3 journalers for this copy...
Posted to nefertari
What follows is a compelling story of weirdness and horror, which keeps on giving until the very end. Moreno-Garcia manages to create and maintain a sinister atmosphere and tension, and her descriptions are definitely gruesome!
One of the things I especially liked was the fact that the author has written this with the canon of gothic fiction in mind and flipped some of those well worn ideas around.
Thank you again to ReetPetite for sending this. It will be travelling to Apechild very soon.
CONTROLLED RELEASE NOTES:
She arrives at a crumbling mansion in the misty mountains, populated by a silent, arrogant English family - well descended from the English - who sneer down their noses at everyone, are intensely unwelcoming to guests and have an unsettling interest in eugenics. Catalina, the cousin, seems to be drugged out of her head, and Noemi is rarely permitted to see her. The longer she stays, the more she learns about the family's miserable history on the mountain and all the tragedies that have beset them - and yet they all stay there, living in one another's pockets and being utterly miserable. I won't write about what is going on - it's an interesting premise, a bit natural world sci fi and rather creepy. I have to admit when they mentioned shipping lots of earth over from England for the roses, I did think, aye up - vampires!
I suppose the gothic elements, such as the weak women being bullied and tormented by big arrogant men are there - just consider weak Catalina and her beautiful yet utterly lacking in empathy husband Virigl. He is vile. Although he veered into the pantomime villian too much for me. He always seemed to be skipping in delighting in tormenting people with a wicked grin on his face and explaining things away. In general I find this is where books can fall down, when they have this great plot and solution, but the villians feel the need to explain everything away for you. In a twist though, the gothic formula gets turned on its head, and it's actually the female, Noemi, who rescues the weak man, Francis, from the torment. Although how weak is Francis? Given they're all raised in this house and take it all for granted that this is how the world is, he seems to be the only one with the capacity to think outside the box and wonder if it might be wrong. And Noemi.... a curious heroine who saves the day, although there's a bit too much arm folding and stropping at times.
I did enjoy this book I just think more could have been made of the plot and the atmosphere rather than Noemie being taken back and forth from her room for a large part of the book, then all the solution being thrown at you in a mad rush at the end.
WILD RELEASE NOTES: