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The Magic Hour
by James Crowley

Category: Fiction / General
0 pages; ISBN: 1555177131

Rating: 10/10  (Ratings explained)
Reviewer: Carolyn Howard-Johnson


Halloween and the Hereafter
Provide Unusual Premise for Novel

Reviewed by Carolyn Howard-Johnson, award-winning author of This is the Place and Harkening: A Collection of Stories Remembered

Halloween and Mexico’s Day of the Dead celebration tend to skew what death means for many who view it as a new beginning. At the same time, what fun all this stuff is! My grandson calls anything spooky “oooo-eee, oooheee” and likens it all to Stephen King.

Now he may have a new author connection. James Crowley has written a novel about the mysterious bond shared by identical twins. The acknowledgement of this extraordinary link and ability to communicate without verbalizing has been recognized and admired through virtually all cultures through all times, is perhaps even older than our Halloween traditions that go back at least to the Celts and maybe beyond. The Magic Hour explores the possibility that this bond between birth mates may remain unbroken even in death.

Crowley presents a compelling story of a nine-year-old boy who discovers he can still communicate with his identical twin even after his brother has passed away. This same young boy learns of the ancient practices surrounding the Halloween tradition and embarks on a quest to find out if the spirits of the deceased really do return to visit their loved ones on the night of All Hallow's Eve.

The author draws upon various ancient beliefs, superstitions and folk tales to give this work depth and texture. Using the old northern European folk tale The Erlking adeptly adapted to the 21st Century casts a broad shadow of fear over the young minds in the story and serves as a catalyst leading to key plot turns.

As Dickensesque as this book is, it is much more than a mere moral fable. Crowley weaves the themes of love—brother, parental, romantic—together, embroiders these with his own illustrations and they become a work of imagination with, Boo! an unexpected ending

(Carolyn Howard-Johnson’s first novel, This is the Place, has won eight awards. Harkening has won three. Learn more at:



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