**Thank you EgmountUSA and Netgalley for providing this in exchange for an honest review**
This wasn't a bad book. Everything about it just kind of felt flimsy. The first page was by far the best. We had blood, guts, and the perfect set up for a Gothic Horror. That was unfortunately the only real horror in this title. From here the story is a slow, light gothic with a weak mystery.
Annabel's mother has just died. She leaves the only real home she has ever known to move half a world away to live with her father, who she has never met. Having grown up living with Missionaries in Siam, Philadelphia is a big shock to her. Here she is not allowed to help out like she was in Siam. She is not allowed to dress like she used to. She has to learn to proper ways to greet people. She has to learn what is and what isn't acceptable for a women to talk about. She isn't allowed to continue learning medicine. This is the biggest blow to her. As if learning everything she says and does is considered wrong wasn't enough, she has to worry about a murderer on the loose. A murderer who's victims all have ties to her father
Annabel was a likable character, but she was too weak minded. She was your basic Gothic heroine. Which would be fine, if we weren't expecting her to be more. Throughout the book, she brings up her love of medicine and dreams of becoming a female doctor. When she brings this up to her father, he makes it clear that women have no place meddling in such things. Rather then taking offense, she gets upset by she fact that she upset her father. There is no way a female in those times would ever amount to anything above wife and mother unless they fought for it. Unfortunately, Annabel doesn't have any fight in her.
Mixed with the retelling of Poe's life, there is a bit of another classic horror story. I can't say which one without giving away the big secret, but I figured it out before the half way mark. The author made the same mistake many other authors make: it was too obvious.
I was really irritated by the abrupt ending, but now I see there is a sequel to this. The Ballad of Annabel Lee is due out in Fall 2015. I will probably skip it.