Maplecroft: The Borden Dispatches #1 (Review)

20821288Title: Maplecroft (The Borden Dispatches #1)
Author:  Cherie Priest
Genre:  Fantasy; Urban Fantasy; Horror

Publisher: Roc Trade
Release Date:  September 2, 2014
Format:  E-book
Acquired:  Amazon Purchase
Pages:  448

Date Finished:  September 26, 2014
3.5 Starts

Goodreads Description

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 Review

Hmmmm…I don’t know exactly what to say about this book.  It had its ups and downs.  It ended up with a very middle of the road rating.  I neither loved nor hated it.

Lizzie Borden has always fascinated me.  The story is horrific, and even though everyone assumes Lizzie Borden killed her parents, she was never convicted of the murders.  With that being said, I was naturally drawn to the book.  I liked the concept of a supernatural twist.  What if there was a terrible scourge that turned Lizzie’s parents into something horrible and she HAD to kill them?  Well…that is exactly what happened in this twist.  Now, this is where things fell apart.  It was a great concept, but the delivery was mediocre.

I liked the characters.  I thought Lizzie and Emma were very realistic.  They kept to themselves, basically sequestered from society because of the stigma of the murders.  They relied heavily on each other.  Lizzie and Emma had seen first hand what happened to their parents as they turned into something other than human, and they leaned on each other for support.  Both of them were mentally tough, and they pushed societal boundaries, which I really liked.  Usually good characters are enough to keep me tied to a story.  Unfortunately, that was not the case with this one.

The story got bogged down in several spots.  There was a lot going on in this book, and the plot lines seemed very haphazard at times.  If the author had been more concise with the plot lines and shortened the book, I think it would have been better.  I was really ready for the book to be done when I hit the 75% mark.  The end of the book also really bothered me.  There were no answers.  I like answers.  I really like answers when you are dealing with a completely new type of “monster” the author dreamed up.  I wanted some type of origin story.  I didn’t get it.


I was left feeling pretty ho-hum about this book.  It had a dark, creepy quality, and it had a couple of shock-value moments, but overall, it left me feeling flat.  3 1/2 stars was all I could muster for this one.

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