Famine (review)

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Title: Famine (Book one of the Apocalyptics)
Author: Monica Enderle Pierce
Source: Author
Stars: 4

"The fate of every soul rests upon his shoulders. His fate rests in the hands of a troubled, young girl.

It’s 1895 — the cusp of the Victorian and Edwardian eras — and Bartholomew Pelletier is a gentleman and a warrior. For fifteen centuries he’s endured the depraved appetite of Famine — one of the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse — as she’s consumed his strength and sought to unite with her fellow Horsemen. But now Bartholomew’s chance to imprison her has appeared…in the form of his young ward Matilde.

Chosen to wield the immeasurable power of the Catcher — the one entity that can capture the escaped Horsemen — Matilde is a distrustful child from an abusive and impoverished home. She must be hidden from Famine as she grows strong, learns to fight, and reaches adulthood. But Bartholomew faces a terrible act: For Matilde to become the immortal Catcher, he must gain her trust, and then he must end her life.

By any means necessary, Bartholomew intends to conquer this enemy, but is he willing to sacrifice the one person he loves in order to save mankind?

Famine is the first novel in a four-book, historical fantasy series. It contains graphic violence, strong language, and sexual content and is intended for mature readers.”
*Received a copy for an honest review.*

Famine follows the story of Bartholomew, a once mortal man who finds himself caught in a centuries old battle. For some, the lines between good and evil are blurred, and for others, there is only selfish desire. But for some, the coming events just might change everything.

When I first started reading Famine, it felt like I was reading a the script for a Noir film. "We'd be oversimplifying things in calling film noir oneiric, strange, erotic, ambivalent, and cruel.." (from Wikipedia) Only instead of a cop trying to solve a brutal murder, we have a reluctant hero trying to prevent one. I've seen some Noir films before, but I've never been a fan of the cop genre. Yet there is something about the dark, nitty gritty movies, that I find interesting. So if you'd have asked me if I would want to read a book with the same elements and a paranormal touch, I'd have no other option but to say yes.

"Where are you heading Matilde?" (Bartholomew)
"Away" (Matilde)
"I see. Away is an enormous place. Have you family there?" (Bartholomew)

But as much as I loved the tone of the book, the characters was where this book really sored. Based on the summary and the little teasers the author posted from this series, I had some ideas about these guys before I started it. And yet, by time I finished, the author managed to make me like them more than I thought I was going to.

Bartholomew is a man trapped. He is at Famine's beck and call. His only real hope is Cather's rebirth, so to speak. When we first meet him, he's a man who appears to float from vice to vice. But when he meets Matilde, we get our first opportunity to see that maybe there is more to him than it might suggest. But he is still a far cry from a dashing hero, and I liked that about him. The author did a great job with his character growth over the time he took care of Matilde. It wasn't a sudden change, nor was it a drastic change, but it was realistic, and it brought the story to a point I had expected.

Matilde is a complex littler girl. Her backstory is rather depressing, her future in question, and yet, she has this strength that you cannot help but admire. The book is divided up in sections, and time passes between each one of them allowing her to grow. In a sense, the novel is her coming of age story, if a coming of age story involved a destiny thousands of years in the making.

"I don't appreciate your sense of humor, Monsieur." (Matilde)
"Non? Very well. I will have it removed." (Bartolomew)

There is so much I could say about the plot of this novel, but most of it involves spoilers, so I'll refrain. But from the moment I dove into the world, I was intrigued. Who was this Catcher he mentioned? What's an Apocalptic? Why did he follow Famine if he hated her? How does Matilde fit into all of this? I just HAD to know. The present aspect of the story blended with the bits from his past that offered a lot on insight into the characters really well. The book was well written and flowed at a nice pace.

I'm really glad I got the opportunity to read and review this novel. This book is certainly a great start to a series, and I am looking forward to finding out what happens next.


  1. What a lovely review! I'm delighted that you enjoyed Famine and appreciate you sharing your feedback with your readers. Thank you, Dreams!

    1. Your welcome. Thank you for the opportunity to read and review Famine.

  2. I read this book about a month ago and loved it. One of the most well-written books I've read in a long time. Monica, I'm doing whatever I can to get word-of-mouth going, 'cuz the reading public needs to read this story. Thank you, Care, for reviewing Famine and getting the word out.

    1. I loved the author's other work, so I absolutely had to jump at the chance to read this one. And it was a great read. :)

      Thank you for stopping by.


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