Book Review: Maplecroft by Cherie Priest

September 29, 2014 Blog, Book Reviews 2

Horrifying MondaysHorrifying Mondays is all about what scares us. The horror behind the curtains that we refuse to open, the creatures in the dark, and sometimes those creatures that are in the open!

Each Monday will bring a different horror… to help you cope with the horror that is Monday with the horrors that are in the fantasy world.




Horror for Today: Monsters!

Maplecroft Maplecroft
by Cherie Priest
Series: The Borden Dispatches #1
Published by Roc Trade on September 2nd 2014
Genres: Fantasy, Historical, Paranormal
Pages: 448
Format: eBook
Source: Purchase

Lizzie Borden took an axe and gave her mother forty whacks; and when she saw what she had done, she gave her father forty-one….

The people of Fall River, Massachusetts, fear me. Perhaps rightfully so. I remain a suspect in the brutal deaths of my father and his second wife despite the verdict of innocence at my trial. With our inheritance, my sister, Emma, and I have taken up residence in Maplecroft, a mansion near the sea and far from gossip and scrutiny.

But it is not far enough from the affliction that possessed my parents. Their characters, their very souls, were consumed from within by something that left malevolent entities in their place. It originates from the ocean’s depths, plaguing the populace with tides of nightmares and madness.

This evil cannot hide from me. No matter what guise it assumes, I will be waiting for it. With an axe.

My Thoughts Horror

Well, this was a knee jerk purchase. I saw that cover and just couldn’t help myself. After reading the synopsis I just thought this would be a match made in heaven! Sadly, there were some up’s and down’s with this one.

One of my favorite characters was Dr. Owen Seabury. His descent was so perfectly orchestrated, and written! I loved every minute of it. And I think Cherie Priest did do a good job on letting us into the character’s minds but I think maybe it was a bit too much. Knowing everything about how everyone in the story thinks drug the entire plot down a bit. Although, I did like the characters. Lizzie especially is very interesting and courageous.

What I didn’t like was the way the story would get all ratcheted up, all this crazy stuff happening, and then completely sputter out. It reminds me of my abilities (or lack thereof) with starting a fire. I get so excited that I finally did it and just when I think I can step back and enjoy my handiwork, poof… fizzles out. I think that the lows just didn’t really match the highs. And I get that you can’t constantly have highs but I think the lows just left me wanting to put the book down. It was disjointed in a way instead of keeping the story progressing, those lows really slowed it down.

For me and especially since it has the Lovecraftian vibe that so many love, I think this could have been a slight bit more horrific. There are some scenes that definitely hit the creep factor and had me turning pages like a mad woman but then that creep factor would teeter out and I would be left curious as to where it all went.

I’m also sad about the ending. I want to know more but I don’t know if I want to know more enough to buy a second book. This did leave me curious though, so that’s a good thing overall.

In short: it was a good book. Creepy at times, slow at others. Overall not bad!

Horror Meter: 2/5

Gore: 3/5

Shock Factor: 2/5

Emotions: 4/5

Total Scare: 3/5

The Author Horror

About Cherie Priest

Cherie Priest is the author of more than a dozen books, including the steampunk pulp adventures Dreadnought, Clementine, Ganymede, and Boneshaker. Boneshaker was nominated for both the Hugo Award and the Nebula Award; it was a PNBA Award winner, and winner of the Locus Award for Best Science Fiction Novel. Cherie also wrote Fathom and the Eden Moore series from Tor (Macmillan), Bloodshot and Hellbent for Bantam, and three novellas published by Subterranean Press. In addition to all of the above, she is a newly minted member of the Wild Cards Consortium - and her first foray into George R. R. Martin's superhero universe, Fort Freak (for which she wrote the frame story), debuted in 2011. Cherie's short stories and nonfiction articles have appeared in such fine publications as Weird Tales, Subterranean Magazine, Publishers Weekly, The Living Dead 2, and the Thackeray T. Lambshead Cabinet of Curiosities. She presently lives in Chattanooga, TN, with her husband, a fluffy young dog, and a fat black cat.

One StarOne StarOne Star

2 Responses to “Book Review: Maplecroft by Cherie Priest”

    • Christina

      Yeah, I was thinking about that but really… this just didn’t work as well as I hoped. My hubby says I had to lower my expectations to be happy. They were pretty high!