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“Wow! What a great book! I devoured this in about 3 days, with most reading happening on a weekend. I’ve often said I love Victorian settings with orphans. Well, I’ve also got to add I love any time period if it has a spooky house! Alban House had secret passageways as well as long lost...”see full review » see other reviews »
“I was very much enjoying this book, and it would have been four stars until the ending, which was a disappointment. Still a well written entertaining story.
The book has a very gothic feel to it even though it is entirely set in present day - even the story of the past is in modern, albeit earlier times. The author has a very strong ability to create a sense of place and set a mood that allows the reader to immerse themself into the story. For me that is always a plus in any book - if it takes me away from real life and allows me to completely dive into the world the book creates that's excellent and this book really does that from start to finish.
The story itself is clever and an well-constructed to draw the reader in and make it hard to put the book down. The pacing is quick and the way one chapter leads into another with strategically written mini-cliff-hangers and revelations mean you really want to keep reading.
The characters are interesting and feel realistic. You can definitely root for some, worry for others and dislike or disapprove of others. The suspense created by not being *quite* certain who has done what, and who knows what's really going on, and whether certain people can be trusted adds to the mystery and the feeling of being on tenterhooks as the story plays out.
My issue with the ending is difficult to explain without spoiling and I try not to do that in any of my reviews. Suffice it to say, I like a definitive ending to the books I read, and this ending was not what I consider satisfying.
Overall I definitely enjoyed this as a light, fast easy read with aspects of suspense, mystery, light romance, the paranormal and even a tiny bit of horror mixed in. Perfect for a gloomy rainy weekend where you don't want to go anywhere or do anything.”
“Listened to this one and found myself up till wee hours because I had to know what happened in the next twist or turn of this thriller. Great choice for your Halloween!”lcfromthehills wrote this review Sunday, October 20, 2013. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“Loved it! Couldn't put it down! Such a fun read.”Marylisa wrote this review Friday, September 27, 2013. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“EXCELLENT!! I absolutely loved this. Great setting. A modern gothic novel similar to Victoria Holt and Elizabeth Peters. Definitely 5 Stars! ”Pamela B wrote this review Tuesday, September 24, 2013. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“This is a great ghost story that encompasses four generations. Lots of twists and turns. ”Laurie W wrote this review Saturday, September 14, 2013. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“The gothic elements of this story and the setting were very good, but in the end I was left wondering about some of happenings at the house, at found it a little convenient that in the first part of the book the servants seemed just as in the dark about what happened in the past, but then later on seemed to know quite a bit about how things may have been. Overall I liked it, but it was a little uneven for me, and I have to admit it was the cover of the book that originally drew me to it - so maybe you really can judge a book by it's cover.”Beth H wrote this review Sunday, June 2, 2013. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“Easy, enjoyable ghost story. Fast paced and interesting. ”Caipirinha wrote this review Wednesday, April 24, 2013. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“Not a bad book, but I didn't really like the main character, part of the mystery is "solved" through a letter and I found the relationship and it's evolution a little hard to believe. Didn't find it "chilling", either.”bookaholic wrote this review Saturday, April 13, 2013. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“I usually follow the philosophy that if I can't say something good about a book, I don't write about it. I will make an exception for The Fate of Mercy Alban.
Caution- rant to follow.
Webb overreaches in this Gothic, supposed horror tale.
I was hoping for a psychological thriller/Gothic a la Carol Goodman. I was disappointed.
If not for the adult sex (not explicit), I would recommend this for a YA book.
Checklist of well-worn Gothic themes: wealthy arrogant dynastic family- check; secretive family retainers- check; huge mansion with architecturally improbable secret passageways?-check; insane relatives- check; mysterious deaths - check; ghosts and witches and zombies - wait, what was that?
Yes, real ghosts, real brought back from dead people, real witches. OK.
And then there is the so-called famous writer, whose unpublished manuscript is repeated, verbatim, in this book.
That was probably the death stroke, so to speak. When one invokes deathless prose of a famed writer, shouldn't one attempt to make the prose something more than a sophomoric Gothic? And, how does one become a famed writer of whom universities still teach when one dies in one's twenties, just out of college, despite a few years as a journalist?
I suspect every author has what I call an 'aspirational' book in them-- one that reflects those things they wish they had or were (rich family, huge house on a lake, easily attained fame, beauty, sensitive supporting boyfriend, love at first sight, etc.) but most don't let them see the light of day.”
“This was a paranormal story that takes place in a mansion on a lake in Minnesota. While I like a good, subtle ghost story, this one was just a little too unbelievable for me. I liked the characters and the story from 1956, but I just couldn't understand what was going on with Mercy vs. Fate (you'll see.....). This book kept my attention, but some parts were just, like, "Really? THAT'S what happens?". Just some unbelievable parts (and I'm a believer). I think I will try another book by this author though; I really liked her writing style.”Raine wrote this review Sunday, March 31, 2013. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No