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BOOK REVIEW: The Prophecy of Bees by R.S. Pateman

| 14 December 2014 | Reply

BOOK REVIEW: The Prophecy of Bees by R.S. Pateman

Orion Books
December 2014, $29.99
Reviewed by Steph O’Connell




‘What do we do?’
‘Just tell them your name and who you are,’ Howard said.
‘You’re joking me,’ I said.
‘Just say it. Come on. For Cedric’s sake.’
‘I’m Isabella,’ I said in a poor copy of Cedric’s singsong voice. ‘But you…’ I pointed at the hives with a single finger, ‘you can call me Izzy.’
Howard glared at me.
‘My name’s Izzy,’ I said, enunciating clearly. ‘And I live at Stagcote Manor.’
The thrum of the hive intensified.


The Prophecy of Bees harks back to something that was all the rage ten to fifteen years ago; small town superstitions and weirdness. 

Inevitably, in these stories, the main characters will be new to a town and they will see that something is off, but their friends and families won’t listen to them.

There will be little hints, things that don’t add up, strange superstitions about how sharpening your knives after sunset is inviting thieves to the house. And then you’ll hear the scratching. Then the stories of unfortunate endings begin to come to light. And still, no one will listen, because you’ve been “crying wolf” all along.

There are people in the town who you don’t trust, but they’ll do something to redeem themselves in your eyes, and you realise how silly you were for thinking those awful things. But were you? Can you really trust them? Yes. No. Maybe. YOU DON’T KNOW!

No one will believe you. Hell, you’re not even sure you believe yourself anymore! But you need to work it out. Before it’s too late.

The moral of this story: when moving to a small town, DON’T. TRUST. ANYONE. 

Or better yet, don’t move house. Ever. 


After finishing this book, I had to have a long, hard think about how it made me feel.

– I didn’t love the main character, though certain struggles she had with her mother reminded me of my relationship with my own mother when I was a teenager.

– The sentences were short and choppy, and there were quite a few typographical errors.

– A lack of variety in dialogue tags pulled me out of the story whenever there was a lot of back and forth, with “said” being used every single time.

– And at one point “The beads of sweat running down his face were swept away by the back of his hand…


But the annoyances were minimal, and the read, once I got about forty pages in, was a quick, engrossing one. 

For all the predictability of these sorts of stories this one mostly kept me guessing, and when I had figured it out, or thought I had, the story managed to steer me away. After finishing the book I found myself feeling a little flat, but that feeling has mostly gone twenty-four hours later, and I find myself looking foward to reading more books by this author.

A great read for anyone who loved the creepy small town phase in movies and books ten years ago,  and anyone who likes their mystery with a little more supernatural thrill, rather than crime scenes.


Category: Book Reviews, Other Reviews

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