Maplecroft by Cherie Priest

Maplecroft by Cherie Priest

By Cherie Priest

  • Series: Borden Dispatches (Book 1)
  • Publisher: Roc
  • Published Date: September 2, 2014
  • ISBN-10: 0451466977
  • ISBN-13: 978-0451466976
  • Genre: Horror, Fantasy

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 verysouls, 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.

Available from Amazon


Hello my pretties! Today I’ll be sharing with you the first book in the The Borden Dispatches series Maplecroft by Cherie Priest. I heard of this book when Goodreads author Kevin Hearne wrote a review on it back in 2014 claiming it was one the best books he’d read that year. If Mr. Hearne was recommending it of course I had to give it a try.

I cheated and downloaded the audiobook “reading” with my earholes on my way to and from work everyday. As a lover of all things frightful and creepy I can say that I adored this book. This story has it all: love, betrayal, creepy crawlies that make you cringe, a BAMF lady in a corset, a loveable sidekick and his descent into madness, a bedridden BAMF lady scientist that will tell you to go shove your gender roles where the sun don’t shine but most importantly murder. Kind of. 

Anyone who’s ever watched TV knows about Lizzie Borden. I mean c’mon they made a rhyme about her and everything, how can you not know who she is? Cherie Priest took this infamous character and molded a brand new story for her. What if Lizbeth (as she prefers being called) didn’t kill her parents just for giggles? What if it was self-defense against something more sinister that what the people of Fall River could even fathom? What if Lizbeth Borden is an unsung hero and not the murderess everyone thinks her to be?

Do I have your attention yet? Good.

Lizbeth and Emma borden are the two spinster sisters that protect the town as best they can from their dark little corner of solitude. You have Lizbeth who is Emma’s caretaker (Emma is 10 years older than Lizbeth and bedridden with consumption, I believe but don’t quote me on that) and slayer of those awful creatures that roam the grounds. She provides and protects her sister in any way she can and tries not to complain too much.  Emma doesn’t let her sickness get her down, she’s a published scientist and smarter than you, thank you very much. Their roles are reversed but they love each other because they’re all they have. Well almost. Lizbeth has a lover. It’s a long distance relationship, her lover lives in the big city and is an actress named Nance.

Yes, that’s right the main character is a lesbian and guess what?! The story doesn’t revolve around her being a lesbian. All the fist pumps! You have no idea how happy that makes me. We need more queer characters whose tales aren’t sob stories nor do they solely surround their orientation. It’s a breath of fresh air.

The monsters that are terrorizing the Borden sisters are ugly and will tear you apart. I got chills listening to how they attacked and what Lizbeth had to do to get rid of them. Like I said, she’s a BAMF.

I give this four Tacos out of the Taco Scale of Awesome. The only thing that threw me off a little was the way it was written; in letters and passages. I understand how this being a time period piece it requires to be written a certain way and I was fine with that. It’s something different and takes some getting used to. I saw the ending coming from a mile away but it does leave you with more questions than actual resolutions. Good thing there’s a second book!

I recommend this if you’re looking for a captivating gothic horror story with two well written strong female characters set in a time where women aren’t seen as strong or can’t show their intelligence.

Until next time, Mon over and out.

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