The Prophecy of Bees by RS Pateman

rsIf I had realised The Prophecy of Bees by RS Pateman was the same as author as The Second Life of Amy Archer, which I read last year, I would not have started reading this novel.

However, I chose this book because I like bees (and honey). Unfortunately, the title led me astray. I didn’t even notice the author’s name.

I didn’t enjoy The Second Life of Amy Archer because the ending was ambiguous and the characters left me cold. The Prophecy of Bees had a straightforward, although predictable ending and the characters were quite likeable, so that was an improvement. This time though, it was the plot that left me cold.

This story is about a troubled teenager, Isabella, and her mother, Lady Lindy Someone-or-other, who move to Stagcote Manor in the middle of nowhere against Izzy’s wishes. The story is told by Izzy, who appears to be going through a goth-ey, heavy metal-ey stage with her band member boyfriend, who recently dumped her.

From the beginning, the villagers around Stagcote Manor believe that the house is haunted, although they are unable to actually say so. (Their taciturn ways are part of the curse). The locals are also full of superstitions about bees and rocks and moles and dogs crossing funeral processions and just about everything else that moves. Izzy hears strange noises at night and on investigation, the bones of a child killed centuries ago falls out of a chimney. Izzy continues investigating and realises that the villagers are involved in black magic.

Izzy’s mother doesn’t believe a word of the superstitions or of Izzy’s findings.

For the record, I’m with Izzy’s mother. If I can’t see it, touch it, feel it, smell it or eat it, I don’t believe in it. This was my whole problem with this novel. The book is reasonably well written, the characters are mostly believable (although Izzy’s character was a bit too grown up for the bratty drop-out she was meant to be), but I just couldn’t suspend my lack of belief in the supernatural and just go along with the plot. Plus, as I said earlier, what happens is very predictable.

If you like curses and magic and supernatural stuff, by all means give this book a read, you’ll probably enjoy it. But I won’t make the same mistake a third time. There will be no more RS Pateman stories for me.

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