Sleepy Once More

I think this is the last of my recent nostalgia reads for a while.  When trying to recapture the feeling of watching that first season of Sleepy Hollow without actually spending all the hours necessary to do so, the spin-off novels are a quick fix.  Keith R. A. DeCandido obviously has quite a bit of experience of writing novels that tie into pop culture.  Many of us were pretty enthralled and impressed in 2013 (already a decade ago!) when Sleepy Hollow first came on the air.  This literary member of what was an emerging new legend is a novelized episode that is slotted into season one, referring back to what had happened earlier in the season without betraying the cliff-hanger ending for the 2013–14 run. Sleepy Hollow: Children of the Revolution is a guilty pleasure read and a jaunt back to a decade that now seems long ago.

Here the story involves an attempt to resurrect (one of the main themes of the show) the witch Serilda of Abaddon.  Serilda had her own night in the moon earlier in the series (the episode “Blood Moon” was dedicated to her).  This novel asks, what if a coven of her followers, one of them a former policewoman, tried to bring her back?  It does so by using historical scenarios—much like the series—such as Washington’s crossing of the Delaware, and impregnating them with magical subtexts.  Here there are congressional awards that have been secretly engraved with runes.  George Washington knows about them, of course.  When brought together they can transform Serilda into a real monster.  Remember, Moloch was still an active concern in the first two seasons of the show.  In the present day, these artifacts have been regathered by the coven, and you can guess that all Hades will break loose.

I often ponder how, with the series Sleepy Hollow, the story began to fall apart when the Bible fell out of it.  It was in the process of tying together great American mythologies such as Irving, Revolutionary-Era history, and biblical self-identification.  These formed a compelling net that brought in many viewers.  Season one ended with two of the four horsemen of the Apocalypse in Sleepy Hollow, and a third had been nodded toward earlier in the series.  Instead of finishing out that line of thought, the storyline dispensed with Moloch and gave the headless horseman a head.  The plot ran out of steam.  Books like this demonstrate that there was other fertile ground to plow.  Had the original conceit kept intact, we might still be watching it.  Of course, novels like this are good for reliving those days a decade ago.

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