Verday, Jessica, Of Monsters and Madness, 288 pgs. EgmontUSA, 2014. $17.99. Language: G; Mature Content: PG; Violence: PG
After her mother’s death, Annabel Lee is sent to live in Philadelphia with the father she knows nothing about. Annabel wishes to study medicine, but in the 19th century, this career choice is deemed unacceptable for a woman. Unable to quiet her scientific curiosity she becomes interested in her father’s research. With the help of his handsome lab assistant, Allan Poe, she will soon find herself swept up in a gothic tale of secrets, murder, and monstrous experiments.
A passable attempt at historical fiction with an overlay of literary nods, this book fails to make a lasting impression on the reader. The gothic book’s plot is emotionally driven with Edgar Allan Poe and his stories playing a major role. This ploy is misguided and fails to work as the author intended as throughout the novel Poe’s presence proves to be unnecessary and simply a hokey devise for the author to appear clever. However, setting aside the plot gimmicks, fans of creepy gothic stories will most likely enjoy the book, although many will find it hard to garner much enthusiasm for the next book in the series.