Maplecroft by Cherie Priest

The Borden Dispatches, Book 1

Synopsis: Lizzie Borden took an axe and gave her mother forty whacks; and when she saw what she had done, she gave her father forty-one….

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.

Review: I was curious to discover the novel since its release but it’s true that I really tried it now with the release of the second volume. I must say that I was anxious to see what the author had managed to feature with two well-known characters such as Emma and Lizzy Borden.

The novel is divided into various sections that allow us to follow different protagonists throughout history and so have some varied POVs. Yet more particularly, we follow the two sisters, and a doctor of the family who will become an ally during this particular period. The story begins with the death of Emma and Lizzy’s parents and the innocence of the young woman. To live out of sight, the two girls will reside at Maplecroft, a home away from everything. Alas, despite their isolation, the problems are just beginning. Indeed, it seems that an epidemic is spreading in the city, an epidemic changing people into something quite indefinable and leaving only corpses behind.

Teaming up together, Dr. Owen, Emma and Lizzy will try to understand what is happening and how to solve this problem which only grows. I was curious to see where it would all lead us even if it was sometimes not very credible … I admit that I had a little trouble to really understand what it all meant and I even thought it was possible to have aliens even if it seemed pretty strange regarding the history. I do not know why I immediately thought of that but I’m sure that we’ll know more with the second volume.

I often have a little trouble to really connect to m/m or f/f romance, but even if we have a little of that here, being in the background and not very cultivated in the story, I didn’t have any problems to appreciate the relationship of the two young women presented.

In all cases the novel was a good introduction and I am curious to see what will happen later because many ideas are put forward.




29 thoughts on “Maplecroft by Cherie Priest

  1. I remember this title because of the cover when a few reviews started popping up, then I noted the book down but still haven’t tried it. Glad it worked for you and that you didn’t have problems appreciating the relationships in the story!

  2. I read this and can understand how the *otherness* aspect was hard to figure out. I think they are supposed to be Lovecraftian in style – so it all vague, but scary. Those briny creatures freaked me out (in a good way) lol! The romance wasn’t my favorite either. Did you like how Lizzy has pretty kick-butt with that axe?

    Great review, Melliane 🙂

  3. I admit I didn’t fall in love with this book either, but with the second book out now and when it got sent to me, I do want to check out Chapelwood. I think I was intrigued by Maplecroft just enough for me to want to continue. Even though the story didn’t turn out like I expected, I did like the Lovecraftian horror themes.

  4. Oh nice! I’ve had this for awhile myself, as well as the second. I was curious too mainly to see this take on Lizzy Borden! Glad to see you enjoyed it in part if not full! I feel the same about that kind of romance as well, but I usually prefer all romance in the background anyway, so sounds like it will be okey dokey! LOL! Great review!

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