Review: Maplecroft the Borden dispatches

Today I thought I’d try my hand at a review. As a near constant reader, I tear through books pretty quickly. The downside is that I don’t always give myself the opportunity to leave a review for the author. As a writer myself, I know how frustrating it can be to not receive a review on your work.  I’m hoping that this blog can help me to improve on that.  So my first review on this site is going to be for Maplecroft: The Borden Dispatches by Cherie Priest.

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Ok, so I’m going to preface this review with an apology. I love to read, however, my reading addiction has resulted in a to be read list that is miles long. Due to the sheer size of my reading list, a number of books have yet to be touched. Up until recently, this book was on that list. This book ended up on my to be read list for two very important reasons: first, Cherie Priest is an awesome writer; second I find the history of the Borden case to be fascinating. So to combine the two elements, I was going to end up either elated, or highly disappointed.

Luckily I was elated. Cherie Priest has been able to capture the location and time of the crimes, mix in some Lovecraftian elements, and create a dark and foreboding atmosphere.  I may face some backlash for saying this, but i was pleasantly surprised to learn that Ms. Priest is better at the lovecraftian elements than the master himself.

The people of Fall River are under attack by a mysterious force. Some are drawn to the sea, watching and listening. Those affected begin to change. We witness this change through the eyes of several characters. First and foremost, we see through the eyes of Lizzie Borden herself. We see that she did use the axe to end the lives of her father and stepmother. But we also learn why.

The story is made up of first person accounts from Lizzie, her sister Emma, and the town doctor. Added into this are a number of ties to the works of Lovecraft – including Miskatonic University.

The sense of dread permeates the pages of this story. The residents of Fall River are becoming aware that something is not quite right in their town, but there is a sense of futility to solving the strange mystery at the heart of the terrifying transformations.

If you like a horror story with strong female leads, Maplecroft is an excellent choice.

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