Author: Alexandra Monir
Number of Pages: 368 in Hardcover
Published: December 9th, 2014
by Delacorte Press
Genre: Fantasy, Young Adult, Historical Fiction, Romance, Thriller
Mysterious. Magnificent. Creepy. Welcome to Rockford Manor. “There’s something hidden in the Maze.” Seventeen-year-old Imogen has never forgotten the last words her father said to her seven years ago, before the blazing fire that consumed him, her mother, and the gardens of her family’s English country manor. Haunted by her parents’ deaths, Imogen moves to New York City with her new guardians. But when a letter arrives with the news of her cousin’s untimely death, revealing that Imogen is now the only heir left to run the estate, she returns to England and warily accepts her role as duchess. All is not as it seems at Rockford, and Imogen quickly learns that dark secrets lurk behind the mansion’s aristocratic exterior, hinting that the spate of deaths in her family were no accident. And at the center of the mystery is Imogen herself–and Sebastian, the childhood friend she has secretly loved for years. Just what has Imogen walked into?
Remember when I set this aside because of overwhelming negative reviews I’ve read? Well yeah. I had second thoughts. This book was the one that I’ve randomly chosen for my March feature of Random Reads meme so I guess, I have no choice. Lol! I’ve prepared myself to be disappointed and really, I didn’t expect anything. I had little faith. Yeah. That’s me being honest. So little faith on this book, but it turned out not really that bad. I can’t say I’m impressed, but I didn’t hate it either.
The writing is quite engaging. I’ve expected to be bored, but I kept on turning pages. I was so keen to unravel the mysteries surrounding the characters. The world building is set in England because Imogen’s family were noble people. Those dukes and duchesses sort of thing. I love England so when the book gave me glimpses of the country, it was amazing. The plot was full of mysterious things and people that I have a lot going on in my head. So the story started when Imogen decided to go back to England after she left because of a tragic incident concerning her family. She needs to go back for a series of unfortunate events somehow hunts their entire clan and she was the only heir left. Imogen needs to fulfill her duties as the new Duchess of Wickersham. Along with discovering the family’s secret and the enigma of the recent deaths around the Rockford Manor. Since Imogen practically grew up in the US, she has no idea how to act and to be a Duchess. She was trained to be one and I can’t help thinking about The Princess Diaries. That was fun. 😀
The secret of the Maze was one thing I wasn’t expecting. I was kind of disappointed that it was just like that. Not really epic like I’ve expected. The fantasy or the magic part of the book was not really convincing. I didn’t pay attention to that since I think it was just added so this will fall under the fantasy genre. Period. This could have been great if the fantasy part was scratched. I was more drawn about the whole mysterious deaths. I also want to know if the “curse” was somehow true or they’re just being manipulated by someone. It turned out that all the disturbing deaths were caused by situations they can’t control. Product of fear, deceit and love. So see? The “fantasy” part is really insubstantial. The twist was so unpredictable and I liked it. I was left dumbfounded. Everything fell right into place. All the characters were like puzzle pieces in a big jigsaw. There’s only one thing that I didn’t like about the whole twist and I’m afraid I can’t discuss it since it would be a spoiler, but I find it really superficial. Not really compelling so that was added to the things I didn’t like about the book.
The characters were just okay. Nothing really noteworthy. Imogen was quite interesting, but one I could easily forget. Sebastian lack the qualities of a book boyfriend. He’s not really presented well for readers to love. I really can’t connect with him. The romance between them was short of spark. I didn’t really like it, but as I’ve said, it was just okay. Not something swoon worthy though not really annoying. The other characters were equally vital for everything to click into place, but not as interesting as I’m expecting them to be so okay. I’ve lost count of how many times I’ve said okay. Lol!
I can’t recommend this to fantasy readers. You might get disappointed like me, but if you’re fond of mystery books I’ll give you the go signal. You might find this really amazing.
I say this is a three.
I really like how the mystery was written.