Lost in Darkness Review
“Only God heals the past, but I have learned that kindness makes the present all the sweeter.”
I have to admit that I was rather hesitant to request Lost in Darkness by Michelle Griep when it first became available. The title alone told me that there would be a decent chance that this book was not going to suit my taste. I don’t like dark stories or creepy things. And when I found out it was inspired by Frankenstein, my reluctance only increased. So, there wasn’t much going for this one at all…except for the fact that Michelle Griep wrote it. I’ve absolutely loved a number of her other books, and her writing style is absolutely beautiful. If anyone was going to pull this one off, it would be her (also, the cover is just gorgeous)! And so I requested it. Do I regret that decision? Certainly not! I definitely enjoyed this regency tale of heartache and healing.
While it explored the shadier side of the medical studies of that era, it never once become creepy or unnecessarily dark. The faith element was incredibly well executed and provided an excellent counter to the more sombre aspects of the plot.
I found that while I really did enjoy this book, I think its genre is probably not for me. I wasn’t hugely fond of the fact that the suspense was mostly mixed up in the drama and foreboding, rather than in any particular action or mystery. It felt like there was just too much waiting for something to happen, and not enough actually happening. I’m sure many readers who enjoy gothic novels will enjoy this aspect, though.
Also, I didn’t really like the historic medical aspects. Ironic coming from someone who plans on studying medicine while writing historical novels, I know, but it’s the darker side of medicine’s history that I wasn’t too fond of. And yes, I was expecting that to be a prominent part of the story considering the title of the book, the genre, and the blurb, so I can’t exactly complain. It didn’t overtake the plot or ruin my reading experience at all, and I’m sure those who find that part of history fascinating will love this aspect of the story, for it was clearly well-researched and handled skilfully.
As for the characters, Amelia and Graham were well-written and endearing, and I appreciated their individual struggles and triumphs, as well as their sweet love story, but I battled to connect with either of them. It was Colin who really stole the show in my eyes. His outlook on life despite his heart-rending past—and present—really touched me. I think that was one of the highlights of this book for me.
I’d recommend it to fans of Julie Klassen, Abigail Wilson, and Regency Romance in general.
Note: I received a copy of this book through Celebrate Lit Tours. All opinions expressed are entirely my own.
To celebrate her tour, Michelle is giving away the grand prize package of a $25 Amazon gift card and a copy of the book!!
Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter (Giveaway only open to US residents).
About the Author
Michelle Griep’s been writing since she first discovered blank wall space and Crayolas. She is the Christy Award-winning author of historical romances: A Tale of Two Hearts, The Captured Bride, The Innkeeper’s Daughter, 12 Days at Bleakly Manor, The Captive Heart, Brentwood’s Ward, A Heart Deceived, and Gallimore, but also leaped the historical fence into the realm of contemporary with the zany romantic mystery Out of the Frying Pan.
More from Michelle
Are You a Monster Too?
“Look at that! The fattest girl in the class is the first one to get in line for a cupcake.”
Those words, spoken to me in junior high by a clueless boy, are forever seared into my memory. Just because I wasn’t a willowy stick-figure who didn’t match up to magazine covers, I was singled out. Made to feel ashamed. Made to feel like a monster.
Have you ever felt that way?
Chances are you have. We are all poked and prodded at some point in our lives…which brings up a few questions. How do you deal with the sometimes ugly perceptions with which others view you? How do you stop trying to prove your worth to others, when in their eyes you are somehow worthless? Why does God allow such hurtful things to happen anyway?
These are the questions I attempt to tackle in my new release, Lost in Darkness. And surprisingly enough, those are the very same issues contemplated in Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein. Now hold on. Don’t go rolling your eyeballs quite yet—which is the usual response whenever Frankenstein is mentioned.
Most people’s conception of this great piece of literature has been forever ruined by Hollywood’s green creature. You know the one, the giant with bolts sticking out of his neck and a stiff-legged walk. So not true. The essence of Shelley’s “horror” story is instead about a creature who struggles with heartfelt needs that can only be met by his creator. In this story, Shelley respectfully handles the subject of what we owe our creator and what our creator’s responsibility is toward us as the created…the very same questions we all struggle with.
As does Colin Balfour, a man with a heart of gold and a face that causes children to scream. In Lost in Darkness, he hopes to undergo a life-changing surgery that will end his self-imposed isolation. But what really happens is a life change for his sister Amelia and the surgeon who tries to prevent it all from happening. For indeed, even if there be monsters, there is none so fierce as that which resides in man’s own heart.
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