Date Published: September 4th 2012
Genres: Horror, Horror & Ghost Stories, Legends, Myths, Fables, Love & Romance, Mermaids, Paranormal, Romance, Young Adult, Young Adult Fiction
Audiobook Length: 8 hrs and 1 min
Audiobook Narrator: Katherine Kellgren
Description: Fierce, seductive mermaid Syrenka falls in love with Ezra, a young naturalist. When she abandons her life underwater for a chance at happiness on land, she is unaware that this decision comes with horrific and deadly consequences. Almost one hundred forty years later, seventeen-year-old Hester meets a mysterious stranger named Ezra and feels overwhelmingly, inexplicably drawn to him. For generations, love has resulted in death for the women in her family. Is it an undiagnosed genetic defect . . . or a curse? With Ezra's help, Hester investigates her family's strange, sad history. The answers she seeks are waiting in the graveyard, the crypt, and at the bottom of the ocean - but powerful forces will do anything to keep her from uncovering her connection to Syrenka and to the tragedy of so long ago.
I grabbed Monstrous Beauty at the library after reading a different book by this author. I immensely enjoyed her storytelling style and wanted more. I’m so glad I did.
Monstrous Beauty is different, erie, and a bit gothic. I love a good mermaid fantasy, and really need to read more of them. I’m glad to know this one. I do love a good gothic tale, and in fact, I did enjoy the little plug to Jane Eyre in this story. But let’s dive in (ha ha).
The story is told between present day and our main character Hester and in flashbacks to our main character Syrenka. Hester believes her family is cursed and her line is all women who died within hours of giving birth. She believes if she falls in love, she will die too. She meets some interesting characters who help her uncover the truth, and in doing so, she learns just how awful the curse really is.
The characters are super curious and I enjoyed getting to know them as the plot unravelled. As a reader who gets to see the back and forth between the two time periods, we do get to figure out the mystery before Hester does, but it is fun to watch her get it. I especially liked meeting the mermaids and the super creepy sea witch.
The novel was so well researched. The period clothing and people descriptions were very vivid. I got to listen to an interview with the author and she explained how meticulous she was with research. I really appreciate that.
The audio book was amazing. I loved the voices, all the different accents, and the emotion and feeling. Definitely a narrator I would want to listen to again.
Wonderful story, enjoyable and dark, creepy and satisfying. Go check it out.