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I am a high school English teacher in an urban high school in Oklahoma City. I am a member of the American Federation of Teachers, Local 2309. I am a Democrat, a union activist and a worker for social justice. I also am a Christian (Congregationalist). I play chess and coach our school chess team.

Thursday, July 18, 2013

The Twisted Tragedy of Miss Natalie Stewart (Magic Most Foul, #2)The Twisted Tragedy of Miss Natalie Stewart by Leanna Renee Hieber
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Really enjoyed this book. Even better than Darker Still.

The Twisted Tragedy of Miss Natalie Stewart find Natalie and Jonathan Whitby, Lord Denbury on the run. Natalie rescued Denbury from a spell that had his soul trapped in a painting while his body, inhabited by a demon, roamed the streets of late 19th Century New York City murdering young girls. There we have two gothic and steampunk progenitors: Oscar Wilde's A Portrait of Dorian Gray and Robert Lewis Stevenson's The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde.

In this book, we get an added dose of Frankenstein as it turns out that Jonathan, as well as his mother and father, was the victim of secret group called "The Society" who seem to have several agenda including resurrecting the dead.

The main interest in the novel for me is how Natalie is developing as a character. A former voluntary mute, Natalie comes to more and more realize her strength and resourcefulness as she along with the clairvoyant Mrs. Northe and her friend deaf and dumb friend Rachel, who is in touch with the ghosts of the victims of the Society, uncover the group's plot and once again face down the demon who possessed Jonathan's body.

The plot is fast paced. The characters are multidimensional, the good not being wholly good and the bad, except for the demon, not wholly bad. Natalie and Jonathan have their moments of jealousy and even petty fights. The men involved in the Society's ressurection work are motivated by their grief for past loved ones. There are others with worse agendas, but they are only visited and, I assume, will play a role in future books in the series.

Recommended for horror, fantasy, steampunk, and gothic romance lovers.

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