New in paperback! From a New York Times best-selling author, a romantic, historical reimagining of classic Gothic chillers featuring Edgar Allan Poe and his character Annabel Lee.
"Though I try to talk myself out of it, I know I must see what's behind that door."
Summoned to Philadelphia after her mother's death, seventeen-year-old Annabel Lee hopes this new start will be her chance to make her dream of becoming a surgeon a reality.
But there are dark secrets in Annabel's new home: whispers of strange activities, unsavory characters making deliveries in the dead of night, and a wave of murders sweeping the city. And when her father deems her interest in medicine unseemly and forbids her from practicing, she's determined to prove him wrong.
With the help of handsome laboratory assistant Allan Poe and his unsettling cousin, Edgar, Annabel probes into her father's research. But the links she discovers between the experiments being conducted, the stories Allan writes late into the night, and her new city's gruesome crimes can be no coincidence. And she'll sacrifice everything to stop them.
Inspired by Robert Louis Stevenson's The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde and the works of Edgar Allan Poe, Of Monsters and Madness is a Gothic thrill for the modern age.
Praise for Of Monsters and Madness:
"This book was romantic, scary, and deliciously maddening!" Shelly Crane, New York Times and USA Today best-selling author of Significance and Wide Awake
"Madness most magnificent!" The El Paso Times
"Verday offers a haunting portrait of a lonely, intelligent girl, while serving up gore and abundant references to classic Gothic horror stories. A monstrous mashup . . . inventive and engaging."Kirkus Reviews
"Verday's novel is a quick read that hooks readers into the mysterious and gothic atmosphere of Annabel's Philadelphia. The plot is thrilling. . . . Annabel is a strong character."School Library Journal
"[A] pleasing gothic romance and suspenseful mystery." VOYA
About the Author
Jessica Verday is the New York Times best-selling author of The Hollow Trilogy. Her short stories have been featured in The First Time anthology, which she co-edited, and Enthralled: Paranormal Diversions.
She believes a shoe isn't a shoe unless it has a three-inch heel, and nothing beats a great pair of boots. When not daydreaming about moving into a library of her own, she can be found working on her next story, redecorating her office, or buying vintage furniture.
Find out more at www.jessicaverday.com. The author lives in Goodlettsville, TN.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
If you check the Goodreads reviews for Of Monsters and Madness, then the reviewers either love or hate it, whereas the majority seems to hate it (giving 1-2 star ratings). If you go in expecting a story that stays true to Edgar Allan Poe, and his legacy, then you’ll be dissapointed. Poe is massacred here, up to some degree, and mashed and blended with Jekyll & Hyde – there’s friendly, charismatic, handsome Allan, and then there’s creepy, repulsive Edgar. So in other words, Poe meets Stevenson. Even Annabel holds no real resemblance to the Annabel Lee from Poe’s poem, except for her name. If you expected a complicated mystery, then you’ll be dissapointed too. The mystery is quite simple, and some of the characters lack depth. The servants, for instance, are just fillers. Annabel’s Dad is your standard gothic mystery character – ill, and using that illness to explain all his flaws, a recluse who barely leaves the house. The house itself is reminiscent of gothic horror too – a sprawling mansion with dark corridors and secret passages. But despite all that…I enjoyed it. Annabel has an interesting perspective. Even though she appeared to have the personality of a doormat at first, it almost seemed to make sense, especially considering her upbringing and how she didn’t feel at home in this new city, and that was perfectly understandable. As the story progressed, so did Annabel’s personality. She began to shine in ways I hadn’t expected, taking charge of things herself. She stopped wanting to please everyone, and she even stood up for herself every now and then. Annabel herself is more of a mystery than the whole Poe-plot. The writing is gripping and atmospheric, and made this book a fast read. I rushed through the pages, and every break seemed too long. The descriptions of the city were breath-taking, and the book breathes gothic horror. I was impressed, and enjoyed this one. I hope there will be a sequel, because I think Annabel might have some surprises in store for us. I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
