Chapelwood by Cherie Priest

Posted July 27, 2016 by Anne - Books of My Heart in Book Review / 3 Comments

Review copy was received from Publisher. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Chapelwood by Cherie PriestChapelwood by Cherie Priest
Series: Borden Dispatches #2
Published by Roc on September 1, 2015
Genres: Horror, Fantasy
Pages: 434
Format: ARC
Source: Publisher
One StarOne StarOne Star

Birmingham, Alabama is infested with malevolence. Prejudice and hatred have consumed the minds and hearts of its populace. A murderer, unimaginatively named “Harry the Hacker” by the press, has been carving up citizens with a hatchet. And from the church known as Chapelwood, an unholy gospel is being spread by a sect that worships dark gods from beyond the heavens.

This darkness calls to Lizzie Borden. It is reminiscent of an evil she had dared hoped was extinguished. The parishioners of Chapelwood plan to sacrifice a young woman to summon beings never meant to share reality with humanity. An apocalypse will follow in their wake which will scorch the earth of all life.

Unless she stops it…

icon HORRIFIC    icon historical    icon fantasy


I felt Maplecroft ended the story quite fully and in a satisfying way. Chapelwood continues in similar style about thirty years later.  Whaaaaat?  Why was there such a huge time gap?

This is horror in a lovecraftian form, which works for me. I kept waiting for the story to start, wanting someone to gather evidence, plan and develop a strategy for dealing with creatures, more like they did in the first book.

I thought when the Inspector invited Lizzie to get involved and they went to Alabama, it would happen. I looked forward to their analysis and discussions of how to proceed, but NO. They just observed and bumbled into situations unprepared and unarmed. It was frustrating to have them not really utilize their experience and intelligence as much as they could.

I wondered if the Borden Dispatches series would continue, with Ruth, but  apparently it is two books only. I am much more comfortable and excited about this genre than I was at the time I listened to Maplecroft. But Chapelwood confused me, leaving me uncertain as to what happened and where things go from here.


About Cherie Priest

CHERIE PRIEST is the author of over a dozen novels, including the steampunk pulp adventures The Inexplicables, Ganymede, Dreadnought, Clementine, and Boneshaker. Boneshaker was nominated for both the Hugo Award and the Nebula Award; it was a PNBA Award winner, and winner of the Locus Award for Best Science Fiction Novel. Cherie also wrote Bloodshot and Hellbent from Bantam Spectra; Fathom and the Eden Moore series from Tor; and three novellas published by Subterranean Press. In addition to all of the above, her first foray into George R. R. Martin’s superhero universe, Fort Freak (for which she wrote the interstitial mystery), debuted in the summer of 2011. Cherie’s short stories and nonfiction articles have appeared in such fine publications as Weird Tales, Publishers Weekly, and numerous anthologies. She lives in Chattanooga, TN, with her husband, a big shaggy dog, and a fat black cat.

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Posted July 27, 2016 by Anne - Books of My Heart in Book Review / 3 Comments

3 responses to “Chapelwood by Cherie Priest

    • felicia – I LOVED the audio for Maplecroft. I thnk that’s why it was so hard for me to go on to Chapelwood for so long. The audio for it was with other narrators and I had enjoyed the first ones so much. Also Maplecroft felt finished to me. Since you have the first one, I would definitely listen to it. I got it on audio because the book was hard. It takes me a bit to get into something out of my usual genre picks but I found Maplecroft to be worth it. Anne

  1. I also have the first book on audio. I keep seeing this one in print for CHEAP at the Book Warehouse and almost pick it up twice but I’m going to wait until I listen to book 1. Then see if my library has this one, which I think they do.