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The Apothecary’s Curse by Barbara Barnett / Reviewed by Bree Goodchild

 

The Apothecary’s Curse

By Barbara Barnett

Pyr
$17.00
ISBN 978-1633882331
Published 10/11/2016

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Killer Nashville Reader’s Choice Award

The Apothecary’s Curse

Killer Nashville review by Bree Goodchild

When you blend history with mythology and science you get a cocktail of Victorian mystery and alchemic fantasy. This decadent brew awaits within the text of Barbara Barnett’s novel The Apothecary’s Curse; a story of immortality and its consequences.

The story begins in the loft of Gaelen Erceldounes’s apothecary shop. Set in the early 19th century amongst the “vile zoology” of London. Simon Bell is a physician desperate to find a cure for his beloved wife, Sophie’s illness. Gaelen, who has recently lost both his wife and infant son, reluctantly agrees to help.

Following an ancient text bestowed upon his ancestors by the Goddess Airimid and the Tuatha dé Danann, Gaelen concocts a potion he hopes will cure Sophie—instead, it ends her life. A grief-stricken Bell takes the last few drops to join her in death only to wake up very much alive and seemingly, immortal. After years of suicide attempts, Bell discovers that Gaelen, now dubbed the “Miracle Man”, cannot die either. The ancient text has vanished without a trace, leaving Bell and Gaelen doomed to eternal life trying to escape torture and experimentation at the hands of the nefarious Dr. Handley.

Barnett’s careful use of language, shifting timelines, and abrupt plot twists seamlessly melds with the well-researched mythology. She invites the reader to become witness to the chaos and curse that is immortality. Fans of Anne Rice, Sherlock Holmes, and Celtic Mythology will appreciate this fantastic blend of chemistry, alchemy, and creativity.

Bree Goodchild is a recent graduate of Tennessee Tech University in Cookeville with a BA in English and Theatre Arts. She currently lives in Washington state with her beagle mix, Molly. A fan of a wide genre of books and authors, most recently Temple Grandin, Ira Glass, Terry Moore, Sebastian Barry, and Zora Neale Hurston.