Thursday, March 27, 2014

NERC Review #11: Of Monsters and Madness by Jessica Verday

*I received an eARC of this from Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review.

I wanted to read this book because of one thing: Edgar Allan Poe. I love his work, even if it is dark, morbid, and generally horror-like. Plus, this book sounded really dark and creepy, which I love. But I thought Of Monsters and Madness was really "tame" compared to other paranormal/horror fiction novels I've read. I wanted something more.

Rating: 3 stars!
Let me just say that I really enjoyed Annabel Lee's POV. She was a likable character who came to live with a father that abandoned her and to a society that has all kinds of rules for women. Her innocence and general view that there is good in everyone was refreshing. However, sometimes she forsake commonsense. There's a murderer on the loose in the marketplace? That doesn't matter to her, because she goes there so many times and even once on her own. Even after learning about Allan, she still decides to meet him. ALONE. It was decisions like those that made me cringe. No sense of self-preservation, really. But if she had to risk her life for someone she loved, she'd do it in a heartbeat. That balanced out her need to rush headfirst into a dangerous situation.

The secondary characters all played their own roles in this novel. I generally liked them (except a few), although they weren't major players. I loved Maddy, and how she became a good friend to Annabel. Her grandfather was also a lovable character, a man who just wants to know his granddaughter and give her a good life now that she's lost her mother. I liked Allan, the quiet poet who is also dark and mysterious. 

But the romance between him and Annabel was a little too underdeveloped for me. I think it has to do with the fact that this is set in an historical period, and the romances tend to be sweet, innocent, and not filled with angst (at least for YA novels). I just wanted a little more out of them, and maybe more interactions. I didn't think there'd been enough to warrant a deep love. 

Presumably, their romance will be further developed in the sequel. And yes, there is a sequel. I didn't even think there would be one until that horrid cliffhanger! I just don't know if I'm really excited to read it. I won't be counting down the days to its release, that's for sure. I don't even know where it's going to go.

But the thing that I really hated about this novel was the fact that it was so light, even with the gothic and horror feel to it. I was never scared. I never bit down on my nails in suspense. I pretty much read all of this novel in my classes, which could be the reason why. However, I don't think it is. Not to mention, the mystery behind Allan was extremely easy to figure out. It might have been easier for me to figure out because I skimmed the reviews on Goodreads. But it just wasn't played up enough for me, and the novel wasn't as dark as I imagined it'd be. I was slightly disappointed because of that.

I liked Of Monsters and Madness, and I might even read the sequel. But the mystery was so easy to guess, and the novel just wasn't that dark. And I don't think Edgar Allan Poe lovers will enjoy this book.