Flora Reviews… Booke of the Hidden by Jeri Westerson. The first book to kick off her new urban fantasy series, Booke of the Hidden.
Read: 5th – 7th October 2017
My Goodreads Rating: 5 Stars
Booke of the Hidden is the first novel (approx 314 pages) in a new four book adult urban fantasy series. The series is set in the beautiful, rural fictional village of Moody Bog, Maine, USA.
Our key human characters include: Our heroine, Kylie Strange. A local coven of Wiccans – retired doctor and part-time plasterer, Doc Boone, middle aged Seraphina, a bohemian free-spirit and ‘sensitive’, Nick Riley barista and Goth and sixteen year old Jolene Ayrs, researching whiz kid and budding Wiccan. Moody Bog’s Sheriff and hotty, Ed Bradbury and Ruth Russell, a descendent of Moody Bog’s founding families.
At this early stage in the series, there is no set mythology (e.g. Norse, Christian, Egyptian, etc) to the paranormal elements of the tale, so the non-human species that we encounter, which includes the elusive and enigmatic Mr Erasmus Dark, are more of a generic amalgam rather than from a specific belief system.
I focus my reviews on how the story was told rather than the plot itself. I’m looking at the author’s writing style, how they paced their plots and how well they constructed their characters and setting. Therefore, my reviews don’t contain spoilers or reveal plot twists.
Here’s what the official blurb has to say about the story.
To get a fresh start away from a bad relationship, Kylie Strange moves across the country to open a shop in a seemingly quiet town in rural Maine. But she gets more than she bargained for.
During renovations on her new tea shop, Strange Herbs & Teas, she discovers a peculiar and ancient codex, The Booke of the Hidden, bricked into the wall.
As soon as she opens the Booke of the Hidden, the quiet town of Moody Bog suddenly becomes a lot more interesting. Every small town has its legends and unusual histories, and this artifact sends Kylie right into the centre of Moody Bog’s biggest secret.
While puzzling over the tome’s oddly blank pages, Kylie gets an unexpected visitor — the mysterious and handsome Erasmus Dark, an inscrutable stranger who knows she has the book and warns her that she is doomed. Kylie brushes off this nonsense, until a series of bizarre murders put her, the newcomer, at the centre. With the help of Erasmus and a ragtag group of local Wiccans she befriends, Kylie unravels the Booke’s secrets while dodging the handsome but sharp-eyed sheriff, all the while hunting for a killer—that might not be human.
Award-winning author Jeri Westerson crafts a tale of magic, murder, and romance, drawing us into the mystical world that surrounds Strange Herbs and Teas.
Jeri Westerson is a new-to-me author. I found her writing style engaging, intelligent and easy to read. I loved the way Ms Westerson weaved her plot; it was complex enough to keep me intrigued without being convoluted. There was a good balance of humour, action, tension, mystery and romance. Plus the pace of the plot and how the story was revealed felt just right.
The way Ms Westerson crafted her world and its history really impressed me. I found myself in the area of Moody Bog almost instantly. How she described the location, surrounded by wilderness. Moody Bog with its collection of small town, village style businesses just brought the place to life in my imagination.
I really liked our heroine, Kylie. She’s intelligent and has heaps of gumption (even if she does struggle a bit on the romantic front). I also loved that the secondary characters Ms Westerson created to populate her world felt just as real as our leads. They all had strong, memorable personalities and weren’t just filling the page. Kind old Doc Boone, wise Reverend Howard Cleveland, Jolene who had definitely been ‘hiding her light under a bushel’ and who out there doesn’t know a person like Ruth Russell with her self-important air! I loved that Ms Westerson wrote her characters with the complexities that we’d see in those around us. They had a good balance of strengths and insecurities to make them feel real, even the supernatural ones.
I love that Booke of the Hidden kept me guessing. Had me holding my breath at times, on the edge of my seat. But fear not, good readers it’s not all tension and scares. There are giggles and a good sprinkling of tummy tingling passion to balance it all out.
Nope – loved everything about it!
Booke of the Hidden is the first book in a new four book series. Therefore not all of our questions or mysteries are resolved within these pages. However, I can happily confirm that there is no life or death cliff-hanger ending. You all know how much I detest those – thank you Ms Westerson! (Further brownie points earned)
I really loved this book; it promises to be a fantastic series. I’ve pre-ordered my own copy of Booke of the Hidden from Amazon and will be waiting with bated breath for book 2 “Deadly Rising.”
There are scenes of an explicit sexual nature and graphic violence within these pages. Therefore, I’d only recommend this book to adults who aren’t offended with this type of content.
I’d recommend Booke of the Hidden to lovers of well-written tales of magic, curses, mystery and horror. Not forgetting the sprinkling of romance. It’s a perfect mix of scary, paranormal, mystery and adventure.
So, has my review of BOOKE OF THE HIDDEN encouraged you to find out more? Click on any of the links below to check out the book yourself. Keep reading to find out more about the series and Jeri herself.
A girl. A mysterious book. Misfit Wiccans. A Baphomet biker gang. And a handsome demon. What could possibly go wrong?
This quirky-humorous yet edgy-romantic urban fantasy series is set in a small town in Maine. Booke of the Hidden is a completed urban fantasy series. Click on the titles to find out more and read my review.
- Booke of the Hidden (Booke of the Hidden #1) (2018)
- Deadly Rising (Booke of the Hidden #2) (2019)
- Shadows in the Mist (Booke of the Hidden #3) (2019)
- The Darkest Gateway (Booke of the Hidden #4) (2019)
The Booke of the Hidden titles are available in print, eBook and audio formats through the usual sources, including:
Los Angeles native JERI WESTERSON is the author of fourteen Crispin Guest Medieval Noir novels, a series nominated for 13 national awards from the Agatha to the Shamus. Her first in the series, Veil of Lies was named Editor’s Choice by the Historical Novel Society Review, her third The Demon’s Parchment received a coveted starred review by Library Journal, and her sixth, Shadow of the Alchemist, was named Best of 2013 by Suspense Magazine. Also in 2013, her fifth novel Blood Lance was named one of the Ten Hot Crime Novels for Colder Days by Kirkus Reviews.
Booke of the Hidden, Jeri’s urban fantasy series released in 2017, Romantic Times Magazine gave it Five Stars and called it “…A flawless tale of adventure, mystery and saucy romance. The page reverberates with passion, and absolutely no wrong can come from vivid characters and a hero to die for.” It finaled for the Seal of Excellence from RT Reviews. Her second, DEADLY RISING was released in 2018, her third, SHADOWS IN THE MIST was released in May 2019, and the final book, THE DARKEST GATEWAY, was released October 2019.
Her historical fantasy/steampunk novel, THE DAEMON DEVICE—in her Enchanter Chronicles trilogy—released October 2019 as well. And the first in her other paranormal werewolf mystery series–MOONRISERS–released March 2020.
To find out more about Jeri and her books visit: