Ravens Gathering – Book Review

This is Graeme Cumming’s debut novel, and a cracking good one it is too. I first discovered Graeme’s writing and blog site from a comment he left in relation to a self-publishing conference we had both attended back in March of this year. After having read and commented on several of his posts I thought I would read his debut novel too. Again, it’s a little outside my usual range of genre but having read the amazon freebie pages, decided it might be something I would like…

To read more of Graeme Cumming’s writing see his blog at:



Ravens Gathering, by Graeme Cumming 

(Available in eBook format from Amazon)

Ravenspic2Although this book sets off at a rather sedate pace, right from the start the reader knows there’s something a bit eerie and weird going on, and that beneath the seemly normal facade of everyday life, something more sinister is lurking just beneath the surface.

Set against the backdrop of Ravens Gathering, a village and small farming community in the north of England, the opening and early chapters set the scene for a gripping story of unanswered questions, family tensions, past suicides, and possibly even murder and the supernatural; the arrival of an apparent stranger to the village turning out to be the unexpected return of a villager’s son after fifteen years without a word of contact raises as many questions as it answers. The author teases the reader with further clues and snippets of information as the book goes on, slowly drawing together the many different strands of the story to a thrilling and unexpected conclusion.

There were a couple of times towards the end of the book when events overtook me somewhat and I thought the pace could have been slowed down just a little. There were a couple of scenes and instances where a little more background research would have added a tad more authenticity, but overall, these minor concerns weren’t enough to spoil my enjoyment in any way, and the author did a good job in using realistic dialogue and the characterisation to drive the story forward.

One of the things I especially liked was that the paranormal and supernatural elements were for the most part, only ever hinted at for much of the time, allowing the reader to really engage with the characters and what was happening rather than having to suspend disbelief right from the offset; by the time anything supernatural or ‘other worldly’ was overtly introduced, the author had already laid the foundations sufficiently well for the reader to accept them as a natural and essential progression of the story. I also liked the way the author tied up some of the loose ends, but still left more than enough scope for a sequel. Despite a few minor issues, an ambitious and well written book, and definitely one that I would recommend. Would I read any sequels? Absolutely yes!

About RuddersWriting

Middle-aged man, aspiring writer, book blogger/reviewer, and author, one grown-up son and young grandson, now retired, actively working to develop a writing career.

Posted on May 4, 2014, in Book Reviews and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 21 Comments.

  1. Sounds like an intriguing read, and I love the cover!

    By the way, Paul, I think it’s great that you’re willing to give books outside of your normal taste a chance…I need to start doing that myself…I tend to turn to the sam genres.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Sorry for taking so long to reply. I learn quite a lot from reading outside my comfort zone, but I think that’s something that gets easier as you get older…

      Still looking forward to your sequel…



  2. Paul, your reviews are getting better and better– this one gave me a peek into something i might like, without giving any of the story away. Add this book to my TBR pile.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Once again you’ve proved your worth at the reviewing game Paul. Not so much information about the story as to spoil it, but enough to capture the interest. I’ll give it a once-over in between everything else I’m trying to spin at the moment.
    I’ll get it dropped onto my Kindle and then at least it’s there and ready for me. Keep busy mate; you’re doing well.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I know this if off topic but I’m looking into starting my own blog and was curious what all is required to get set up? I’m assuming having a blog like yours would cost a pretty penny? I’m not very web savvy so I’m not 100% certain. Any recommendations or advice would be greatly appreciated. Appreciate it

    Liked by 1 person

    • My blog layout format is a really simple one. I spent about 40 pounds on a premium theme for font/colour options etc but other than that, all the sidebar widgits and stuff are all freely available on a free wordpress site. No need to spend any money at all really, just a bit of time/effort on learning how to use wordpress… I took a look at your website, and judging from that you shouldn’t have any problems.

      Liked by 1 person

    • I was dropping in to read Paul’s review above and noticed your comment. I would go along with Paul in that you don’t have to spend anything.
      If you want to drop me a line sometime I’ll give you a few pointers on using WordPress. I’ve just had a quick spy at your site and I reckon with a bit of TLC (as only a gardener could provide), you’ll be able to produce a great looking blog.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Despite the ‘despites’, you make the book sound interesting. I might read it for the genre.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Reblogged this on graemecummingdotnet and commented:
    I know it doesn’t follow the theme of my site, but how could I resist including this?

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Julia Lund

    Another well-written, considered review, Paul.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Christine Millington

    An honest and balanced review, you’ve piqued my interest here.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Thank you for sharing your excellent review! This is definitely one of my next reads. 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

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