In The Halley Branch, we meet Trevor. He is the protagonist who has to deal with several (dead and alive) branches of his family tree, including the madness of the Halley branch. McDonald pens a creepy ghost story with a spooky mausoleum, family curses, and an evil that survives death.
As far as ghosts go, the plot is quite plausible and draws upon racial tensions from the 1700s and 1800s. McDonald’s prose is clear and straightforward, maybe absent some lyricism, but quite easy to follow.
The mausoleum scenes are scary, not the kind of thing you want to read in the dark with just a e-screen for light.
McDonald handles a dual timeline well through ancestor Abigail’s diary.
Even though there are slow moments, overall it’s a very intriguing story that kept me turning pages (or swiping . . . you know, ‘cause I was reading an ebook).
The set-up is wordy. I don't think we need to know that much about Trevor’s family lineage. It could be condensed in order to spend time in Trevor's contemporary, scary scenes. I took off a star for this.
A little over-the-top with the auras and psychic abilities and heat and astrophysics and the “27 Life Lessons” and evil-good spirit balance . . . the plot ghost-wise was already good and didn’t need so much complication. I took off half a star for all the extras.
There were a lot of pages with Trevor and his cousin discussing theological, philosophical, and metaphysical theories over alcohol and coffee. These passages slowed the plot. I took off half a star.
The Halley Branch is an eerie ghost story written in a clear-cut voice, entertaining but with slow passages interspersed. I would have loved the story if it were whittled down to just ghosts and the mausoleum. Perhaps readers looking for a broader, metaphysical read would enjoy this book more than I did, but for me, 3 stars.
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The Halley Branch Kindle Edition
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- ASIN : B07FF58KR5
- Language : English
- File size : 1107 KB
- Text-to-Speech : Enabled
- Screen Reader : Supported
- Enhanced typesetting : Enabled
- X-Ray : Not Enabled
- Word Wise : Enabled
- Print length : 467 pages
- Best Sellers Rank: 1,627,444 in Kindle Store (See Top 100 in Kindle Store)
- Customer Reviews:
4 out of 5
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A good read, but too metaphysical for my tastesReviewed in the United States on 8 April 2019