{Review/Giveaway} OF MONSTERS AND MADNESS by Jessica Verday

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O P E N I N G   H O O K:

   MY BREATH IS QUICK. It abandons me, then rushes back so fiercely I fear I'm going to faint. The horrors--such horrors!--lie before me.
(Page 9, US e-book edition)

Fall is the season for everything creepy and crawly. It's during September and October that I most want to read atmospheric novels. Jessica Verday's new release OF MONSTERS AND MADNESS certainly lives up to the season. It's gothic and eerie, setting the mood on page one as it opens up a macabre, grisly scene.

After Annabel Lee's mother dies, she moves to the United States, where she moves in with the father she's never met and the grandfather she never even knew she had. But something dark and sinister is happening in Philadelphia and people are being murdered. Annabel Lee is safe only if she stays home...but with her father's strange experiments going on at night, is she as safe as she believes herself to be?

OF MONSTERS AND MEN uses elements from THE STRANGE CASE OF DR. JEKYLL AND MR. HYDE by Robert Lous Stevenson and various Edgar Allen Poe pieces, especially his final poem "Annabel Lee." In fact, Annabel Lee is the novel's main character and Edgar Allen Poe plays a major role in the novel. (And I'll whisper to you that as I was reading, I kept having refrains of the song "Murder, Murder" from the Broadway musical Jekyll and Hyde in my head. Every time there was a new murder and the sordid details were revealed, I'd hear it all over again! (Go ahead and take a listen! There's also a visual video of the scene, complete with the dialogue cut from the song!)

If you're a fan of Megan Shepherd's THE MADMAN'S DAUGHTER (My Review) and its sequel HER DARK CURIOSITY, Verday's new tale will be right up your alley. These books belong next to one another on your bookshelf. Ironically, this past summer I read another book inspired by "Annabel Lee," ASHES ON THE WAVES by Mary Lindsey, though the two titles are wildly different from one another (My Review).

One really cool element of the novel, to me, that really embraced the mood was the backdrop of 1826 Philadelphia. From the moment Annabel Lee steps past Rittenhouse Square (Previously called Southwest Square until a recent renaming, teaching me new history about this city I've grown up taking advantage of) to the fact that Poe lived in the area (How did I never know this? Suddenly, I want to go exploring!), it enhanced my visual images of her surroundings because it was an area I was familiar with.

So if you want something to give you chills this season, OF MONSTERS AND MADNESS is the one to add to your list!
C O V E R   D E S I G N:


If you're looking for an atmospheric book to read this fall, wouldn't you pick this one up on the cover alone? It definitely does its job!
O F F I C I A   I N F O:

Author: Jessica Verday
Release Date: Sept. 9, 2014
Publisher: EgmontUSA
Received: For 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.
Jessica Verday is the New York Times best-selling author of The Hollow trilogy. She wrote the first draft of THE HOLLOW by hand, using thirteen spiral-bound notebooks and fifteen black pens. The first draft of THE HAUNTED took fifteen spiral-bound notebooks and twenty black pens. THE HIDDEN took too many notebooks and too many pens to count. She lives in Goodlettsville, Tennessee, with her husband. You can visit her online at www.jessicaverday.com.

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  1. Trick or treating with my brother scared walking door to door in the dark all the candy.


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