Holly Hodson's Reviews > Charlotte Markham and the House of Darkling

Charlotte Markham and the House of Darkling by Michael Boccacino
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's review
Jul 18, 2012

really liked it

(Originally posted on Amazon UK by me)

Let's see, where to being with this book...

Well for starters, I very much enjoyed it. After reading the odd few pages over a couple of days I sat and read the whole thing today.

There were several things I noticed about this book. Firstly, I had no difficulty what-so-ever picturing the characters or the settings in my head. I always love it when a book can play itself out that way without having to strain yourself remembering who this character is and why they are feeling whatever. So it was off to a good start. I was however concerned early on that the book would have a fairly obvious ending, which I'm happy to say for the most part, it didn't.

The two things I found best about this book were 'descriptions' and 'stories'.
The descriptions of the main characters are not extensive, but they provided enough information for me to get a firm grasp of the characters. Once the book progressed and 'The Ending' (place name, not book section) was introduced, I found myself pausing to imagine everything that was introduced, and while the words 'tendrils' and 'appendages' are used quite heavy-handedly for creatures it was fun to imagine what they all looked like. I particularly liked enjoyed the various collections of Mr. Whatley.

By 'stories' I don't mean plot. The plot was great don't get me wrong, but I refer to the stories told within the story. I loved the 'creation myth' fairly tale and I found it and the other stories told to be a great addition to the book, especially where many would have chosen to simply say that a story was read and leave it at that.

If I'm honest I think this probably deserves a 5 star rating based on how much I enjoyed it, however I am going to rate it a 4. The reason for this is irritating. I was concerned from the beginning that the whole thing might rapidly fall into the easy trap of being a romance novel and I applaud the author for using the characters Victorian sense of decency to avoid it. I would love to explain why the ending caused the drop in a star for me but I don't want to spoil it. HOWEVER, I want to make it absolutely clear that the only reason the book dropped a star for me is that, while I have absolutely NO idea how I would like to have seen it end, the book ends slightly differently to how I thought it would. However I would say that almost anybody else who reads this book will not have an issue with it!

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