I received an EARC of this book from FyreSyde Publishing in exchange for an honest review.
Trigger Warning: This novel and review discuss the following: vampires, murder, death.
Goodreads Rating: 2 Stars
I want to preface this review with a loud disclaimer: I did not like this book, but others might. Therefore, I will be posting this review even though I received it from the publisher, and it’s unfortunately not a rave review. The following are my honest thoughts on the novel.
Truthfully, this book was not for me. I honestly thought it could be, because I thought it would be a supernatural, haunting, creepy read with a vampire twist. I’m always intrigued by those kinds of novels, so I was anticipating to really like this book.
Beneath London’s Fog is supposed to be about a vampire named Jonathan, and how for centuries he has been occupying London as one of the only vampires in the city. However another vampire comes along who murders his victims maliciously, unlike Jonathan, who only utilizes attractive humans for their blood and only so far as to quench his hunger, before leaving them to heal with their memories manipulated to remember nothing. Yet, Jonathan is being blamed for these murders.
Unfortunately, I didn’t understand much of what Caldwell was trying to relay as far as a plot line, because the novel is written from Jonathan’s point of view and much of his observations are just pure train of thought. There is little background information that creates imagery for the reader. This causes such a huge disconnect as Jonathan jumps from thought to thought- it creates such holes in the action.
I did understand that Jonathan’s territory was being invaded by this malicious, mysterious vampire, but their backstory is sparsely revealed. Unfortunately, the writing is also overly dramatic, utilizing such heavy, emotionally impacting diction that it distracts from interpreting the relationships between the characters. I know Caldwell is trying to be a little unassuming to invoke some mystery and suspense into her writing, but to me, it comes off as trying too hard.
Another thing that detracted from my reader experience is that the setting of the novel doesn’t exactly match the title. I was anticipating some atmospheric, haunting, eerie type setting, but it this picture isn’t manifested at all. The fog is actually referring to Jonathan’s ability to become the fog. Not exactly what I was expecting when supernatural experiences were mentioned.
Overall, this book did not stack up against the other supernatural reads that have completely captivated my attention and imagination. Could other readers enjoy this? Absolutely, and in fact there are other readers who have reviewed and said that this is a wonderful book. Unfortunately for me, I struggled to get through this book. And it wasn’t a #moodreaderprobs because I am feeling ALL the fall creepy reads. This book just didn’t do it for me.
As always, I feel terrible having to write a negative review, especially for an author who clearly is proud of their work and just trying their hardest to promote their brain child. But, if I’ve learned anything from reviewing for authors and publishers, no review or refusing to review something is worse than writing a less-than-raving review. So, I know they’ll understand that I’m just trying to deliver the honest review that they asked for. I also wouldn’t discourage anyone from checking out a book that piques their interest, no matter what I think of it.
Published: October 30, 2019
Publisher: Fyreside Publishing
TL/DR: Beneath London’s Fog by Iona Cladwell is a dark noir novel about a vampire’s life in London.
Read it? Personally, I say no, but if you wish to, go for it.
Recommend it? No.
Buy it? I would not purchase this book, but if it intrigues you, by all means- go for it.