Saturday, January 17, 2015

the DNF journal: The Rose Master by Valentina Cano

Release Date: June 2014
Publisher: Reuts
Genre: Young Adult
Source: Copy provided for honest review

The day Anne Tinning turns seventeen, birds fall from the sky. But that's hardly the most upsetting news. She's being dismissed from the home she's served at since she was a child, and shipped off to become the newly hired parlor maid for a place she's never heard of. And when she sees the run-down, isolated house, she instantly knows why:

There's something wrong with Rosewood Manor.

Staffed with only three other servants, all gripped by icy silence and inexplicable bruises, and inhabited by a young master who is as cold as the place itself, the house is shrouded in neglect and thick with fear. Her questions are met with hushed whispers, and she soon finds herself alone in the empty halls, left to tidy and clean rooms no one visits.

As the feeling of being watched grows, she begins to realize there is something else in the house with them--some creature that stalks the frozen halls and claws at her door. A creature that seems intent on harming her.

When a fire leaves Anne trapped in the manor with its Master, she finally demands to know why. But as she forces the truth about what haunts the grounds from Lord Grey, she learns secrets she isn't prepared for. The creature is very real, and she's the only one who can help him stop it. 

Now, Anne must either risk her life for the young man she's grown to admire, or abandon her post while she still can.

Harumph.  I'm pretty sad about this one.

The Rose Master is a bit of a Beauty and the Beast retelling, placing Anne is a mansion owned by a mysterious master.

What I enjoyed of the 37% that I read was the creep factor. Birds dropping dead, invisible hands trying to drown you, animal scratches at your bedroom door at night.  All of those things really worked for me.

What didn't was the characters. I just didn't care. About any of them. Even Anne, who seemed a little hot and cold. And I get that she's a maid but I can only read so many chapters about her cleaning the house before I'm ready to snooze. I don't like cleaning in real life, I sure as hell don't want to read ten straight chapters of it.

It's not badly written, what I read of it anyway.  It has potential to be something I could really love, if it had more developed and interesting characters. 

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