Recommended book: Greaveburn by Craig Hallam

Greaveburn by Craig Hallam

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 324 KB
  • Print Length: 203 pages
  • Publisher: Inspired Quill (1 Aug 2012)
  • Sold by: Amazon UK, Amazon US
  • Language: English
  • Website: Craig Hallam


A Hero murdered.

A Girl alone.

A city of Villains.

From the crumbling Belfry to the Citadel’s stained-glass eye, across acres of cobbles streets and knotted alleyways that never see daylight, Greaveburn is a city with darkness at its core. Gothic spires battle for height, overlapping each other until the skyline is a jagged mass of thorns.

Archduke Choler sits on the throne, his black-sealed letters foretell death for the person named inside. Abrasia, the rightful heir, lives as a recluse in order to stay alive. With her father murdered and her only ally lost, Abrasia is alone in a city where the crooked Palace Guard, a scientist’s assistant that is more beast than man, and a duo of body snatchers are all on her list of enemies.

Under the cobbled streets lurk the Broken Folk, deformed rebels led by the hideously scarred Darrant, a man who once swore to protect the city. And in a darkened laboratory, the devious Professor Loosestrife builds a contraption known only as The Womb.

With Greaveburn being torn apart around her, can Abrasia avenge her father’s murder before the Archduke’s letter spells her doom?

My Rating: ★★★★★ (5 out of 5)

My Review

After reading Mr Hallam’s previous offering of short stories, Not Before Bed, I was eagerly anticipating another cracking read. Greaveburn is his first novel, and he does not disappoint. Not one bit.

Steampunk was not a genre I was familiar with, but I like to keep an open mind. Greaveburn is a world full of dark skullduggery, a place where the dregs of society have fallen and mingle in the shadows and the sewers.

Speaking of which, you absolutely picture the bowels of this murky city, the sights, the sounds and the smells (don’t dwell on those for too long). His descriptive style brings each character to life whether they are the main protagonists or background fodder and his style shines through a dark tale. The names are well crafted. Professor Loosestrife a particular favourite.

This book’s written in third-person and is from multiple characters point of view. The story is well woven, expertly told and my only criticism is that the story of Greaveburn is not a 600 page epic. Not really a criticism. More a sad cry from the dark that I wasn’t ready to finish reading the story. I think that is the mark of a good book and I want some more.

I highly recommend this book. Like me, you might find yourself drawn towards more books in this genre.

About Pete Denton

I'm a writer working my way through the redrafts of a British crime novel. I also write short stories, flash fiction and some screen writing. Check out my blog for more.
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18 Responses to Recommended book: Greaveburn by Craig Hallam

  1. A fantastic review Pete. Not my normal genre to read but you tempt me….

  2. You know a book is great when you are sad that its over. Its been a long time since I read something like that

  3. robincoyle says:

    Off topic, but are you still in a writer’s group with Craig?

    • Pete Denton says:

      Yes, though we don’t meet as often as we’d like. The group’s numbers are dwindling. Down to three of us for the last few meetings.

      It’s been good to see Craig going through the process of “becoming published”. The edits and edits, all the work he’s put into his book.

      I’ve read loads of his short stories, but this was the first time I’d read the book. It was worth the wait. 🙂

  4. EllaDee says:

    I love a book tha leaves you wanting more… on that alone I must investigate getting a copy of this one 🙂

  5. Nothing like enjoying a good book, Pete!!

  6. I have a copy and am looking forward to reading it, even more so now I’ve read your review! I’m not really reading anything this month as I’m NaNo’ing, so other things are on hold!

  7. elwoodcock says:

    Sounds good. I might give it a try. I always like the *idea* of steampunk, but am often disappointed by the actual stories. I loved Philp Reeve’s Larklight books, but was quite underwhelmed by Stephen Hunt, Cherie Priest, and even Scott Westerfeld’s steampunkery (and I loved his Uglies books).

    • Pete Denton says:

      This is the first steampunk book I’ve read so can’t comment on others. I am more receptive to the idea of the genre now so might branch out more in the future. Thanks for the comment 🙂

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  9. Kourtney Heintz says:

    Great review Pete! How amazing that your only critique was that it should have been longer. 🙂

  10. Pingback: Eclectic Reading in 2012 « Pete Denton – Writer

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