TITLE: The Double Life Of Incorporate Things
SERIES: Magic Most Foul #3
AUTHOR: Leanna Renee Hieber
PUBLICATION DATE: November 28, 2013
PUBLISHER: Deus Ex Victoriana
PAGES: 250 pages
SOURCE: Blog Tour
RATING: 4 bows
BUY LINKS: Amazon | Barnes & Noble
“Just when we think our nightmares are over, the Society has invented a new horror. Around every corner a shadow, behind every whisper a demon. If we don’t end what the devils began, we will die haunted…”
The Magic Most Foul saga takes a deadly turn as The Master’s Society unveils its next ungodly avenue of paranormal experimentation. First, souls were split from bodies. Then the dead were reanimated. Now, a mind-altering chemical has been unleashed in Manhattan. Demonic trauma and terror escalates for the dashing Lord Denbury and brave, feisty Miss Natalie Stewart. Together with their stalwart friends and unlikely heroes, they take the fight directly to the Denbury estate, where a collective evil has awakened. But are Natalie and Jonathon prepared for all the sacrifices that shall be asked of them? With their very lives and the sanctity of their mortal souls at stake, these lovers are past the point of no return…
I set the paper down slowly enough to see the thin edges shake as the full, personal impact of the newspaper article hit me.
“Natalie, what is it?” Jonathon asked, staring at me with those eviscerating blue eyes of his. I opened my mouth but no sound came out. Damn my unpredictable, inconstant voice.
For the past many months now, I’d been pummeled by one strange event after another, pulled into the center of a paranormal whirlpool. At least in this case, we had an inkling, some sense of the next onslaught. Still, a foreshadow was hardly a comfort. We couldn’t have guessed the scope.
Now it wasn’t just myself or Jonathon Whitby, Lord Denbury in danger, with the occasional collateral victim. Now it was a crowd. I knew the Association. I adored them. They weren’t hooligans or criminals, they were gentle souls, artistic and individual. Overdramatic, yes, but a threat? Hardly. This maligning was the work of The Master’s Society, turning lambs into lions in ungodly experiments, leaving them for fodder in sensational, indelicate journalism. It could only get worse. Exponentially worse.
“It’s begun,” I finally managed to reply quietly, sliding the paper across the lacquered console table behind the sofa toward Jonathon’s reach. “Another phase. They’ve gone after the Association. And the papers will vilify those poor dears, every last one of them. Jonathon, the demons won’t give up…”
Author, actress and playwright Leanna Renee Hieber grew up in rural Ohio inventing ghost stories. She graduated with a BFA in Theatre and a focus in the Victorian Era from Miami University. She began her theatrical career with the Cincinnati Shakespeare Company and began adapting works of 19th Century literature for the stage. Her one-act plays have been published, awarded and produced around the country. Her fiction career began with Dark Nest, which won the 2009 Prism Award for best novella.
Her debut novel, The Strangely Beautiful Tale of Miss Percy Parker, landed on Barnes & Noble’s bestseller lists, was named a favourite of 2009 by 14 book blogs, won two 2010 Prism Awards (Best Fantasy, Best First Book), the 2010 Orange County Book Buyer’s Best Award (Young Adult category) and is in development as a musical theatre production with Broadway talent on board. The Perilous Prophecy of Guard and Goddess, prequel in the Strangely Beautiful series, won the 2012 Prism Award (Best Fantasy). This currently out of print series will be reissued by 2014.
DARKER STILL: A Novel of Magic Most Foul, first in the Magic Most Foul saga of Gothic Victorian romantic thrillers (Sourcebooks), hit the Kid’s/YA Indie Next List as a recommended title by the American Booksellers Association. The book has been praised by Seventeen and Pixie Magazines, Shelf Awareness, The Chicago Tribune and more, selected as a “highly recommended” title by Scholastic. The Twisted Tragedy of Miss Natalie Stewart continues the Magic Most Foul series and has been praised by Booklist, RT Bookreviews and more. She is serializing the finale, The Double Life of Incorporate Things on her blog in true Gothic Victorian fashion.
Leanna’s short fiction has been featured in anthologies such as Willful Impropriety: Tales of Society and Scandal, “Too Fond” featured on Tor.com and Queen Victoria’s Book of Spells: An Anthology of Gaslamp Fantasy (March 2013, Tor). Her new Gaslamp Fantasy series with Tor/Macmillan, THE ETERNA FILES, launches 2014. Her books have been translated into many languages and have been selected for multiple book club editions.
Represented by Nicholas Roman Lewis, Leanna is a member of the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America, Romance Writers of America and International Thriller Writers. She is a proud co-founder of the original Lady Jane’s Salon Reading Series in New York. Leanna was named the 2010 RWA NYC Chapter Author of the Year.
A member of Actors Equity Association and SAG-AFTRA, Leanna works often in film and television on shows like Boardwalk Empire. When not writing or on set, she’s telling ghost stories, frequenting Goth clubs, corset shopping, channeling Narcissa Malfoy, wandering graveyards and adventuring in full Victorian regalia. She resides in New York City with her husband and their beloved rescued lab rabbit.
In this final installment of the Magic Most Foul series, we see Natalie and Jonathan battle their foes one last time. The couple is determined to end the society responsible for the dangers drug labeled “The Cure” which claims to cure the ailment of Melancholy and working on resurrection of long dead spirits. Not to mention the raising of murderous demons. But in order to shut them down, Jonathan must once again play the role of the demon that once wore his face, which makes everything indefinitely harder because he hates the role and Natalie can see he plays it a bit too well. Is there still a bit of the demon left in him? Will good defeat evil, or will evil prevail?
Natalie has lost a bit of her confidence in this novel. Though her and Lord Denbury are still completely in love, there is friction in the relationship that causes Natalie much stress. Is it possible she could lose the man she fought so hard to free? They work it out in the end, but they struggle for a while. Natalie has to really take others into account when making decisions here, more so than before. She is quickly realizing that her every decision affects everyone around her. She’s still haunted by nightmares, but those nightmares feed her clues that will *hopefully* help her band of misfits bring down the society. What really made me continue to sympathize with was her constant concern over Maggie. Even though Maggie made some bad decisions, Natalie has a great need to make things right between them.
Then there is Lord Denbury, who is just as charming as ever, if a bit more controlling. He’s trying to state his independence, which is admirable, but it constantly requires him to leave Natalie out, which doesn’t please anyone involved, reader included. Jonathan doing what he thinks is right is swoon-worthy, but the overbearing need to protect Natalie that was absent before rears it’s ugly head here. He gets over it by the end, but it’s more than a little irritating.
Nathaniel Veil, my other favorite character, gets a bit more facetime here. Can I just say I love him? Here is a man that follows his own path and doesn’t care what anyone has to say about it. He’s so compassionate about helping those who are similarly afflicted with melancholy. I loved watching him try to protect his group of friends.
This novel is the perfect ending to the trilogy, except the one character death. The writing and story-telling is just as beautiful as it has been in previous novels. Trying to puzzle out what the society was up to and their master-plan had be on the edge of my seat. I can’t wait to get my hands on the spin-off series that’s up next!