Book Reviews





The Prophecy of Bees by R S Pateman - review

“The buzz within reverberated... The hive walls shook."  

Title: The Prophecy of Bees
Author: R S Pateman

Publisher: Orion
Source: ARC vis Netgalley
Available: November 20th 2014
Buy it: Here


Izzy and her mother are moving to Stagcote Manor, a large manor house in the very quaint and traditional village of Stagcote. Running away from London, and the troubles that has driven a wedge between them, they find themselves transplanted into a world of claustrophobic superstition and curses. Is it all just "country tales" as Izzy's mum says, or is there something more to the rituals the villagers swear by?


I found The Prophecy of Bees to be a very hit and miss novel. On the one hand, there is the excellent build up of mystery and creepy characters, and on the other there is a narrator that feels so out of place it was hard to overlook.

I've never really experienced before what I felt for the narrator, Izzy, reading The Prophecy Of Bees. I mean, why couldn't any type of person end up in any situation? There's no reason why they shouldn't! But, that said, I completely struggled to align myself with Izzy. She seemed to be all "too much" in an otherwise subtle and slowly building narrative. Hers was an alternative YA "dilemmas of the heart" story planted in an adult gothic. It was just weird. Separately these things could have been brilliant, but together they were strange.

That said, the surrounding story of Stagcote and its "little ways" was absolutely enthralling. I love a creepy tale and I was certainly eager to know what it all would amount to. The surprises were well paced and unpredictable, and the ending was fitting. I got a real feel of The Wicker Man while reading The Prophecy of Bees.


I loved the scene-setting and atmospheric build up of The Prophecy of Bees. It all felt very "Wicker man" and creepy, but my disconnect with the narrator severely impacted my overall enjoyment of the book. That said, I would definitely recommend to fans of mysterious old house novels!



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