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review 2016-06-20 21:01
Annabel Lee: A Coffey & Lee Novel by Mike Nappa (review)
Annabel Lee (Coffey & Hill) - Mike Nappa

I never thought I would want to gush about a thriller, but this hit an unknown sweet spot for me. Action, suspense, a child in jeopardy, evil bad guys with many minions, heroes and a heroine that you want to root for.


As much as I want to gush, I don't want to be the one to spoil any of the suspense, so I will simply share a few of the things that are not too plot related.


The story is told from three points of view, with only Annabel's being in first person. Annabel lives on a farm in Peachtree, Alabama. She is months away from her twelfth birthday, and has been home schooled by her uncle. When she is left in the bunker with the guard dog, she does not understand why. We experience this through her eyes.


Trudi Coffey has a degree in English lit but now works as a private investigator. Her part of the narrative is told in third person, and it is in her sections that we get to know Samuel Lee, her ex-husband (a descriptor that she generally follows up mentally with "the pig.") and former business partner.


The third perspective is that of an Iraq veteran known as The Mute. Also told in third person, it is primarily in his sections that we learn more about Leonard Truckson's past. Having his perspective was a surprise to me, and I am so glad that the author chose to let us into his head.


If this had been an action movie rather than a book, I think that the portrayal of the villains might have gone over the top - as they often seem to do when the characters are of Middle Eastern or German origins. Here, while they are extreme characters, the author seems to have used enough restraint that they are not overblown.


The characters are interesting, the storyline compelling, and the action is riveting. I read this straight through with a few necessary breaks to eat and sleep. The resolution is satisfying and everything is wrapped up nicely, including a much appreciated epilogue.
This is an edited version of the review originally published on bookworlder.wordpress.com at http://wp.me/p5Tcfi-1iz

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

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review 2014-09-12 15:59
Of Monsters and Madness by Jessica Verday
Of Monsters and Madness - Jessica Verday

Publication: September 9, 2014 by EgmontUSA



Goodreads Summary:

" 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. "


This is a fun, entertaining, and creepy read that is great for Halloween. I honestly do not have much to say about this book because there was not much to it. It's an interesting little story.


I would consider myself a fan of Edgar Allan Poe's work and so the retelling aspect of the story definitely intrigued me. I enjoyed seeing what the author did with Poe and Annabel Lee. 

This book is also set in a historical fiction setting that creates a wonderfully dark mood. Philadelphia made for a haunting setting that gave me the creeps.

I don't have much to say about Annabel's character. She has a hard time adjusting to life in her father's home, which is understandable. She has a strong will to be a doctor and to transcend a woman's role of that time. She has admirable traits, however, she bored me and I didn't find her overly intriguing.


The mystery and the plot is what kept me reading. I had to find out what these secrets were and how everything was going to play out. The pacing is fairly slow with a day by day time line, but I didn't mind. I can't say that I was blown away by the ending. It was slightly predictable and abrupt. I'm not sure if there is going to be a sequel, but the ending is left open for one. I'm not sure if I would read the sequel though.


If you are a hardcore fan of Edgar Allan Poe, I would not suggest this book for you because the author takes many liberties with his life and the story is definitely not accurate.


Overall, if you're looking for a quick, creepy read for the Halloween season, this might be a good one. However, I think if you are a huge fan of horror, this book will probably not impress you.


* I received an eARC copy of this book from Edelweiss and EgmontUSA in return for an honest review. *

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review 2013-10-19 05:33
Annabel Lee - Edgar Allan Poe


Inspired by the creepy season, I have been reading Edgar Allan Poe's biography by Jeffrey Meyers. One of the interesting tidbits that came up was that he married his first cousin, Virginia Clemm, when she was only 13 years old.  Virginia was an attractive girl with a well rounded figure and the appearance of a more mature woman. She had a gentle nature and aspired to be a skilled musician and singer.


In a tearful letter to his Aunt Maria, Virginia's mother, Poe swore his fervent devotion to Virginia, so tormented was he that she might leave him. 

After secretly marrying in September 1935, Poe, then 27 years old, publicly married Virginia on May 16th, 1836; she had not quite reached her 14th year. Poe declared passionately that he loved Virginia, although throughout his married years he did not appear that ardent. Virginia was said to have loved Poe first as a brother or cousin, but
eventually grew to love him as a husband and lover.

Sadly, in 1847, Virginia died at the very young age of 25 years from Tuberculosis, the same illness that robbed Poe of his mother, Eliza Poe. Poe was devastated. The impact of the deaths of his loved ones by the same disease are clearly reflected in his poems. While The Raven might illuminate Poe's constant fear of the "messenger of death", Ulalume and Annabel Lee were undoubtedly inspired by Virginia's life. In May 1849, he completed the latter, and although many of Poe's other lady loves had claimed it was, in part, about them, Annabel Leereferenced in the lines, " she was a child," and " my life and my bride" undeniably would have been Virginia. The seemingly fairytale quality would suggest that it was a loving tribute to the gentle, fragile Virginia, however inadequate a consolation to his broken heart.




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review 2012-11-05 00:00
Annabel Lee - Edgar Allan Poe 1982I can't objectively say that this is great poetry, but I know that it is a most haunting and memorable poem. And I love me some Poe.***2012 November 5And aafter 30 years, I still love Poe's unusual rhyme scheme, the echo of the lines, and much more so than before, I feel the pain that would inspire the idea of the angels being jealous of their love. It's a sweeter thought to hold on to that TB killed his beloved for no good reason.Available online
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review 2012-10-13 00:00
The Raven - Ulalume - Annabel Lee - Edgar Allan Poe,Fernando Pessoa,Antonio Bruno,Gabriele Baldini,Elio Chinol The Raven: Once Upon a midnight dreary, while I pondered, weak and weary,Annabel Lee: It was many and many a year agoUlalume: The skies they were ashen and soberRe-read for the spooky month3.5* October Skies3* Dark EchoCR Last Rituals5* 3 Poems from Poe
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