Genre: YA, Retelling, Gothic Horror
Amazon: The Fall
Madeline Usher is doomed.
She has spent her life fighting fate, and she thought she was succeeding. Until she woke up in a coffin.
Ushers die young. Ushers are cursed. Ushers can never leave their house, a house that haunts and is haunted, a house that almost seems to have a mind of its own. Madeline’s life—revealed through short bursts of memory—has hinged around her desperate plan to escape, to save herself and her brother. Her only chance lies in destroying the house.
In the end, can Madeline keep her own sanity and bring the house down? The Fall is a literary psychological thriller, reimagining Edgar Allan Poe’s classic The Fall of the House of Usher. [Goodreads]
The Fall of the House of Usher is one of my stories by Edgar Allan Poe. When I saw this book and read the synopsis I just knew I had to get it! I preordered it and everything, let me just tell you the cover is amazing! Anyways on to the actual story!
I was not completely head over heels for The Fall by Bethany Griffin. There were things that enjoyed and thought were really well done and then there were some things that I found annoying and frustrating. The book was really atmospheric, that dark and creepy feeling was definitely reminiscent of Poe’s work and created a great overall feeling throughout the whole story! If you have read the original piece of work that this story was based off you will know it is a little vague and jumps in leaving you questioning so many things. Griffin takes the story and really runs with it.The overall writing was well done, I feel like Griffin put together a well crafted backstory that was intriguing and had me really interested throughout the whole story of where she would take it. Where the book fell short for me was the execution of the storyline. The book jumps around with each chapter being at a different age in Madeline’s life. I do not have a problem with chapters going back and forth between the past and the present because I think that it allows for the story to slowly unfold. Especially in this case where you are learning about the house and the curse, the slowly unraveling creepiness takes ahold of you and won’t let go. But that is not what happens, the story jumps continuously all over the place and it becomes very confusing and hard to follow what was happening when.
Griffin does a fantastic job of making the house come to life and really seem like an ominous villain. For me the characters were done great! At times I felt like there was not much development and the characters at time were vague, but it added to the atmosphere and you do learn about them. I really felt for Madeline and everything she was going through. You start to question her reliability and the events that are taking place. All of the connections to the house are relations are an interesting twist and shocked me a little.
Overall I thought this was an interesting story that really had the gothic horror feel and was fascinating retelling that did not just copy the original, but took the bones of the story and developed a dark and gripping book that explored some interesting ideas of a backstory and lead up to the original story by Poe! The book wasn’t without its faults, but I think it is worth a read for any fans of Poe’s work!