Book Review: The 7 1/2 Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle

Author: Stuart Turton
Published: February 8, 2018
Genre: Fantasy
FLW Rating: 3/5

This book will definitely go down as one of the most unique books I’ve ever read. As you may have noted in my 2019 Goals post, I’m trying to steer back towards books in my comfort zone, because unfortunately books like this that were a little too unique for me aren’t totally working for me. (See My Year of Rest and Relaxation.)

The 7 1/2 Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle is the story of one man who wakes up in a different body every day, over the course of eight days, while he attempts to solve the question of who killed Evelyn Hardcastle. As he moves through his “hosts” he picks up clues and has to use the skills of his host of the day to his advantage to help him solve the mystery.

I read this book when I was traveling home to visit my parents, and when my mom asked me what I was reading, my first reaction was to say “it’s more of a game than a book.” That’s truly how this book felt. I felt engaged in a way where I felt like I was playing. I was looking out for clues and dangers, and watching my step to a certain degree. In a way it was a page turner, but it was also surprisingly cyclical and I felt like I could only read the book for so long without feeling like I was taking turns with some imaginary other player.

Overall, I must say that I really appreciated the author’s creativity with this book, the world and mystery he created, and the journey he took the reader on – I definitely don’t want to discount that. But unfortunately this book wasn’t for me. The rhythm was hard for me to handle for long periods of time, and the fantasy world was more exotic that I typically enjoy reading about.  While the story pulled me in, it ultimately wasn’t an experience that I enjoyed.

That being said, if you enjoy mystery and fantasy, I think you would like this book! And my best advice would be to not read any more reviews about it, and just get in to it. Discover this crazy world for yourself.