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Devil's Sonata: Evil never dies by [Edmondson, Elizabeth]
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Devil's Sonata: Evil never dies Kindle Edition

3.9 out of 5 stars 33 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

Music and strange happenings -- I enjoyed this atmospheric and well written novel. There are many interesting characters such as Zuleika herself, Wyndham Tilbury - an art expert, Sylvia - the charismatic actress suffering from Bell's palsy and currently teaching drama at the school, Sylvestra - a new pupil with her ever changing hair colour and her visions. Then there are the unpleasant ones - the cold and vaguely evil headmaster - Odo Fitzhoward, Arabella - the pupil who behaves like the devil incarnate, Jack Mallins - another unpleasant pupil. -- Damaskcat (Amazon UK)

I found this book enthralling. It starts slowly but the characters and the setting draw one in until one is completely caught up with the story. The sense of place is extraordinary. The abbey, its surroundings and the moodiness of North Yorkshire weather are given powerful life. The characters are individual and quirky (although the wicked headmaster is a bit of a stereotype)and develop throughout the story. You don't feel you know all about them, you feel that you are getting to know them in fits and starts.The plot is complex and with more depth than many books in the Gothic genre. Legend, history, art, music and folk lore are all thrown into the pot and stirred. -- Mrs. K. A. P. Wright

I was expecting a typical teen horror story, but was pleasantly surprised. The book is set in a British boarding school, so many of the characters are teens. But many others are adults, including the main character Zuleika. Most of the characters were well-developed and enjoyable to get to know. The setting, an old Abbey converted to a manor house and then a school, was almost a character in itself. -- pat1360

From the Author

Elizabeth Edmondson (who also writes as Elizabeth Aston) was born in Chile to an impeccably English father and a distinctly un-English Argentine mother. Educated by Benedictine nuns in Calcutta, Fabians in London, and Inklings at Oxford, she's lived in India, England, Malta and Italy.
Married, with a grown-up son and daughter, she's always been fascinated by the complexities of family life, especially the secrets, violence and intrigues that lie beneath the smooth façade of twentieth-century upper class English families, which are the subject of her novels.

Product Details

  • File Size: 993 KB
  • Print Length: 445 pages
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
  • Publisher: Belsyre Books (July 13, 2011)
  • Publication Date: July 13, 2011
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B005CRRTOG
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #47,643 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Kindle Edition
Usually I really like and enjoy E. Edmondson's stories, especially the atmosphere and the way the characters are portrayed. I don't have a problem with slow-paced stories, and what could be found out about hte plot sounded highly promising. This was why I bought Devil's Sonata in the first place.
When settling down to read it however, I was disappointed. Characters are introduced, presumably meant as protagonists (Zuleika Rathbone, Arabella) but you don't really find out what makes them tick: their actions are not motivated, and from time to time they disappear completely from the scene to make way for other characters equally unmotivated. Several threads of the story remain hanging in the air (what is the matter with Nicholas Beauregard for example? Why is Wyndham Tilbury interested in what goes on at the Abbey? What is the role of Alice Joram?), and the story stops rather suddenly to end in a deeply unsatisfying epilogue which refers to events that apparently took place during a climatic final chapter which has not been written or at least is not included in the kindle version.
The last bit leads me to my main point of criticism: I like my books finished, and this one is not: In several places you can see that sentences are left unfinished or uncorrected (e.g. words are repeated), after full stops you find alternative versions of those sentences, sometimes in notes. In at least one case you find a paragraph, in this case a whole conversation, twice. Concerning content, I find it unconvincing to be told every last detail, be it ever so minute, about the preparation of the play's production and hear nothing about the actual performance during which apparently something quite momentous seems to have happened. All of this leaves the question open as to is the kindle version the real thing, and if so, where was the editor on this book?
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Format: Kindle Edition
I was expecting a typical teen horror story, but was pleasantly surprised. The book is set in a British boarding school, so many of the characters are teens. But many others are adults, including the main character Zuleika. Most of the characters were well-developed and enjoyable to get to know. The setting, an old Abbey converted to a manor house and then a school, was almost a character in itself. The architectural descriptions made me wish for illustrations.

