Book Review

The Candles Are Burning By Veronica G. Henry

The Candles Are Burning

  • Author: Veronica G. Henry
  • Genre: Horror
  • Publication Date: November 15, 2022
  • Publisher: Amazon Original Stories
  • Series: Into Shadow #6

Rating: 3 out of 5.

CONTENT WARNING: death, grief, violence, suicide

Amid the modern trappings of 1950s Savannah, an ancient evil threatens a young widow and her daughter in this chilling short story by award-winning author Veronica G. Henry.

When her husband dies unexpectedly, Maggie Royal is struck with sinister visions that foretell danger for her and for her five-year-old daughter. Her mother and grandmother were said to have “the sight,” but it was never like this. With no one alive to turn to, Maggie must move quickly to uncover the meaning of her visions before her candle is snuffed out.

I’ve found this series to be relatively good, and it has introduced me to some authors who I haven’t read yet. Henry is one of these, and I’m so intrigued after this short story. However, there were some ups and downs. 

The setting was fantastic. This story takes place in 1950s Savannah, and it’s already a spooky setting. Black people obviously didn’t have it easy in that time, and that’s easily reflected in the story. I loved the writing, and how the characters were portrayed, especially Maggie. She was easy to empathize with, even in such a short story, which isn’t easy to do. 

This story starts out heavy right away, touching on themes like death, racism, grief, and the strength of a mother’s love for her child. Maggie compromises a lot in her marriage, and she’s a tough cookie who doesn’t give up no matter what. When things go south after her husband dies suddenly and no one to turn to for help, she digs deep and realizes that she is stronger than she ever knew. But she also realizes that “the sight” that her mother and grandmother had, and that she always thought had passed her over has suddenly appeared.

However, the story kind of fell apart in the ending. It felt rushed and definitely could have used a little more fleshing out. I didn’t really finish the story with a good understanding of what Maggie had even agreed to, but I think if there was even a little more to the story, it could have better explained things and left readers less confused. 

People who have sat around with me while I’m reading, especially when there’s a surprising reveal, a shocking plot twist, or an unexpected event often look up in alarm when I gasp audibly. The gasp factor is directly related to the number of times I audibly gasp during a reading, and there isn’t an upper limit.

Gasp Factor: 2

5 replies »

  1. Great review! This sounds like an awesome read, though a shame about the ending. But it is going on my list, I need to check this one out, I could use a spooky read with some serious themes along with that.

    Liked by 1 person

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