Book Reviews





The Fall by Bethany Griffin - review

"Nothing here is just anything. This is not just a house. We have never been simply children. We are Ushers."

Title: The Fall
Author: Bethany Griffin

Publisher: Orion
Source: Review copy from publisher
Available: Now
Buy it: Here


Ushers are cursed. They go mad and die young, living a life of hyper-sensory fits and constant medical study. Madeline Usher and her twin, Roderick, have just come into their "inheritance" of the family's malady as the headaches set in and the voice of the House of Usher binds them to the grounds. Madeline is determined to escape the curse - but can she persuade her brother that the house is sentient, manipulative and dangerous?


If you are already familiar with the The Fall's base material, The Fall Of The House Of Usher, do not pass this book by! What you will find within The Fall's pages is a retelling that expands, enriches and gives depth to Edgar Allen Poe's original short story.

Switching the viewpoint from the original (Rodericks school friend) to Madeline's narrative gives The Fall a fresh sense of perspective, and also some back story to the Usher curse. I found Madeline a great character to read. Though greatly affected by her family's afflictions, she was strong, purposeful and intelligent. It was intriguing to see her swing between madness and clarity - the frequency of which escalates throughout the book.

Not only did I enjoy Madleine's character, but I was enraptured by the presence of three very sinister doctors! Their activities piqued my curiosity often, and I don't think we ever got enough answers (if at all!) I would usually find this extremely frustrating, but in the grand scheme of this book, it seemed like it was right...

The Fall also delivers an excellent gothic atmosphere of which I always want to experience when a book claims the genre. It harks back to the creeping feeling of many classics, including Poe himself; one that evokes the need for dark corners, rain against the window and reading by the glow of candlelight!


I absolutely adore this book! Bethany Griffin has crafted a work that tips it's hat respectfully in the way of the original, and builds so much more upon it. Every page is rich, gothic deliciousness. Love it, love it, love it!


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