Book Review: The Dark Missions of Edgar

darkmissionsofedgarbrim-220The Dark Missions of Edgar Brim by Shane Peacock

Series: Untitled #1

Published by Tundra Books on May 3, 2016

Genres: ARC & Review Copies, Fiction, Horror, Mystery, Thriller, Young Adult

Pages: 352

Format:eARC from publisher

Rating: ★★.5

Goodreads | Amazon | Book Depository

SYNOPSIS:

The first in a gripping new gothic trilogy from an acclaimed author, for fans of Ken Oppel’s This Dark Endeavor and Such Wicked Intent and HBO’s Penny Dreadful series.

Edgar Brim is a sensitive orphan who, exposed to horror stories from his father as a young child, is afraid of almost everything and suffers from nightly terrors. His stern new guardian, Mr. Thorne, sends the boy to a gloomy school in Scotland where his dark demons only seem to worsen and he is bullied and ridiculed for his fears. But years later, when sixteen-year-old Edgar finds a journal belonging to his novelist father, he becomes determined to confront his nightmares and the bullies who taunt him. After the horrific death of a schoolmate, Edgar becomes involved with an eccentric society at the urging of a mysterious professor who believes that monsters from famous works of literature are real and whose mandate is to find and destroy these creatures. With the aid of a rag-tag crew of friends, the fear-addled teen sets about on his dark mission, one that begins in the cemetery on the bleak Scottish moors and ends in a spine-chilling climax on the stage of the Royal Lyceum Theatre in London with Henry Irving, the infamous and magnetic actor, and his manager, Bram Stoker, the author of the most frightening and sensational novel of the day, Dracula. Can Edgar Brim truly face his terror and conquer his fears?

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RATINGS:

Critical Rating: ★★★

Entertainment Rating: ★★

Overall Rating: ★★.5

Plot: Slow Paced | Hard To Get Into | Random Pops of Action | Anticlimactic | Eerie & Gothic

Characters: Well Developed For The Most Part | Wasn’t Super Attached | A Bit Bland | Almost Cliché Free

World Building: Historical Scotland | Thoroughly Described | Easily Imaginable | Mentions of Famous Figures

Writing: 3rd Person | Simple | Too Descriptive At Times | Butchers Exclamation Points | Back And Forth Jumping

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*I received a free eARC of this book in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.*   

MY REVIEW: 

The Dark Missions of Edgar Brim was a book that started off with all the right things, yet somehow managed to fall off the tracks. It was disappointing really, when after the 50% mark, my interest for the story immediately dwindled. I found myself unknowingly skimming large paragraphs of description that I no longer had interest in and though I was determined to finish the book, it was honestly quite a real struggle. Nevertheless, it was still worth the read, covering a whole variety of historical figures and the stigma surrounding this time.

“You must fight your fears. Do not be afraid.” He had never said it out loud. But when he did, it sounded marvelous. It sounded like the truth. 

By far my favourite thing about this book was the setting. By now you should all know that I am a historical junkie and that the more developed the world building, the better. Though I wasn’t and still am not completely acquainted with this time frame, the world were still super intriguing to read about. The story takes place in historical Scotland, and the descriptions Peacock uses immediately enhanced the gothic undertones. Alongside the setting itself, we are also both directly and indirectly introduced to a variety of famous historical figures including William Shakespeare, Edgar Allen Poe, Henry Irving, and Bram Stoker. They were for the most part well developed and steadily followed through with their supposed characteristics. (With some minor tweaks here and there of course) Eerie, dark yet somehow full of hope, the world building of TDMOEB was the one and only thing I could constantly count on. 

As for the characters, I have SUCH mixed feelings. I liked them, I really did but they are nowhere near the criteria of being unforgettable. Edgar I felt sympathetic for, the main character who was constantly fighting for his life against the dark demons that ruled his world. Tiger I can’t say much about because *spoilers* but just letting you know, I loved the character with all of my heart. Lucy and Jonathon was where I had to sit on the fence. They were unfortunately typical characters who seemed to have no distinct personality. Both of them fell completely flat at times and I felt that they were merely there as potential love interests for the 2 main characters. (Definitely not something I like :O) The actual monster itself wasn’t too frightening and there was a lot less depth to it than I had hope for. The twists and turns that Peacock tried to leave behind never once caught me off guard and I was well aware early on who this mysterious creature was. Basically, the characters are a mixed bunch and though TDMOEB was a far more character driven story than a plot driven one, it just didn’t work out well enough for me. 

“When you fight a man,” says Tiger to Lucy, “hit him where it matters and hit him hard.” 

So, I honestly don’t know exactly why or how everything went completely downhill. And by downhill I mean a 180 degrees change in the mere span of a couple pages 😱 One moment, I was enjoying being consumed within the story and the next, I found myself wanting to skim read or even put down the book. I had already read some mixed reviews on Goodreads and much to my skepticism they turned out to be 100% true. The first half of the book is great really, the setting is wonderful, the writing a little too tense but manageable, and the plot compelling. But then after the 50% mark, I became extremely bored. I have nothing against slow books mind you, but I do start to develop a problem when absolutely nothing happens within a fantasy/ mystery/ horror novel. And that’s what exactly happened. The cast members were trying to go on their quest, but then something happens. They try again and another thing happens. This cycle right here repeated about 5 times before I officially started banging my head on the wall. It was beyond words frustrating and I wanted to put the dang book down multiple times. Alas I pulled through, hoping for some amazing action and yet again I was disappointed. Everything about the climax to the resolution was extremely anticlimactic and it just frustrated me to no end. When I was finally done, I took a deep breathe of relief… But guess what? This is apparently only the start of a series :O And no, before you ask, I will unfortunately not be continuing on the rest of the books.

Overall, The Dark Missions of Edgar Brim was a pretty big disappointment. Though I had no expectations going into the novel, the initial chapters had me incredibly compelled. Unfortunately, Peacock couldn’t continue on the 4.5 star track and soon enough, it fell down extremely fast. That being said, I would still recommend this book to readers who enjoy a gothic atmosphere and those who do not mind continuously slow paced books. 

“Who would have known that such a thing, not even a real thing, just a feeling, could mean so much in someone’s life?”

Note: All quotations are taken from the uncorrected proof and may differ from the finished copy. They’re subject to change.

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Have you read The Dark Missions of Edgar Brim or are you planning to? What did you think? Let me know your thoughts in the comments!

Thanks for reading lovelies xoxo,

-Jenna <3-

Find me here!

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