Genre: Modern Gothic, 218 pages
Summary: Sophie Joyce, a young writer, soon becomes a part of best selling author Hilliard Ravensdale’s elitist world. Yet, what she desperately wants comes at a terrible price, revealing a secret from Hilliard’s past that will threaten to destroy them both. Award-winning author Kimberly Richardson turns her literary eye to the world of sex, control, uprisings, secrets, and lies, all wrapped within a story worthy to be called modern Gothic.
Review – This book grabbed me and pulled me into it so quickly it was great. It revolves around two literary types, Hilliard is an established author and Sophie, a new author who has recently taken the literary world by storm. They date, have issues, move in together, have depression issues and ex-boyfriend issues and finally have to handle a secret from Hilliard’s past.
This story is funny, moving, sad, weird, moody and intense. It is ultimately a love story between our two main characters, but these artistic folks are flawed and messed up in the head. They also feel quite superior to the normal folks/riff raff, so Hilliard teaches Sophie how to be one of the literary elite. Sophie has never really fit in because she is so much smarter than us average Joes, so they feel better about themselves by assuming they are rock stars and acting like it too. That whole side of the story was interesting, but got to be a little much.
This book is a reflection piece, both characters are looking back at their relationship from some point in the future. So you think you know how it will be at the end. Or do you? Even though it is reflection, the reader finds out with the characters all their feelings and thoughts (chapters go back and forth between their first person POV). You think you get a hint of the future, but not really.
One thing that almost pissed me off about Hilliard – he made fun of Sophie for reading a steampunk book – or rather wanted to make fun of her. That type of superior attitude really hit home for me. Jerk. (No one ever makes fun of my reading material in real life – can you tell?!) He was kind of like that tool that wrote that editorial about how adults shouldn’t read YA, without ever having read YA himself.
There are fantasy elements, but they are treated like magical realism, they are just part of life and aren’t treated specially or fantastically in any way. There was little wonder on the parts of the characters even though some amazing things happen.
So all in all, I enjoyed the book, even though the snotty characters got to me at first. The storyline went places I didn’t dream it would until I got close to each reveal, then it unfolds organically. I really got into the writing and ideas, especially after reading Mabon and Pomegranate (review posting 12/22) and The Decembrists back to back. Richardson has her themes, that is for sure. I give it 3.5-4 stars.
About the Author: After found as an infant crawling among books in an abandoned library, Kimberly Richardson grew up to become an eccentric woman with a taste for jazz, drinking tea, reading books, speaking French and Japanese, playing her violin and writing stories that cause people to make the strangest faces. Her first book, Tales From a Goth Librarian, was published through Kerlak Publishing and named a Finalist in both the USA Book News Awards for Fiction: Short Story for 2009 and the International Book Awards for Fiction: Short Story in 2010. Ms. Richardson is also the Editor of the award winning Steampunk anthology Dreams of Steam, the award winning sequel, Dreams of Steam II: Of Brass and Bolts, and the upcoming Dreams of Steam III, all published through Kerlak Publishing. Other short stories and poetry by Ms. Richardson have been published through Sam’s Dot Publishing, Midnight Screaming and FootHills Publishing. Her first full-length novel, The Decembrists (Kerlak Publishing), will be out in 2012. Her other book, Mabon and Pomegranate (Kerlak Publishing), will be out in 2012 as well.
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Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book for review from First Rule Publicity from the author as part of a virtual book tour. I was not compensated nor was I 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.”