2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Interesting historical paranormal,
This review is from: Newes from the Dead (Paperback)
Newes from the Dead seemed like it had the ingredients for a good read but unfortunately comes out a little wanting. A young maidservant is hanged for the crime of infanticide and sent to the gallows, but the story doesn't really begin until her body is sent for medical dissection and she is found to be alive.
The plot has definite potential and is told from two viewpoints that of the maidservant rising towards consciousness and her past in flashback and from the viewpoint of a young male scholar with a terrible stutter whose vantage point allows us to see the commotion that this rising from the dead has caused.
The historical details read accurately and engage the reader but a major problem with the novel is that the author spoon feeds the plot to you; the reader perpetually feels three steps ahead of the story. Even though this is written with a younger audience in mind it lacks sophistication or even surprise in terms of both character and plotting when it comes to the maidservants narrative. The reader sees her downfall as she follows the predictable pattern of believing the young master of the house's lies as he seduces her, falls pregnant and is charged to be hanged all to keep the master's reputation intact.
Arguably the only surprise that the novel raises is when the maidservant comes back from the dead and even this is handled in a very wishy-washy fashion allowing no conclusions to be drawn. It's a pity as in the young scholar's narrative there is real meat but he is soon left by the wayside when the dead maidservant wakes. Add a tacked on happy ever after ending and this is defnitely YA that fails to satiate or satisfy, read Libba Bray instead.