The Dead Men Stood Together by Chris Priestley How did I get the book? I bought it.

Genre: Horror / Classics Retold

Synopsis: As scary and gory as Darren Shan, as gripping as R.L. Stevenson, a haunting adaptation of The Rime of the Ancient Mariner.
‘The Devil is coming to your house.’
Crazy words begin a gripping story of madness, demons and death. Home from the sea, a boy’s uncle entrances him with tales of life aboard ship and of foreign lands. Soon the boy decides to join his uncle on his next voyage.
A violent storm blows the ship off course and the crew find themselves marooned in a sea of ice. As their despair grows, an albatross seems to befriend them and restore their hope. But seized by an evil madness, the uncle kills the great bird with his crossbow, and so condemns all on board to unimaginable horrors, of which life in death is the greatest…

200words (or less) review: I never heard of The Rime of the Ancient Mariner before I read this book and I deliberately didn’t look it up either. Would I struggle with the story or be missing something because of this? No. I don’t think I’ve missed out in any way.

The Dead Men Stood Together is so intriguing. I loved the opening chapter, it pulls you in and you’re left with so many questions; Why the hate? What boat? What curse? Of course all of these are answered over the course of the story but that first chapter guaranteed I wasn’t going anywhere until I read the whole book.

Both the writing and pacing are highly effective at gripping the reader. I enjoyed the narration style a lot but what really sold me on this book was the atmosphere Chris Priestley creates. I was in the story, unable to leave until I reached the last page and I’m still thinking about it.

This is the first Chris Priestley book I’ve read – it will certainly not be the last.

Recommend it?


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