I went into this book with no expectations other than having enjoyed a book by this author years ago, and as I read “The Undertaking of Hart and Mercy” I was constantly surprised, not only by how different this book is from “The Bird and the Blade”. No, it was also because this book was simply… whacky.
In the best way!
If I had to describe it briefly, it’s a wild west fantasy story plus zombies plus You’ve Got Mail. Mixed in is a dash of whimsy, a foul-mouthed giant rabbit, and – especially surprising and exciting for an ardent fan of Caitlin Doughty – death positivity!
I mean, this book has everything. And I haven’t even mentioned the main ingredient: hate-to-love romance!
I suppose that wasn’t a very brief description after all.
I think that is the charm of this story, though. The author’s writing makes it very atmospheric, and it takes you on an adventure full of randomness, sassiness, and, frankly, silliness.
There were only a few things that didn’t land for me.
One was that the abrasive swearing of one of the (aforementioned) characters felt a bit over the top and out of place in relation to the rest of the story, but I think this was on purpose because… that was the character. Also note that I found the giant mail-delivery rabbit’s swearing to be out of place, not the giant mail-delivery rabbit himself. I also felt Hart and Mercy, when they finally did fall in love, fell in love very fast. I would have loved to see more genuine and simple acts of kindness between them before they became romantically involved, but that’s just me. And thirdly, the ending felt very abrupt. I was actually surprised when I finished reading the sweet final words on the page, turned the page for more, and found the end pages.
It was still a very sweet ending, though.
I think this book would be a great choice for the whimsical reader looking for adventure and romance and just some straight up wackiness.
Thank you to Netgalley for providing an early copy for review.