Book: 666 Park Avenue
Author: Gabriella Pierce
Publisher: Avon/Harper Collins
Rating: 3.5 Stars
Release Date: Out Now!!!
Gabriella Pierce invokes a distinctive vintage horror vibe reminiscent of such great like Shirley Jackson and Ira Levin in her debut novel, 666 Park Avenue that takes that old 1970’s occult influence and modernizes it in a way that is highly appealing. Like a dark, poisonous cloud wending its way through every page. Pierce artfully creates an atmosphere that is both subtle and creepy.
This re-tooled Rosemary’s Baby (but without the baby), piece is about orphan Jane Boyle who emigrates to the U.S from France on the heels of two life altering events: the whirlwind romance to New York’s blue blood Malcolm Doran, and the death of her reclusive grandmother Celine. But as she is further isolated in New York from Malcolm and immersed in the Doran family circle, she realizes that something is dreadfully wrong. Do the Doran’s know about her family history, the power she can barely wield?
Pierce does a great job seducing the reader into trusting Malcolm…an absolutely great job. We believe in the relationship, the tenderness, the stalwart support he provides. When all is said and done, I can admit that I was fooled. Completely and utterly fooled. Pierce also offers up Jane’s fragile and trusting nature to further topple our stability and her isolation lends a solitary feel to the novel that works with the atmosphere.
Pierce’s depiction of Lynne Boyle is classic: mutable and off-center to the reader…evil and conniving and nurturing to fulfill her own ends. Charles chilled me to the bone. And that scene with him and Jane was just…just thinking about it makes me shiver.
The major weakness of this promising new book is the lack of a set of strong support characters for Jane and more of an intricate back-story into the history of the seven families, the seven witches and Ambika to really get our teeth into the story and the conflict. Either of which would have made 666 Park Avenue a richer read. Maeve and Harris are simple teasers, and with Maeve struck down by the evil matriarch of Clan Doran, there is little she can do but exit stage right. Perhaps a more robust role from either one, including Dee would have been better. But if Pierce’s focal point was for tone rather than plot, then it succeeds. I found that I had alot of questions at the end that were left unanswered…the names of the family lines who carry the genetic trait…is Jane pregnant when she leaves…more conflict…the attraction between Harris and Jane…(which was absolutely scrumptious by the way).
Over all I like 666 Park Avenue, and I am definitely wanting to read the sequel, where Pierce has a few infinite possibilities to pursue..and definitely want to read more about Harris and Jane who I think will be making a repeat performance…
A Fiendishly Bookish Review (and one grumpy cat)