I love it when a book I’m interested in turns into a trilogy when I’m not looking. (It happens waaay more often than you think.) Most recently it happened with Ari Berk’s Death Watch, which I wrote about back in 2013, and which morphed into The Undertaken Trilogy when I ducked into the kitchen to make a sandwich.
I know, books pop up all the time in this industry, and God knows it seems unusual when a popular book doesn’t turn into a trilogy. But still, I was only in the kitchen for ten minutes, I swear.
Anyway, there used to be one novel featuring the adventures of Silas Umber, teenage undertaker in the crumbling seaside town of Lichport, and now there are three. Not sure how it happened, but I’m glad it did.
Death Watch (560 pages, $17.99 hardcover/$9.99 paperback/$8.99 digital, November 15, 2011)
Mistle Child (368 pages, $17.99 hardcover/$9.99 paperback/$8.99 digital, February 12, 2013)
Lych Way (336 pages, $17.99 hardcover/$12.99 paperback/$9.99 digital, February 25, 2014)
Publishers Weekly calls the opening volume “A thought-provoking gothic fantasy [and] genuinely eerie tale… Berk’s setting is atmospheric and creepy.” And Holly Black says it “mines a rich vein of ghostly folklore with vivid prose, style and wit. A marvelous tapestry.” Here’s the description for Death Watch.
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They say the dead should rest in peace. Not all the dead agree. This start to The Undertaken Trilogy is a “thought-provoking gothic fantasy” and a “genuinely eerie tale” (Publishers Weekly). “Berk’s writing style and language are reminiscent of the classic gothic works of Nathaniel Hawthorne and Shirley Jackson” (School Library Journal)
When Silas Umber’s father, Amos, doesn’t come home from work one night, Silas discovers that his father was no mere mortician, but an Undertaker who worked to bring The Peace to lost and wandering souls. With Amos gone, Silas and his mother move back to Lichport, the crumbling seaside town where he was born, and Silas seizes the opportunity to investigate his father’s disappearance.
When his search leads him to his father’s old office, he comes across a powerful artifact: the Death Watch, a tool that allows the owner to see the dead. Death Watch in hand, Silas begins to unearth Lichport’s secret history — and discovers that he has taken on his father’s mantle as Lichport’s Undertaker. Now, Silas must embark on a dangerous path into the Shadowlands to embrace his destiny and discover the truth about his father — even if it kills him.
All three books are published by Simon & Schuster, and all are still in print. The cover design for all three is by Laurent Linn.
I recently bought all three novels remaindered for about $4 each at Bookoutlet.com. Copies are still in stock if you’re interested.
See all our recent coverage of Series Fantasy here.