Of Monsters and Madness
Author: Jessica Verday
Publication Date: September 9th 2014
~A copy was provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest 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.
I'm not going to pretend I know anything about the poem of Annabel Lee. I know it, of course, but I've never studied it, and although I do like poetry, it's not exactly my favourite thing in the world. I've seen Mary Lindsey's Ashes on Waves that made me want to read it, so when I saw Of Monsters and Madness I couldn't resist (I mean, have you read that title? Of. Monsters. and. Madness. It practically screams read me!) Besides, In the land of Gods and Monsters...I had Lana Del Rey's Gods & Monsters in my head the whole time (don't ask why, my brain doesn't know. And we're not talking about my love for Lana Del Rey, we're talking about the book, right? No more music talk.)
While it's a short and quick read, I read the whole thing in two hours, so it sounds like I really liked it to read it so quick, right? Wrong. Don't get me wrong it lives up to its name. It's a little crazy and vividly disgusting in some places, and it's definitely madness, but the in-between those lovely chapters, the filler chapters bored me. I read it so quick because those crazy chapters kept me reading and I wanted it done otherwise I would've been dragging myself along for days with it otherwise.
Of Monsters and Madness starts with a Wrong Turn preface, and then the official story starts as Annabel Lee comes to live with her Father after an invitation for her and her Mother to stay, but Annabel Lee is the only one who arrives. She meets her Father's servants and the mysterious Mr. Poe after he saves her from drowning. She quickly makes friends with Maddy, and though she's her servant, Annabel Lee is used to doing things her own way and isn't accustomed to people doing things for her. For what she hoped to spend time to get to know and have a father, but is quickly disheartened when her Father is outwardly disapproving of her and she hardly gets to see him since he's in his workspace for most of the time, doing God knows what. And that's what Annabel Lee wants to find out. By her curiosity she meet's the disarming Edgar, Mr. Allan Poe's cousin, and her Father's assistant, and as her curiosity grows and a murderer is on the loose, the truth is nothing she could ever dream of.
The house is luxurious and vivid, it's written beautifully and atmospheric. The writing wasn't a problem for me, however the characters were, I just couldn't connect to them. I like them alright, but they didn't feel like anything special. There's not much going on either, and the twists and plot are predictable, it's shame really because it had so much potential. And I'm going to that synopsis. Romantic? Are you kidding me? 1) The romance wasn't even that good and 2) it was fucking creepy and twisted. It was not romantic. Also, working in Edgar Allen Poe as a character is so wrong in so many ways. Then there's the note in the back, where it says while researching the author had to take liberties with the timeline. There's taking liberties and then there's taking liberties. It's a thin line that in all honestly, was crossed with Of Monsters of Madness.
Of Monsters and Madness is like a sum, If you add a story behind Annabel Lee and Jekyl & Hyde it would make this baby.