Title: Death Watch by Ari Berk
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Released: November 15th 2011
Stars: 6.5 out of 10
Summary: When Silas Umber’s father Amos doesn’t come home from work one night, the family suffers from money problems. So they move to Lichport, where Silas was born and his father worked as an Undertaker. With his father no longer there, the village people want him to take over his father’s job, although Silas doesn’t know anything about it. Exploring the abandoned streets he understands that something isn’t right with his uncle. When he finds a priceless artifact in his father’s old office, the Death Watch, he starts to uncover the history of Lichport and therefore takes over his father’s old job. But he’s uncovering things, he didn’t even know existed before.
My thoughts: This is a book you like or dislike, but I don’t believe that there’s something in the middle. I actually liked it, but nevertheless had some problems with it. First of, it’s a long book. There are many detailed descriptions, which sometimes annoyed me, because I’m not a huge fan of long descriptions. But if you like those, you might like the book more. But besides the long description and some unbelievable aspects, I thought the story had an interesting theme and was quite well-written. Silas was a great character, although he was a bit slow sometimes, but he made some great discoveries. His uncle was one of the best characters of the books, not because he was so nice, but because he was so well described. I could imagine him quite good and the things you’ll find out about him during the book are quite interesting and sometimes surprising. There was quite a lot of suspense in the book and the other characters of the village were really special as well. It was a nice setting and the discoveries were amazing. I especially loved the end, which revealed many things and had an interesting twist. Besides, I loved what you learn about Silas’ father’s job and how Ari Berk wove different death rituals of other cultures into the book. It was nice to learn about those.
So, besides Silas being a special character and the ultralong descriptions in the book, I really enjoyed the qell-written tale of a junior undertaker in a small village and the things and “persons” he discovers.