Monday, December 24, 2012

Book Review: The Twisted Tragedy of Miss Natalie Stewart, by Leanna Renee Hieber

Compared to the first book, Darker Still: A Novel of Magic Most Foul, The Twisted Tragedy of Miss Natalie Stewart left me wanting.

I found Darker Still to be macabre, tense, and clever in it's solution. Twisted Tragedy seemed superficial, unnecessarily complicated, and somewhat difficult to follow. There's the demon, and the Society, which are both "bad." But, I had a hard time following how they were related.

Supposedly Natalie and Jonathon are in grave danger throughout the entire book, but I never felt any tension (except for at the end in Maggie's room.) I didn't understand what they were afraid of, and the fear seemed very circular, rather than building to a crescendo. For example: Why did we meet Samuel? I guess he was in danger, but Jonathan and Natalie leave him. And then we "hear" at the end of the book that he's OK. I didn't get the point of that character, and it just confused the plot and took away from the main characters.

The best part is the relationship between Natalie and Jonathon. I loved the romantic parts, and the difficulty they had trying to comply with the Victorian societal norms. These scenes didn't happen often enough! I also loved the Victorian setting.

I didn't get the homage to Poe or Stoker, as I felt Darker Still possessed. There were parts of Twisted Tragedy that were dark, but I didn't feel the consistency.

I do like the characters. Mrs. Northe plays a small role in Twisted Tragedy, but she isn't nearly as clever as in Darker Still. If I choose to read the next book, it will be because of Natalie and Jonathon. I may need to experience their "happily ever after," but I'm not sure if I can tolerate the lack of a cohesive threat that I experienced in Twisted Tragedy.

Published by Sourcebooks Fire, November 1, 2012
eBook obtained from NetGalley
336 pages

Rating: 3/5

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1 comment:

  1. I felt "Darker Still" had a lot of potential, but the story didn't go anywhere for me. After reading your review of book 2, I feel like where are exactly where we left off in book 1.


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