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"Nachtstürm Castle" now in paperback, review by Joyce

Nachtstürm Castle: A Gothic Austen Novel by Emily C.A. Snyder has been a favorite in our ebook store. It is now out in paperback through our sister site Librifiles.com. The following is a new review by Joyce.

If Northanger Abbey was a little confusing for me, Nachtstürm Castle was not. Author Emily C. A. Snyder describes this work as a Gothic novel in the style of Jane Austen, and it exhibits a visible Austen imprint in the style of prose and in the charming imitation of that author's habit of addressing the reader.

Having read only one novel by Jane Austen, Northanger Abbey, and having read it as a preparation for reviewing Nachtstürm Castle, I can see the resemblance in style and, of course, subject matter. However, the story takes us beyond Austen, where I perceive (rightly or wrongly) snatches of Dorothy Sayers, Mary Shelley, and even Edgar Allen Poe. Do my eyes deceive me?

Ms. Snyder’s style likewise goes past tribute to Jane Austen. Do I detect a gentle, charming, self-effacing parody? Ms. Snyder’s words, more than mine, characterize her as an infinitely talented author with a wicked sense of humor. Consider some of my favorite quotes:

And alas – if the authoress may be permitted more than one “alas” per chapter – that the next dawn brought our befuddled heroes no closer to understanding the mystery in question, than they had been the night before.

Through briars and bracken and steadily increasing rain, he thundered on his mount, landing at last on the road, not a few yards distant from his beloved. Another strike of lightening – now accompanied by the deep-bellied rumble, and the horse reared, incidentally setting Henry very picturesquely against the inconstant moon.

Warnings against the uses and abuses of imagination we have in other novels aplenty, including that far superior novel by that far superior author of which we are a poor continuation.

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