Of Monsters and Madness


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Jessica Verday

Verday is the New York Times best-selling author for the book series The Hollow. Her short stories have been featured in The First Time anthology.

Quotes from the Text

" 'Women do not now, nor will they ever, have place practicing medicine. Can you imagine? A woman doctor?' Father's revulsion turns to anger." (46)

- This shows how women were looked at in the eyes of the public back in this time.

"Father beseeches me, ' I may have failed at finding a cure for Typhus, but I created something even more powerful! The ability to separate good and evil. Just think of the possibilities. This serum can erase man's imperfections.' " (255)

- This is a look into hobbies of some people, and how experimentation was a practice of many.

"Her eyes trace the grotesque patchwork covering the upper part of my chest and neck. Although I have not looked at them in years, I know the scars are still dark and ugly as the first time I saw them" (193)

- This symbolizes the insecurities they faced then and the ones we still face today, relating their time to ours.

The Conflict

The main conflict in the book was the between Mr. Allan Poe and himself who was named Mr. Edgar Poe. In the end it turns out he was the murderer and the same person. To solve the conflict, Allan put himself in the insane asylum, and Annabelle's father is working on a Serum to erase Edgar the killer side of Allan.

What made this story interesting?

One night while Annabelle is supposed to be sleeping, she sees two figures in the courtyard. She strains to see what is happening, but fails to see much. She begins to go down stairs in hopes of seeing what the two men were doing. Then she hears low voices saying, "Don't drop it now, he pays to have 'em delivered near perfect as possible. We don't want no bruises." She sees the men both holding a long burlap sack, and delivering to her house.

While walking through the house in the middle of the night trying to catch a glimpse of some foul deal between her father, Annabelle discovers a magnificent library. She said it was stacked with every book you could think of. She wanders her way to a back corner where she finds an array of books with weird and mysterious experiments written inside of them. Whilst looking, a man appears. She cannot see if it's her father or not, spoiler, it's not.

As Annabelle walks into the dimly lit room, Edgar pushed the door shut behind her. He then shoved her backwards, curling his fingers into the collar of her cloak. He then held her in the air against the wall. He then says "Its my best work yet, although rather messy. Don't you think?" She begs for him to let her go, and she just wants it all to come to an end.

Historical References

One main historical reference was how experimentation played a huge role in the times of the book.

Another reference was how gender roles were very prevalent and alive during that time.

Also, showed the beliefs and systems of the new colonization set up in America, and how different it was from other countries.


I thoroughly enjoyed this book honestly. It may even be one of my favorites. The mixture of suspense, mystery, and romance was so intriguing. The book kept me on my toes and made me want to read more. I would recommend it, because it's like nothing I've ever read before and it was overall enjoyable to read.