Book Review: Charlotte Markham and the House of Darkling | Alexia's Books and Such: Book Review: Charlotte Markham and the House of Darkling

“Books are for people who wish they were somewhere else.” ~ Mark Twain

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Book Review: Charlotte Markham and the House of Darkling

Charlotte Markham and the House of Darkling by Michael Boccacino


"Charlotte Markham and the House of Darkling" is a Victorian Gothic tale about family ties, the realm beyond the living, and the price you pay to save those you love. (Goodreads)

This is one of those books that I would not have picked up on my own, as I'm not a huge Victorian Gothic fan. But thanks to BEA, I met the author at a publisher party and was impressed. Very impressed! I mean, how could you not like a man who is both a Neil Gaiman and Doctor Who fan? Please! He had me at Neil Gaiman...

So, interest in the author leads to interest in reading his book. Very happy that it did not disappoint, because how embarrassing would that be?

My Thoughts:
Charlotte is governess to the two Darrow boys. Seems to be SOP that a Victorian lady who has fallen on hard times becomes a governess. Charlotte has fallen on very hard times, losing both parents as well as her husband. Just who is the shadowy figure she glimpses at the moment of their deaths? Is someone stalking Charlotte? Is someone deliberately murdering her loved ones, or is it a figment of her imagination? *cue ominous music*

When the Darrow family nanny is brutally murdered, Charlotte steps in to fill that role as well. Things become a little bizarre after the murder, as Charlotte and the boys discover the House of Darkling in The Ending, a mysterious place with strange inhabitants. The strangest inhabitant is Lily Darrow, the boy's mother. The boy's dead mother.

Charlotte soon finds herself in a battle of wits with the master of the House of Darkling. Not exactly sure what the stakes are or if there are any rules, Charlotte knows that she must do her best to protect the boys at any cost. As for the handsome Widower Darrow, well, isn't it SOP for the master of the house to fall in love with the governess? Not that there's anything wrong with that....

Enjoyed the overall story, as I found it both original and interesting. The supernatural element kept me intrigued enough to want to stick around and see what happened next. Found myself more interested in the characters in The Ending than the "real" people in the village, but I'm a sucker for monsters and otherworldly creatures.

While still not a convert to Victorian Gothic, I did like this story. The author definitely has talent and it's hard to believe that this is his first novel, as the words flow smoothly and the story is well polished. Will be curious to see what he comes up with next!

12 comments:

  1. Oh interesting. Thanks for sharing this one. I don't think I've read much of Victorian Gothic.

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    1. I'm not a big gothic reader, but I did like the supernatural aspects!

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  2. Victorian, Gothic? Now, this sounds just like my kind of read. So glad you enjoyed this even if you aren't a convert.

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    1. Would love to see what you think of this one if you do pick it up!

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  3. Yes, thanks for sharing this one. I hadn't heard of it but it sounds quite good!

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    1. Glad to help! I like to test the waters every now and again, as I tend to get it a reading rut at times and OD on werewolves and vampires!

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  4. that sounds like kind of a fun read. i don't think i've read Victorian Gothic before either!

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    1. Hope you give it a read, as it did have its moments, as well as a good ending!

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  5. I loved the voice the author has in this book and like you enjoyed the character from The Ending way more than the human ones.

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    1. I actually thought of you as I was reading this one! Will have to go back and read your review now. :)

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  6. Oooh....now I'm doubly interested! I was already curious about the cover but the story is vaguely reminding me of Daniel Radcliffe's latest movie venture. Definitely gonna have to check this one out. Thanks for the fab review!

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