It has taken me far too long to review this book, and somehow Marie Piper is gracious enough to not hate me for it. For that, she deserves a round of applause, and all the historical fiction love.
Quick run-down if you’re not familiar with the series—it takes place in fictional Mapleton, Kansas, a town that has endured more than its fair share of bad luck, dirty dealings, and vengeful people. Among the residents are the five titular characters, who have formed their own bond over their shared love of Poe and desire to know the truth.
Each book in this series is a retelling of a classic that also cracks open the mystery of the Mapleton Massacre a little wider. This one is a twist on Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein.
All secrets are finally laid bare in this book.
First of all, let me start with where I wanted this book to go, it didn’t go. It’s not a bad thing, it just means that I can’t predict Marie Piper as well as I thought I could. Ha. (Girl is always keeping me guessing.) I was kind of hoping that Elizabeth was fronting the entire time, and she only had pushed the Maidens away because she had bigger things going. Alas, that wasn’t the case. Oh, she was in the thick of a huge string of deceit, but it wasn’t a web that she wove on her own.
For some of these books, we get love stories—and we got one here, kind of. But you know, I don’t know that Elizabeth would have it any other way. She’s the rebel, so her story is going to be different.
There’s some serious “oh dear Lord I want to smack a character” going on in this book. And it’s not just Elizabeth I want to full-on throttle. (That said, the fact I was engrossed enough into what was happening to these characters to get angry like that is a good thing.)
I’ve read all five of these, and Christine is still my favorite, and she’s probably my favorite character of the series altogether, so I was happy she returned to the series.
If you’re expecting a happily ever after for the Maidens, you’re not really going to get one. Sure, Elizabeth gets her happily ever after (well, a she’s happy but I’d claw my eyes out if it were me ever after) and things work out as they should for the Maidens. However, Mapleton will still never recover. Not from its dark past, it’s devilish fathers, the spider webs that have cast an eerie shadow on the town that will never be erased, and it’s not going to get the railroad everyone was so desperately banking on.
But you know what? Sometimes life doesn’t all end up hopeful and sunny. Sometimes you’ve got to find the good in the situation you have presented to you, and that’s exactly what these Maidens excel at, and I love it. Girl power all the way.
In the final installment, a mystery/romance take on Mary Shelley’s FRANKENSTEIN, the youngest and bravest of the Maidens of Mapleton, Elizabeth Carew, has fled for Denver with railroad man Walton Wolf. But Walton isn’t who he said he was, Elizabeth isn’t who she thought she was, and monsters from the past soon follow our heroine across the cold landscape of the west. Are we who we are by our nature, or by choice? And once trust has been killed, can it live again?