*I received this book as an eARC from Egmont USA on NetGalley in exchange for an honest review*
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Title: Of Monsters and Madness
Author: Jessica Verdey
Publication Date: September 9, 2014
Synopsis: 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.
Annabel Lee is summoned from Siam to live with her father in 1820's Philadelphia shortly after her mother's death, but an unconventional upbringing makes her repugnant to her angry, secretive father.
Annabel becomes infatuated with her father's assistant Allan, who dabbles in writing when he's not helping with medical advancements. But in darker hours, when she's not to be roaming the house, she encounters the devilish assistant Edgar, who bears an uncanny resemblance to Allan, and who others insist doesn't exist.
A rash of murders across Philadelphia, coupled with her father's strange behavior, leads Annabel to satisfy her curiosity and uncover a terrible truth: Edgar and Allan are two halves of the same person - and they are about to make the crimes detailed in Allan's stories come to life. Unless Annabel stops them.
Why?: I love retellings, so when I stumbled across this book I knew I had to read it. Annabel Lee is a really interesting poem, and I really enjoy reading new takes on it... even though I know they'll probably break my heart. I mean, the poem is sad so why shouldn't a retelling be just as heartbreaking? Also, I kind of love that the two assistants are named Edgar and Allan.
Expectations: I've never read anything from Jessica Verdey, but I have pretty high expectations for this book. I think anyone who tackles an Edgar Allan Poe retelling has to be pretty brave and know what they're doing. I'm expecting this book to be pretty creepy and keep me on the edge of my seat. Also, I expect to eventually be really sad at some point in this series because Annabel Lee is doomed from the start.
Judging a book by its cover: I really like this cover. I like how it's creepy and how the girl looks very ghost-like. I think it really accurately portrays monsters and madness, and definitely has an Edgar Allan Poe feel to it. Honestly, this cover drew me to the book in the first place, so I would totally pick it up off a shelf in a bookstore or a library.