I know it’s been a while since we’ve done a book review, but we’ve got a line up of great book recommendations for you this month! Today we’re gushing about False River by H.G. Reed which just came out three weeks ago. The book just recently came out, so show it some love and let us know in the comment section or via social media if you have any thoughts about False River. Remember: the quickest way to a writer’s heart is to review and share their work. Enjoy!
Rating: 4 stars
After a decade, the devil has come again for Joe—to make yet another deal. In exchange for his already lost soul, Joe must do the unthinkable in an unreasonably short amount of time. With the devil dancing on his back, Joe finds himself soon surrounded by angelic farmhands with the intent to give him and his orchard a fighting chance.
Joe must learn to trust his new farmhands quickly if he has any hopes of leading a peaceful life with his wife and daughter in the wooded peaks of the North Georgia Mountains. Will Joe have the strength to resist past transgressions, or will he remain forever a shell of a man?
What I enjoyed:
Reed does a great job creating wonderful characters and charming dialog. Those two things can make or break a novel for me, and I certainly wasn’t disappointed.
Reed had the task of making Joe an average man but equally special so we would understand why the devil won’t leave him alone. I recognized this as a potential of creating a “chosen one” trope but she navigates this well. Joe continues to learn about his importance in his past history with the devil, but realizes that he’s still a normal man and wants more than anything to be normal. He’s easy to sympathize with and truly has a lot of heart—for someone who’s been without a soul for a decade.
Ellie May was also well executed. In Reed’s Christian-fantasy canon, her devil is actually female with a teenage girl’s form. Her dialog, character ticks, and overall personality made for an interesting adversary that will really make you rethink the villain or devil trope. Reed does a good job of making her scary as hell (pun intended) but also making her a sympathetic character—we tend to enjoy these kinds of villains.
Overall, I really enjoyed Reed’s use of plot. She adds onto the reader’s knowledge brick by brick to aid to the suspense and intrigue of the novel. You wouldn’t think there would be a huge showdown on a orchard in Georgia, but Reed brings it.
You’ll love the way she mixes modern Christian theology with her own interpretations and additions. I won’t say more on that, because I don’t want to spoil your experience.
What I didn’t enjoy:
While I enjoyed the symbolism and extended metaphors this novel had to offer about forgiveness and love, the novel featured a few repeated sermons. Throughout the novel, I noticed the writer would put emotion into words in a satisfying way, just to “tell” what just happened soon after. The author could’ve trusted that her readers would follow her meaning a bit more.
This book was an absolute delight to read and it left me feeling all warm and hopeful. I’m excited about Reed’s debut novel and I look forward to her future work. If you’d like to learn more about H.G. Reed and her work, you can catch up with her via social media:
Have you read this novel? Do you have your own thoughts about it? Share with me in the comments!