Sunday, September 12, 2021

#BookReview: Lost in Darkness by Michelle Griep

Historical Christian Fiction

Author Links

Enchanting Regency-Era Gothic Romance Intertwined with Inspiration from Mary Shelley's Frankenstein.
Travel writer Amelia Balfour’s dream of touring Egypt is halted when she receives news of a revolutionary new surgery for her grotesquely disfigured brother. This could change everything, and it does. . .in the worst possible way.
Surgeon Graham Lambert has suspicions about the doctor he’s gone into practice with, but he can’t stop him from operating on Amelia’s brother. Will he be too late to prevent the man’s death? Or to reveal his true feelings for Amelia before she sails to Cairo?
I was less than ten pages into Michelle Griep's LOST IN DARKNESS when I realized I had taken a wrong turn at Albuquerque. I have nothing against the genre, but I'd been so distracted at the idea of what this book could be that I failed to identify it as Christian fiction. This fact naturally caused me to question whether or not I'm qualified to review anything more complex than a napkin ring, but that's a topic for another day. 

I came to Griep's work hoping for something akin to Kessel's PRIDE AND PROMETHEUS. This expectation wasn't entirely unreasonable as both novels play on the themes and ideas of Shelley's masterpiece, but the comparison proved analogous to that of apples and oranges, so I took a step back and thought again. Moments in this novel, particularly those where Griep's heroine shares her stage with the famed author, brought Ambrose's CLAIRE'S LAST SECRET to mind, but in terms of content, I think this piece shelves best alongside Daines' IT STARTED IN BUDAPEST.  

That said, my struggle with LOST IN DARKNESS wasn't limited to poorly placed assumptions. I appreciated the melancholic notes Griep struck with Colin, but Amalia, Graham, and Dr. Peckwood proved too static for my tastes. I also felt that despite the emotional aesthetic of the final act, the gothic elements of the story took too long to develop. 

When all is said and done, I'm not sure LOST IN DARKNESS has enough meat on the bone to appeal to secular readers, but I wouldn't hesitate to recommend it to genre enthusiasts. Though I didn't care one way or the other for the religious content of this book, I feel very strongly that I'd have enjoyed it a great deal more if I'd been emotionally invested in its themes and motifs.

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆
Obtained from: Personal Kindle Library
Read: September 9, 2021

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