Tuesday, May 01, 2012

The Lunatic's Curse (YA?)

The Lunatic's Curse. F.E. Higgins. 2011. Feiwel & Friends. 352 pages.

In nightshirt and robe, slippers and nightcap, Rex Grammaticus quietly entered the large dark-paneled dining room. On the far side of the room, lit in candle glow, he could see his stepmother, Acantha, and his father, Ambrose, at the table eating their evening meal. Rex had eaten earlier, at his stepmother's request, in the kitchen. One more change that she had made since marrying his father; one more way to push him out of the picture. It had only been eight weeks since the marriage, but Acantha moved about the house as if she had lived there all her life. It was Rex who felt like the newcomer. 

This review will contain spoilers. I will let you know exactly when to start expecting them.

While I've enjoyed the other books in F.E. Higgins' series, I cannot say the same for The Lunatic's Curse. For better or worse, I just can't bring myself to say anything good about a book this disturbing. While the other books have flirted with the dark side, they've been well-balanced. Equal parts charm, humor, and dark side. The descriptive writing and atmospheric writing have added to all of the above.

The Lunatic's Curse is set in the same strange world, for the most part. But not really. It is much, much, much, much darker. And there isn't one drop of humor in it. There isn't even a glimpse of lightness, of humor, of hope. And while the other books dependably showed justice being served, The Lunatic's Curse did NOT redeem itself by any stretch of the imagination. It is not only dark and depressing, it is EXCEEDINGLY dark and COMPLETELY depressing.

I don't know that I'd say The Lunatics Curse is as depressingly evil and pointless as say Animal Farm or Jude the Obscure. But. The very fact that they've come to mind, speaks volumes.


While the rest of the series rests comfortably in the MG camp, I don't know that I'd say the same with The Lunatic's Curse. For it is ALL about cannibalism. Truly. And our narrator? Well, he's a cannibal-in-the-making. And the oh-so-depressing big six-year-later-reveal shows that he is indeed a cannibal. That he could not escape the "curse" brought upon him by his oh-so-incredibly wicked stepmother and his father who had succumbed to his wife's "stew" and unknowingly developed a taste for human flesh. And I HATED learning what happened to his companion. I mean SERIOUSLY. Was that even necessary? Although I guess I should be grateful that he didn't EAT her on his way out of the maze.

Anyway, if you love reading about insanity, lunatics, insane asylums run by cannibals, big scary underwater monsters who live on human flesh, and did I mention cannibals?, then maybe this one is for you.

Read The Lunatic's Curse
  • If you LIKE to be disturbed; some people do like horror novels. I'm not one of them. But you may be.
  • If you like dark-disturbing-creepy horror novels supposedly written for the MG/YA crowd
  • If you're a fan of F.E. Higgins and are prepared to go to really dark places

© 2012 Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews


Kailana 10:31 AM  

I have never read Higgins before. Maybe one day...

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I am interested in reviewing books and audio books. This blog focuses on books written for middle grade on up (essentially 10 to a 110). I review middle grade fiction and young adult fiction (aka tween and teen).

I also review adult books.

I read in a variety of genres including realistic fiction, historical fiction, mystery, romance, science fiction, fantasy, literary fiction, and chick lit. (I've read one western to date.)

I read a few poetry books, a few short story collections, a few graphic novels, a few nonfiction books.

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I am more interested in strong characters, well-written, fleshed-out, human characters. Plot is secondary to me in a way. I have to care about the characters in order to care about the plot. That being said, compelling storytelling is something that I love. I love to become absorbed in what I'm reading.

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