Monday, October 20, 2014

Of Monsters and Madness by Jessica Verday

Series: ?
288 p.
Published: 9/9/14
Publisher: Egmont
Source: NetGalley and publisher for review
A romantic, historical retelling of classic Gothic horror featuring Edgar Allan Poe and his character Annabel Lee, from a New York Times best-selling author. 
Summoned to her father's home in 1820's Philadelphia, a girl finds herself in the midst of a rash of gruesome murders in which he might be implicated. She is torn romantically between her father's assistants-one kind and proper, one mysterious and brooding-who share a dark secret and may have more to do with the violent events than they're letting on.

My thoughts:
 I'm actually not sure how to rate this one. I have a feeling you will love or hate it but I sort of felt somewhere in the middle with this one. I was looking forward to some gothic piece with Edgar Allan Poe but didn't quite get that. There were aspects of him and his work, but other horror retellings also made their way into the book and I think that is where the book lost me a bit.

First I wasn't too invested in Annabel. I felt distant from her even though I did enjoy her character. The introduction of the other horror tales were not subtle and I thought distracted from what could have been a more interesting story. Either make it an amalgamation of Poe's stories or a total retelling of horror stories. My feelings might be just about unmet expectations and may be quite unfair to the book as a whole.

I give this book 2 1/2 stars. It was quite readable but the elements didn't quite come together for me in the end. I do believe it is a series and I would pick up the next book just to find out what happens. If it isn't a series I believe me rating would go down because of the unanswered questions. Still, if you like a dark gothic atmosphere, you might want to try this one. You may love it so much more than I did.


  1. *thinks about it* Nah, not the book for me

  2. Well hopefully it is a series Melissa so you'll have your answers eventually! I hate being left in the dark, so I can see why your rating would definitely go down if this was a stand-alone. It's too bad the pieces just didn't come together in this story:(

  3. Edgar Allan Poe's tales seem to be all of the rage lately for inspiring other authors, then again, 'tis the season for horror! I'm going to wait to see whether this will in fact become a series, because those unanswered questions are no fun in a standalone.

    1. I think it would have been best if it just stuck to Poe exclusively. I think I would have liked that aspect better.

  4. I have a copy, but I think I am going to skip it so far the reviews are dismal. I think I will skip Poe retellings in the future as none seem to work like the original.

  5. eap sorry this one didn't work for you, I was kind of excited about it. but if gothic elements got lost.. i dont know.

  6. Well readability is nice but not the fact the elements just didn't line up

  7. No EAP in an EAP retelling? That's not right. I was looking forward to this one :(

  8. I ended up making this a DNF at around 80 pages Melissa. I am sorry it didn't work for you. I love Poe so it was sad.

  9. That's too bad. Doesn't sound like one for me :/

  10. Yeah I saw another mixed review about this one and while I wanted to read it, I gave up...

  11. Thanks for being honest. Although the cover is creepy not sure if I like the book.

  12. This one didn't appeal to me anyway, but I'm sorry that you didn't like it a bit more!


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