/I received an ARC in exchange for an honest review./ So, I was very excited to read this book. I am a huge fan of Edgar Allan Poe, as well as a YA fan, so I thought this would be a nice, fun read to start the RIP IX reading challenge. Unfortunately, this book just left me wondering why anyone would want to write it. Intertwining Edgar Allan Poe, and his writings, with the side story told by Verday has done a huge disservice to both halves. Verday’s own “original” story would have sufficed on its own, and likely been a better tale told. Instead, trying to combine her own narrative with a well known and loved author and his literature, only worked to cheapen her voice, likening it to a poorly written self-insert fanfic than a story of horror and mystery. We begin with the arrival of Annabel Lee, daughter of a disgraced doctor. The novel continually mentions she is from Siam, and how she considers herself ugly because of how different she is, how dark her skin is, how “weird” she is for only knowing the indigenous words for certain things such as ginger. I thought perhaps this is the one positive thing about the novel, we actually might have a novel with a PoC female protagonist. Yet, all that the author mentions is for naught as we learn that Annabel isn’t actually a native of Thailand, but the daughter of an English woman who left England with a group of missionaries in order to keep herself and her daughter from the “shame” of being without a husband/father. This revelation just completely disintegrates any real purpose that Annabel’s Siam origin had. Why not just have Annabel actually be Thai? Why steal all of the culture only to impose it on a “white” character? Having her actually be half Thai, half white would have made much more sense. Annabel, once reunited with her father and grandfather in Philadelphia, meets Allan Poe and his mysterious cousin, Edgar Poe, whom no one admits exists. She falls in love with one and reviles the other. Eventually, she discovers crimes that have been committed and Verday introduces another famous horror story she borrows inspiration from in the form of a secret serum that separates the good from the bad in human nature. That’s right, we also get a bit of RLS’s “The Strange Case of Doctor Jekyll and Mr. Hyde.” If Verday simply made this a story about a foreign daughter coming to meet her father and then stumbling into a set of bizarre crimes, it would have made for such a better story. Instead, her story is interrupted with excerpts from Poe’s works that serve only as a distraction. I don’t even know what else to write about for this review. The book lacked so much substance, it’s difficult to critique. It was a quick read. It was simple and easy to understand, there just wasn’t any reason to it. There wasn’t a reason to read it, let alone write it.
Dark, creepy, romantic, and absolutely amazing! Of Monsters and Madness was a brilliant YA romance. It was delightfully creepy, sweetly romantic, and just fantastic. LOVED THIS BOOK! Annabel was lovely. Since her character is never fully described in the Poe poem, the author had free reign to do as she pleased with the character without me getting annoyed about inaccuracies. And, I think she did a brilliant job. Annabel was an interesting character, a woman doctor in the Regency era who spent her childhood in Siam with her mother (who was a doctor's assistant). She was intrigued by body parts and illnesses, had a unique outlook on life with her unusual upbringing, and all the while was a kind and genuinely likable character. Definitely the kind of girl Poe would have loved. She was clever, strong, and just wonderful. Allan is the love interest in this book (as in Allan Poe) and he was amazing. He was so sweet and adorable. This book was set during an obscure time in Poe's early life, so, again, there wasn't much worry about annoying inaccuracies. I think he was a wonderfully portrayed. A sweet, thoughtful aspiring writer with dark stories swirling in his head. I adored him. The romance was lovely. Annabel and Allen were a perfect match, with all their eccentricities. The romance wasn't the main focus of the book, but it was an important element (we're talking Annabel Lee here) and it was well done. The plot was fast paced and I was hooked the entire way through. There were plenty of thrills that kept me on the edge of my seat, with a murderer on the loose. I suspected what was going on, but I was definitely surprised by the full extent of it and who was involved. I really enjoyed the story and the ending has me anxious to get my hands on book 2. Can't wait to read what happens next! Of Monsters and Madness was a brilliant YA romance. The incorporation of Poe and his stories was flawless, the romance was very sweet, and the mystery was thrilling. YA lovers and Poe lovers, this is a book you don't want to miss. *I received a complimentary copy from the publisher in exchange for an honest review