The Progeny | Tosca Lee

Note: This was provided by the publisher in return for a honest review.

The Progeny is expected to be published by Howard Books on May 24th 2016.

I’ve been fascinated with the story of Elizabeth Bathory for quite some time now. A Hungarian countess who tortured and murdered so many victims – and as the tale goes bathed in their blood for the power of youth. She is, as many label her, the most prolific female serial killer of all time.

So when I saw a new novel on Netgalley about the descendant of Bathory – I quickly applied for an ARC. A novel full of mystery, murder, romance and a little bit of magic.

A little excerpt from the blurb:

Emily Jacobs is the descendant of a serial killer. Now, she’s become the hunted.
She’s on a quest that will take her to the secret underground of Europe and the inner circles of three ancient orders—one determined to kill her, one devoted to keeping her alive, and one she must ultimately save.

The Progeny was a nice thriller, one I devoured in the lonely hours of the night. Although I admit, slightly slow and stale at the beginning as the protagonist starts off with no recollection of her past in the sleepy backwoods of Maine. But once the location shifts to Europe (which doesn’t take too long) – the pace and feel of the story becomes a lot more exciting (although sporadic).

The mystery, worldbuilding and the sense of not being able to trust anyone are definitely the highlights from this novel. I enjoyed learning about the different secret societies, their aims – even the highly sought macguffin (a diary?) I also liked the fact that it was hard to trust anyone in this novel – constantly I was rethinking who to side with and feeling a bit pressured and unsure like the protagonist. The magic, using the power of suggestion to beguile others was also rather interesting as well.

But it all did feel a little bit cliche. I found it hard to have an emotional connection to any of the characters – which is crucial for any tense character moments. The romance was slightly enticing but it felt like I was being smothered with it. And the plot well – felt all over the place.

This is a very mixed review – but I did enjoy the Progeny. Despite weak characters and plot I still found it easy to read and a little bit addictive. I’ll put this down to a very interesting premise and I’m still intrigued to read the next installment in this series.

I give it 3.5/5*

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