Of Monsters and Madness
By Jessica Verday
Expected publication September 9, 2014 by EgmontUSA
Annabel Lee will never forget the life she had in Siam with her mother but now she must try to make a new life with her father in Philadelphia. Her father expects her to be completely different than she is used to and things only grow more complicated when she meets his mysterious assistant, Edgar. Or is it Allan?
I'm a big fan of historical fiction, particularly when it features a real-life figure. This book explores Edgar Allan Poe's history and the inspiration behind his works. I was pretty jazzed to get started with this one.
The best I can say about it is that it's a quick read - I read about half the book in about 45 minutes one night. Unfortunately, not much else about the book stands out. Annabel is a pretty flat character - yes, she wants to be a doctor, but that's about the only personal information we get about her. It seems like Verday wants to set up a mysterious tone in the novel, what with the intrigue surrounding Edgar and Allan, but it's really just not that interesting. It was clear to me early on what the story was regarding those two, so I wasn't terribly invested in reaching the ending. Additionally, while I'm all for creating new stories for well-known characters and people, Verday's take on Poe was just too out there for me. The romance doesn't work, the writing is just bland, and the ending is very unsatisfactory. It just didn't work for me.
Thanks to the publisher for a digital advance reader's copy, provided via Edelweiss.