Friday, October 31, 2014

Of Monsters and Madness by Jessica Verday: An Edgar Allan Poe Twist on the Classic Jekyll & Hide

Of Monsters and MadnessI thought this would be a perfect Halloween book. It's spooky and Gothic as it follows a young heroine in a household of secrets. Fresh off the boat from Siam, Annabel is thrust into a new home and life that isn't what she expected. Her father has a mysterious illness and a horrible temper. His assistants come and go at strange hours dragging burlap sacks--one is horrid; one steals her heart. There's an angry tutor blackmailing her father over who-knows-what, and a murderer on the loose.

I like the heroine and her narrative, though I thought it could have been told in a much scarier manner. (I guess this is complaint one. I wasn't scared. What should have come across as spine-tingling somehow fell flat.) She wants to be a doctor despite her father's protests and doesn't see herself as better than anyone else. There's a mystery attached to her too, her throat. And we never get all the answers. I didn't realize this, but this is apparently the first of a series. It must be as it leaves us hanging.

And that is compliant two. I hate being left hanging. That's why I don't usually read a lot of series, not unless they're mysteries in which a case is upon and shut with the book and a new case begins with the next.

And despite the heroine's feminist leanings, she comes off a bit weak in the end. I liked her, would like to know what happens to her, but there was something lacking.

And the glosses over two apparently extremely exciting weeks. It goes from a house nearly burning down and a tragic death to just flying over two weeks in which apparently something drastic happens to her father. (I'm not revealing what to avoid spoiling). But I am perturbed, because what happens to her father actually sounds kind of exciting and despite the fact there's a murderer on the loose and all that, the book lacked excitement. As I said above, something got lost in the telling.

I think the idea was great. Edgar is Hyde. Allan is Jekyll. Allan cannot write dark stuff without Edgar's nasty experiences. There was apparently a period of time in which the real Poe was in Philly and the author is just making this up to fill in the blanks. It's a good idea. It just fell flat in the end. The cover and title promises a fright, but I wasn't frightened. I did like the fact that the story wasn't predictable though. I had no clue how it was going to end.

But in a way, it didn't end. Hm.

I received this via Amazon Vine.

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