Ms. Edmondson's plot starts off quickly with the discovery of an old book of spells, then a Venetian violin. The horror builds slowly as we progress through the school year and through the staging of "A Midsummer's Night Dream". And then suddenly, it's over. I was expecting much more of a grand finale. In fact, the ending is my only complaint about the book. Dare I hope there will be further adventures for Zuleika and company? I was definitely left wanting more.

I received a complimentary copy of this book in order to review it.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
The thing I like about EE is the way she builds a story and the characters together. She doesn't spend a lot of time in fluffy character creations. She lets the story tell the reader who they are. This story had some dark elements without being over the top freighting. I thoroughly enjoyed this book as i have so many of her others.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
The author has skillfully intertwined history, architecture, Shakespeare, music, the paranormal, academe and teenage angst into a thoroughly entertaining tale. If only she had deleted her last sentence...
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Format: Kindle Edition
I read the Kindle version and I did not find any of the problems mentioned in reviews done in 2012, so there must have been some editing and clean-up work done. I thought the book was basically well written, with no annoying tics and good, natural dialog. I always like a book set in a school or a theatre, so I had high hopes that were not realized. The location in this book was a posh school set on the site of an abbey destroyed by King Henry VIII, and the ghostly goings-on were related to that long-ago event (the book is set in modern times.)

The actual scary events were a lot less scary than they could have been because nobody really reacted to them they way you would think, and there was no sense of building tension. It seemed that they were just scattered evenly through the text, with no repercussions, or much concern from the characters. The violin prodigy plot could be seen coming a mile away and ended pretty much as expected. I agree with other reviewers that many plot points seemed to fade away without explanation. There were too many people in this book, some of whom seemingly appeared only to be mysterious without any payoff. I got bored with all the pseudo-historical information about the pseudo-historical family concerned at the school. I got really bored with the last section of the book, which mainly concerned how you stage a play in excruciating detail. In fact, I admit I started skimming at that point and I don't think I missed anything. The plot was wrapped up rather sloppily in the last chapter (well, except for the aforementioned lost plot points and people) in a five-minute ending that felt by-the-numbers. The epilogue gave closure, but all in all I wondered why I wasted so much time on this book.
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Format: Kindle Edition
Zuleika Rathbone has travelled from America to Yorkshire to study a grimoire - collection of spells - found inside a stone pillar in the cloisters of Beauregard Abbey. The Abbey is now a prestigious public school though the current head of the Beauregard family lives in the grounds. Zuleika is a scientist who studies the brain in connection with esoteric beliefs and practices. Zuleika discovers an old friend teaching at the school and soon gets to know and like many of the staff there but the Abbey itself and its Venetian inspired eighteenth century wing gives her the creeps.

When she is asked to stay on and research and write a history of the Beauregard family Zuleika is in two minds about doing so. There are things going on at the school that she is dubious about and her discovery of an old violin with a malevolent feel to it almost makes her turn down the offer. A catalogue of accidents and strange happenings, abrupt changes of character and behaviour among the pupils and a planned school production of Shakespeare's `A Midsummer Night's Dream' which acquires some very dark overtones all add to the ominous atmosphere which pervades the Abbey and all who live and work there.

I enjoyed this atmospheric and well written novel. There are many interesting characters such as Zuleika herself, Wyndham Tilbury - an art expert, Sylvia - the charismatic actress suffering from Bell's palsy and currently teaching drama at the school, Sylvestra - a new pupil with her ever changing hair colour and her visions. Then there are the unpleasant ones - the cold and vaguely evil headmaster - Odo Fitzhoward, Arabella - the pupil who behaves like the devil incarnate, Jack Mallins - another unpleasant pupil.
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