Author: Zoe Kalo
Genre: Thriller, Novella
Rating: ✈️ ✈️ out of ✈️ ✈️ ✈️ ✈️ ✈️
Synopsis and Thoughts:
Zoe Kalo’s novella is a story of revenge with allusions to Dante’s Inferno. Twenty-three year old music student, Angelica, is set on seeking revenge against the man who wronged her seven years prior. Having spent years planning, Angelica attends a masquerade ball hosted by the very man she seeks.
This novella had been on my to read list for a couple of years prior to my finally reading it. The description, especially with the reference to Dante’s Inferno, are what drew me in and piqued my interest; thus, when I was offered a free copy of this in exchange for an honest review, I leapt at the chance to finally read it. Much to my disappointment, the book failed to live up to my expectations.
Granted, Two Graves is a short novella at 70 pages, but I felt that it would’ve been better if the author had taken the time to expand on the story and flesh it out more to either make it a longer novella, or even a full length novel. The story switched back and forth between the present and what occurred in the past to make Angelica want this revenge in a jerky manner to where it threw the flow of the story off. Meanwhile, the brief glimpses of the Dante-ish masquerade ball grabbed my interest in the description of the room and it’s group of people, but there was such little time spent there that I wasn’t able to fully appreciate the mood and experience that was being laid out.
In the end, the one thing that aggravated me the most about the story, was the end. After all of the buildup, the ending felt both rushed and abrupt. I actually had to re-read the last few pages a couple of times to make sure that I hadn’t missed something, and upon finding I hadn’t, I was disappointed in the ending and couldn’t help but wonder if the author had reached a point where she couldn’t decide how to end the book, after having created so many unanswered questions, that she just decided to end it rather than keep going and attempting to answer her own questions.
The reason for the two plane rating, versus just one, is because, despite all the issues I had with this book, I enjoyed the last quarter of the story when things really began to pick up and the references to Dante finally began to become known. Although I would not recommend this book, especially not to those who are looking for a revenge story, I will say that if you do decide to read this, proceed with caution.