Charlotte Markham

Go Ahead, Take a Trip to the House of Darkling, But Will You Want to Come Back?

ThTi­tle

Title: Char­lotte Markham and the House of Dark­ling
(Ama­zon, Goodreads)
Author: Michael Boc­ca­ciano
(Ama­zon, Goodreads)
Series: None
Pub­lisher: William Mor­row
Genre: Adult, Fan­tasy, Gothic
For­mat: EBook
Source: Author (met at BEA 2012)

Syn­op­sis:

Debut nov­el­ist Michael Boc­ca­cino invites read­ers into the world beyond the realm of the liv­ing in Char­lotte Markham and the House of Dark­ling, a Vic­to­rian gothic tale of the strange and super­nat­ural. But all who enter this house must beware–for there is a price to pay for vis­i­tors who wish to save those they love. The story of a British gov­erness and her young charges seduced by the oth­er­worldly entice­ments of a mys­te­ri­ous man­sion in the for­est fol­low­ing the inex­plic­a­ble death of the for­mer nanny, this Tim Burton-like tale of dark fan­tasy is a bewitch­ing treat for fans of hor­ror and para­nor­mal fic­tion, as well as read­ers who love creepy gothic tales and mys­te­ri­ous shad­owy Eng­lish manor houses. Not since Suzanna Clarke intro­duced Jonathan Strange to Mr. Nor­rell, and Neil Gaiman’s Cora­line crawled through a secret door into a twisted and sin­is­ter mir­ror world, has there been a jour­ney as won­drously fan­tas­tic and ter­ri­fy­ing as Char­lotte Markham’s adven­tures in the House of Darkling.

Review:

I met Boc­ca­cino at an event dur­ing BEA this year, and he sold me on his book.  We dis­cussed many books that I enjoyed as well as his upcom­ing novel.  I couldn’t wait to get it in my hands, and he kindly sent me an e-book of it.

The first half was some­what slow and very typ­i­cal of a gothic novel.  With plenty of story build­ing, and smaller events to pull you into the story, it took some time to really start mov­ing, but once the story picked up pace, Boc­ca­cino didn’t stop until the very last page.  My Kin­dle Fire wouldn’t charge cor­rectly and so I was forced to put the book aside for a bit right when the action was pick­ing up.  I couldn’t wait to get my issues resolved so I could get back to Charlotte’s tale.

A beau­ti­fully told story with smaller sto­ries within puts this book on my keeper shelves.  I am a sucker for fairy tales and sto­ries that present a new look at the fairy tale.  Boc­ca­cino weaves a world around the House of Dark­ling full of mys­te­ri­ous and unique char­ac­ters cre­at­ing a world you can’t wait to visit.  And yet, there is some­thing more to this world and that the inhab­i­tants have more sin­is­ter motives below the surface.

I’m very impressed with Boccacino’s abil­ity to cre­ate such a mag­nif­i­cent world.  I only hope that this is not the last we see of Boccacino’s fan­tas­tic realm.

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