaway: All Hallow's Eve

Feb 25, 2013 by

All Hallow’s Eve is probably the most unique retelling of Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice that I’ve read so far.  In Wendi Sotis’ version, Elizabeth Bennet is insignificant in the eyes of British society, being the daughter of a country squire, but unbeknownst to the ton, she is the leader of a secret, ancient cult.  As the High Priestess of Sanun, Elizabeth performs a ritual every year on Oct. 31 that allows the dead to make contact with the living for a few short hours before they must return to the Otherworld.  Fitzwilliam Darcy, the master of Pemberley, unwittingly witnesses the strange yet beautiful ritual just before he learns that he is the Soul Mate of the High Priestess.

 

 

Centuries ago, an Evil Soul called Cher-nog managed to avoid the Return and has ruined the lives of many people since then, taking over their bodies and making them perform unforgivable acts.  Cher-nog is close to uncovering the identity of the High Priestess and is intent on controlling and destroying her.  By the time Darcy learns of his role in the Tribes, his attitude toward Elizabeth has changed from believing her to be merely tolerable to believing he can’t live without her.  Now he must convince Elizabeth that his feelings for her are sincere…and protect her at all costs.

To be honest, I didn’t expect to like All Hallow’s Eve based on the summary (ancient cult rituals? Soul Mates?), but Sotis truly surprised me.  I found myself immersed in the descriptions of the Tribes and the various roles held by each member of the Bennet family, and I wanted to know more about this world.  Even when the writing was more telling than showing, I was so caught up in the characters — some of whom are very different from their original incarnations — that I could overlook it.

What I liked best about All Hallow’s Eve is that it’s not as dependent on the original novel as some of the other retellings.  Sotis basically takes Austen’s characters and plops them into an entirely different world and situation.  This added some mystery and excitement because I had no idea what would happen to the characters as they moved down the path toward the anticipated happily ever after.

All Hallow’s Eve is more than just a fast-paced novel with the love story of Darcy and Elizabeth at its core.  Despite the very serious battle between good and evil, Sotis manages to lighten the mood with some jabs at the characters we all love to hate.  In fact, I’m not likely to forget a certain scene with Lady Catherine anytime soon.  Sotis does a good job balancing two worlds, that of the Tribes and that of British society, emphasizing how the latter depends on the former without even knowing it exists.  She also provides some very interesting explanations for the behavior of certain characters, and most importantly, she made me believe them and the world in which they inhabited.

 

Four out of Five Stars.

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22 Comments

  1. Thanks so much for your review!

    Wishing everyone good luck in the giveaway.

  2. Ceri

    I have read another by Wendi Sotis (Promises) and I really enjoyed it. I have this on my wishlist on the basis that it’s another of hers but I hadn’t read the synopsis, had no idea it was so diverse from canon! I will definitely try to make time to give this a read, it sounds interesting.

  3. I love paranormal P&P stories! I read this when it was a WIP and really enjoyed it. Wendi is so creative. It’s definitely a unique premise but not as far-out as I thought it might be when I first read the summary. I’d love to win a copy – thanks for the giveaway! :)

  4. From the review, it is a quite creative in telling the story of Elizabeth and Darcy. Unlike the usual paranormal elements such as vampires and zombies which I find distasteful, the plot is interesting and I would like to know how it ends.

  5. Sophia Rose

    Oh, this one sounds fun and perfect for a Halloween read or late at night when the house is quiet. Very creative take on P&P.

    Thanks for sharing your thoughts and for the giveaway opportunity.

  6. Sounds like a clever and imaginative premise. Plus, Halloween is one of my favorite times of the year.

  7. Margaret

    A very mystical story. Quite intersting for a Jane spin oof.

  8. Holy cow! Wendi is a terrific writer. It’ll be great to see what she does with this.

  9. Andrea Staten

    It sounds different, but interesting! ^_^

  10. Great review and the book sounds very good. It definitely sounds different from any that I have read!

    Thanks for the giveaway opportunity.

  11. No, by the synopsis I don’t think I would read this, but your review is great. It sound very interesting! I’ll have to give this a try sometime!

    Thanks for the chance to win a copy!

    • I was worried when I read that synopsis, but I’m glad there was no reason to be after all.

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