The Secrets of Life and Death by Rebecca Alexander
Age range: Adult
Paperback: 384 pages
Publisher: Broadway Books; Reprint edition (October 7, 2014)
Genre: Urban fantasy/historical fiction
Source: From Blogging for Books
My rating: Didn’t finish
About the Book:
In modern day England, Professor Felix Guichard is called in to identify
occult symbols found on the corpse of a young girl. His investigation
brings him in contact with a mysterious woman, Jackdaw Hammond, who
guards a monumental secret–She’s Dead. Or she would be, were it not for
magic which has artificially extended her life. But someone else knows
her secret. Someone very old and very powerful, who won’t rest until
they’ve taken the magic that keeps her alive….
In Krakow in
1585, Dr John Dee, the Elizabethan Alchemist and Occultist, and his
assistant Edward Kelley have been summoned by the King of Poland to save
the life of his niece, the infamous Countess Elisabeth Bathory. But
they soon realize that the only thing worse than the Countess’ malady,
is the magic that might be able to save her…
As Jackdaw and Felix
race to uncover the truth about the person hunting her, it becomes clear
that the answers they seek can only be found in the ancient diary of
John Dee’s assistant, Edward Kelley. Together they must solve a mystery
centuries in the making, or die trying.
Why I DNF:
The book is very well written and quite engaging. It’s a book that I keep thinking about, even though I’ve walked away from it. I didn’t quit reading because it was poorly written or boring, because it was neither of those things. I quit reading because it was morbidly gripping and super creepy.
The beginning was dark and pretty eerie, but it soon leveled off and I was sucked into the story. I got about 100 pages in before I thought anything of it again. I began to get uneasy about the way things were going, so I flipped through the rest of the book and skimmed quite a bit of it. I then lay awake, completely freaked out until all hours of the night. I decided to stop reading. I have a difficult enough time getting to sleep at night without thinking that a corpse is going to come suck my blood.
I should mention that this book is classified as urban fiction, not horror. I don’t read horror, so I don’t know how it would measure up against something from that genre, but it was too much for me. It left me with a creepy feeling, but at the same time, it was hard to put away.
If weird and creepy is your thing, give this book a try. It’s very well written. If you’re like me, read something else.
Source: I received a copy of this book from Blogging for Books in exchange for an honest review.