Monday, July 14, 2014

Review: POE by J. Lincoln Fenn

POE by J. Lincoln Fenn
October 22, 2013
47 North publishing
381 pages
Genre: Paranormal Thriller (New Adult)
(Contains: mature language, sexual reference, murder)
Source: eARC from publisher for Honest review
Book Synopsis:
It’s Halloween, and life is grim for 23-year-old Dimitri Petrov. It’s the one-year anniversary of his parents’ deaths, he’s stuck on page one thousand of his Rasputin zombie novel, and he makes his living writing obituaries.

But things turn from bleak to terrifying when Dimitri gets a last-minute assignment to cover a séance at the reputedly haunted Aspinwall Mansion.

There, Dimitri meets Lisa, a punk-rock drummer he falls hard for. But just as he’s about to ask her out, he unwittingly unleashes malevolent forces, throwing him into a deadly mystery. When Dimitri wakes up, he is in the morgue—icy cold and haunted by a cryptic warning given by a tantalizing female spirit.

As town residents begin to turn up gruesomely murdered, Dimitri must play detective in his own story and unravel the connections among his family, the Aspinwall Mansion, the female spirit, and the secrets held in a pair of crumbling antiquarian books. If he doesn’t, it’s quite possible Lisa will be the next victim.
2013 Winner — Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award — Science Fiction, Fantasy, Horror
My Review:

I didn't know what to expect when I picked up Poe. The Thriller/Horror genre isn't normally my thing, but there was just something about the synopsis that grabbed my attention. Then I dove into the story, and let me say that from the prologue on, I was completely captivated by this book.

First, I loved Dimitri's voice. The way the author wrote him, communicating his thoughts and feelings, interpreting his actions, not only brought him to life, but made him a character I genuinely liked and loved being in the head of. He was laden with sarcasm and wit, a bit of an anti-hero yet rich in humanity. He interwove humor in one moment, deep emotions in another, and then a touch of romantic love. Dimitri was great!

The other characters were so important to the story. I thought their combined eccentricities and unique personas really layered the story and made their interactions unpredictable and entertaining, as well as tragic and moving in some of the less fortunate events. Lisa was a particularly great addition, integrating not only her equally heartbreaking backstory to Dimitri's, but more importantly becoming the perfect partner in love as well as mystery solving.

The story itself was entirely entertaining. When your main character wakes up in a morgue, you know you're in for a ride, and in this instance, the ride was fantastic. I will not reveal spoilers. But I will say that I found the build-up of the mystery and the suspense really well plotted. The creepiness, the layers of mystery, the horror glimpses, the questions, even the love story, all grow and build and completely captivated me from beginning to end. I couldn't wait to see how it all ended, yet at the same time enjoyed every page. I found myself satisfied with how it all ended, respecting how the author tied things together yet left certain things realistically open-ended.

Overall, Poe was a pleasure to read. I loved it! I was charmed by Dimitri, won over by Lisa, entertained by the cast, saddened by unfortunate events, humored by witty interactions, appropriately creeped-out, and left at the edge of my seat with the suspense of mystery and how everything would turn out. I definitely recommend Poe.

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