I received this book for free from in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.Of Monsters and Madness by Jessica Verday
Published by Egmont USA on September 9th 2014
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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.Annabel Lee is summoned from Siam to live with her father in 1820's Philadelphia shortly after her mother's death, but an unconventional upbringing makes her repugnant to her angry, secretive father.
Annabel becomes infatuated with her father's assistant Allan, who dabbles in writing when he's not helping with medical advancements. But in darker hours, when she's not to be roaming the house, she encounters the devilish assistant Edgar, who bears an uncanny resemblance to Allan, and who others insist doesn't exist. A rash of murders across Philadelphia, coupled with her father's strange behavior, leads Annabel to satisfy her curiosity and uncover a terrible truth: Edgar and Allan are two halves of the same person - and they are about to make the crimes detailed in Allan's stories come to life. Unless Annabel stops them.
Of Monsters and Madness is a twist on some of Edgar Allan’s Poe’s stories, our main character Annabel Lee being from a poem he wrote. She is coming to live with her father since her mother passed away. She finds herself in Pennsylvania and is naive of the ways that society works in the 1800s. Her father is cold and all she wants to do is please him. Annabel finds comfort in her grandfather, but a rash of murders and her father’s strange hobbies soon make her life a bit more complicated.
One of my favorite parts of the story is the Jekyl and Hyde aspect of one of the characters. I picked up on it right away, but it takes Annabel a while to figure out what is happening. I also liked her character, she was different but not over the top. She wished to practice medicine but her father disproved so she didn’t seek out opportunities – rather she did not turn down anyone who needed her help.
The setting was grim and fit well with the story and the different plots pull from Poe’s different works. I haven’t read a lot of his stories recently but the ones I’ve read even a decade ago stuck with me, as they have some horrific tendencies. While Of Monsters and Madness didn’t blow me away, I really enjoyed the story and found myself reading it quickly.
A mix of horror, romance and classic literature that engages the reader in a dark setting and plot.