The Grotesques – Tia Reed
Title: The Grotesques
Author: Tia Reed
Publisher: Tyche Books
Publication Date: October 2016
Length: 12 hours 51 minutes
Find it here: Amazon
Back Cover Copy:
Discredited journalist Ella Jerome isn’t thrilled about working at Adelaide’s fanciful tabloid the Informer. So when zoologist Adam Lowell seeks her help in finding his missing cousin, she’s cynical of his claim a monster lurks near the Church of the Resurrection. The trouble is, solving the gruesome case could be her best shot at restoring her reputation.
With her old instincts resurfacing, Ella combs the Port for clues. Experience tells her the only monsters are the human variety, and the bloodied stonemason certainly raises her suspicions. But when her investigation turns up everything from petrified remains to the headless carving of a dragon, the truth threatens to steal both her sanity and the man she’s falling for.
After all, gargoyles can’t be anything other than harmless stone. Or can they?
I must offer a disclaimer that this is the first audiobook I’ve listened to. The format took some getting used to, but I can definitely see why people with commutes may enjoy audiobooks regularly.
I listened to The Grotesques during a mini-road trip around Vancouver Island. I enjoyed having the audiobook to listen to as I drove, and I think it helped pass the time a lot better than music usually does.
As for the book itself, I found the plot to be intriguing, and there were definitely a lot of cliffhangers to keep me going—I was happy I was able to listen to it in large chunks because I didn’t have to wait to start the next chapter!
The book follows journalist Ella Jerome as she attempts to uncover the truth behind mysterious disappearances of young girls in the area around a creepy church. The church is decorated with gargoyles (grotesques), and they soon become the focal point of the story.
While I liked the overall plot, I do think it’s a bit slow at parts. There were several scenes that seemed to be repetitive and unnecessary to the overall plot, but I think this would be less noticeable if you’re listening to the audiobook in shorter chunks than I was.
As a whole, I enjoyed Ella’s character because she was overcoming career hardship to regain her professional reputation and she was forced to follow her heart, and her eyes, to believe in supernatural forces—a common, but well-done, theme in the fantasy genre. However, she is overly self-deprecating in the beginning. The author really wanted the reader to know that her professional reputation had been previously destroyed and that she was now working at a less-than-reputable paper. While this is important information about her character, it was over-repeated.
All in all, the book was an enjoyable companion for my solo mini-road trip. My advice to readers or listeners would be to give it a chance past the first couple of chapters, and you’ll enjoy the unique story.
Ellen is a freelance fiction editor, book reviewer, research assistant for Simon Fraser University, marketing coordinator for WCSFA, and member volunteer for Editors’ Association of Canada. As of September 2017, she will also be a master’s student of publishing at SFU. You can contact her via ellenmichelle.com for any editing queries and at firstname.lastname@example.org for book review queries.