The Dead Hamlets by Peter Roman

T I T L E: The Dead Hamlets
A U T H O R: Peter Roman
P U B L I S H E R: Diamond Book Distributors; ChiZine Publications
P U B L I S H--D A T E: February 3, 2015
I S B N: 9781771483162
Sci-Fi, Fantasy
When something tied to the play Hamlet starts killing of faeries in the court of Morgana, the faerie queen, they turn to the immortal Cross to help save them. Cross is not only a thief, but he’s a drunk as well as an angel killer. He certainly isn’t a friend to the faerie court either. The queen stole his daughter, then forced her to “live” among them. In order to save her from being the next victim, he is forced to unravel the mystery. But, time is not on his side. As he races to gather clues to in order to put a stop to the murders, he comes into contact with quite an array of not only odd but lethal characters. He encounters the real Witches from MacBeth, the spirit of the now dead playwright Christopher Marlowe who also happened to be a demon hunter, a very eccentric Alice in Wonderland and a scholar who is not only magical but a bit of a lunatic. Not to mention of course, William Shakespeare. As all the bizarre events unfold, he finds himself in a trap he may never be able to get out of, let alone save his daughter.

      I must admit this book was not what I was expecting, even after reading the description. It is very different and creative as well as a bit dark. Not that I am opposed to a bit of the darkside; I am not at all. However, for some reason I was expecting a zany romp through the land of faerie. Perhaps that was because this is the first book that I have read from the Cross series.
     Cross is an immortal who dies frequently but is always resurrected. He kills angels and steals their “grace” in order to live, much like a vampire drinks human blood. This is also where he gains much of his power, not only to resurrect but to do some of the other things he does. In beginning he explains that he drinks to deal with the death of his wife and unborn daughter, as well as the fact that Morgana, the queen of the faeries, has cursed him by bonding him to her. I actually found him sort of annoying as were some of the other characters.
     He is more or less blackmailed into helping Morgana because she had stolen the Cross’ daughter, Amelia from his dead wife’s womb and bore her instead. The faerie queen goes on to tell him she did this as a favor to him for saving her from King Arthur centuries earlier. That was a bit much for me to swallow and not very believable in my opinion. Not only because it’s not much of a favor but also because the daughter is not really alive but reanimated.
     Apparently the faerie love to put on performances of Shakespeare plays and every time they do a production of Hamlet, one of them dies. In order to keep Amelia from being the next victim Cross must find out who or what is killing them and put a stop to it.
     This plot had so much potential but fell a bit short as it wasn’t developed as much as it could have been which also goes for Cross, the main character. I did however, like his portrayal of the Frankenstein monster and wish he would have made more of an appearance. He would have been a great sidekick.
     I really wanted to love this book, but I didn’t. I did like it however and gave it three stars just for the creative plot idea. It’s just unfortunate it wasn’t developed any better than it was. I am not sure if I would read another book in this series unless of course, the main character is developed a bit more and given some more depth and personality.