The Seven Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle // a literary puzzle not to be missed

Hi friends! I’m excited to be share my thoughts on this book because WOW. Let’s see if I can word vomit my thoughts properly, shall we?

I want to say that if you want to go into this as blind as possible, don’t read on! I won’t be spoiling anything, but I wanted to put a disclaimer here just in case.

TW/CW: murder, poison, drugs, fatphobia, mentions of rape

At a gala party thrown by her parents, Evelyn Hardcastle will be killed–again. She’s been murdered hundreds of times, and each day, Aiden Bishop is too late to save her. Doomed to repeat the same day over and over, Aiden’s only escape is to solve Evelyn Hardcastle’s murder and conquer the shadows of an enemy he struggles to even comprehend–but nothing and no one are quite what they seem.

this is possibly one of the most confusing books ever.

I started this book through confused, went through this book confused, and ended it confused. Even if I had read it physically, I would still be confused. And honestly??? That’s part of the charm*! As the story develops, more questions appear. More answers are revealed. And it leads up to a (mostly) great resolution.

*and no, i am not insane. well, at least not where it applies here.

This is not your typical mystery. Aiden occupies eight hosts over the span of eight days, not to mention tha there are countless other personalities populating Blackheath. Add in a time loop, and BAM! We’re all slightly bewildered but totally intrigued! I’ll do my best to articulate some thoughts even it’s just a tad bit difficult.

Aiden is a likeable main character. However, with each host, he falls deeper into each individual’s personality. One of my favorite parts of the novel is that each character on each day is vital to solving the case. Although every day is technically the same, it’s also totally different, as Aiden makes different decisions in different bodies, and comes to certain realizations.

Everyone is a web of secrets. We have a huge cast of well-developed characters, with dozens of intermingled mysteries. The majority of the story takes place in the same setting, so normally my fantasy-loving heart would be all NO NO I WANT CANDYLAND*. However, I was intrigued the entire time! Besides the fact that Aiden only has eight days to figure out who murdered Evelyn Hardcastle, he’s also racing against other “hosts” who are trying to solve the case, for only one can leave.

*sometimes i too question my sanity

This isn’t high-stakes, exactly. It’s more of a slow-burn, intellectual puzzle. Piece-by-piece clicks in a sort of satisfying way. Some could think this is too complex, too boring, but it is a story that is reminiscent of Agatha Christie. Not exactly a thriller, but a rich riddle.

My first main issue with this is novel is the ending.

The ending surprised me enough? And I thought that the plot itself was wrapped up very nicely. However, a few aspects concerning Aiden and his decisions came too easily at the end. His consciousness had an easy sense of right and wrong. I won’t spoil anything, but a certain decision regarding a certain woman wasn’t nearly as complex as it should have been.

My other big issue is the fatphobia.

Constantly, Aiden is berating one of his hosts, talking in the most disgusting terms about how he felt about his new body. He said time and time again that he hoped his real body was “nothing like this”. I was honestly really disappointed at how it was described, like it was a bad thing. Aiden eventually learns to appreciate his host’s intelligence and natural limitations, but that doesn’t make the awful thoughts any less…awful.

So that’s it! I really enjoyed this one, but the fatphobia really disappointed me. However, all that aside, this was technically a fantastic mystery. Tell me:

Is this on your TBR?

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8 thoughts on “The Seven Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle // a literary puzzle not to be missed

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