PJV Quickie:  CRANE offers both a fresh twist to the Sleepy Hollow tale and a refurbished version.  For those unfamiliar with the tale of Ichabod Crane, then this would be the perfect book to read.  For those who are already fans of the headless horseman, you might find yourself wishing Ichabod Crane lost his head faster.  The star of this book is truly Ireland Crane.

Review:  CRANE is written through two narratives.  One is set in the familiar Sleepy Hollow time period with Ichabod Crane and the other is modern day Sleepy Hollow with Ireland Crane.

The ‘historical’ time period is written very similar to the original tale, except Rip Van Wrinkle and Washington Irvine have been inserted as traveling friends of Ichabod Crane. Truthfully, I was bored by the historical retelling.  It resembles the original too closely.  Besides a few twists at the very end of the book, it was painfully predictable.  I felt dragged down by these chapters.  Though, by the end, I understood why they were necessary.  Still, I wish more of the book was devoted to Ireland, Ichabod’s descendent.  There wasn’t that much information from Ichabod’s narrative that was absolutely essential to understanding what was/would happen to Ireland.

The ‘modern’ time period is exactly what I expected from the blurb.  Ireland is spunky, sarcastic, and loveable.  Her personality conflicts with the ‘scary’ scenes in the book, but otherwise she makes a great heroine.  At times, it felt like the humor took away from any scary scenes or gory descriptions.  If you’re into horror, then you might feel bummed about this like I was.  Expect a paranormal or urban fantasy novel and you won’t be disappointed about that aspect.

Ichabod’s romance — Ichabod Crane’s romance with Katrina starts as a love-at-first-sight and obsession and eventually becomes something organic.  If you forgive how contrived the romance feels, it’s actually a little sweet.  The whole ‘love triangle’ with Brom needed more fleshing out though.

Ireland’s romance — The leading male is Noah and I was absolutely giddy reading the scenes involving the two of them.  Noah says exactly what I wish a guy would say to me.  He wins Ireland’s heart by being a perfectly average guy.  He’s upfront about his faults.  There was a completely awesome scene  between the two of them that involving trying to top each other on who had the worst ex.  Hilarious stories.

Rip Van Wrinkle is the only character to hop between narratives.  At first, he’s feels like a hindrance to the story.  But then his quirks grew on me and I ended up really liking his character.

Overall, I liked the story.  Ireland’s narrative worked so well for me that it exposed all the weaknesses of Ichabod’s narrative.  Ichabod’s narrative felt forced down a linear path and it didn’t seem to give the author any room to input her personality.  However, I’m definitely reading book two, especially if it’s 100% Ireland.

Recommendations:  Despite the Sleepy Hollow focus, I think that fans of urban fantasy will find CRANE most appealing.  It has the same feeling as the television show, but with better humor (although I’m basing this on only the couple episodes I’ve watched).  Fans of the movie with Johnny Depp might be disappointed.  None of the characters have the same sex appeal as Johnny Depp.  Sorry!