Monday, February 2, 2015

Maplecroft by Cherie Priest

 A very interesting concept here, as Priest steals a page from Saberhagen's Dracula books and makes us look at a villain, Lizzie Borden, in a whole new perspective. As it turns out, Borden's parents were either possessed or infected by a supernatural disease, which was slowly turning them into violent monsters, and she acted in defense of herself, her sister, and the entire town by hacking them to death with an axe. Though she was acquitted of murder, she has never been treated the same by her neighbors since that dreadful day, and she and her sister, Emma, have carried on secret research into the nature of the infestation that twisted their parents, and have been fighting off attacks from monstrous creatures ever since that day.

The whole concept has a very deeply disturbing Lovecraftian darkness, and a hanging dread infuses the story. Like Tess of the d'Urbervilles, I kept pushing through hoping for a light in the tunnel, but there are no happy endings here, and we leave the novel more mystified than when we first began. Though the story is told from a handful of different points of view, I didn't feel that Priest did a very good job of distinguishing their voices; they all sounded much the same to me, stylistically, even while their perspective on matters changed. Not my cup of tea, but an intriguing idea, at least.

I wouldn't be adverse to trying another one of Priest's series, anyway.

No comments: