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BOOK REVIEW: “Much of Madness” by S.E. Summa


Title: “Much of Madness”

Author: S.E. Summa

Genre: Paranormal/Gothic Horror

Seraphina Pearce doesn’t know what’s more frustrating: her magic’s affinity for death, her best friend’s transformation into an albino Sin Eater, or that simply touching a guy she loves means someone’s headed to the morgue.

After a sin-eating job goes awry, she casts a risky spell and butts heads with a handsome stranger in order to win an infamous grimoire.

Marceau L’Argent is the last person she should confide in because the occult cat burglar has a mysterious past, and he’s made it no secret he also wants the grimoire. He recognizes her dark magic and offers his unique help as a rare curse breaker. If all that weren’t enough, Marceau causes butterflies in her stomach—a feeling she’d long thought dead.

Seraphina was only trying to break her curse—not piss off Death himself.

MUCH OF MADNESS is a Southern Gothic Horror story about loyalty, sacrifice, and maintaining hope no matter the odds.

About the Author

I live in Tennessee with my husband and a menagerie of spoiled pets. After my daughter left the nest, I rediscovered my love for writing. Growing up in Nashville, I always felt the city’s unique culture and landmarks would be the perfect setting for monsters to play. I graduated magna cum laude with a BBA from Belmont University.

I’m a member of the Romance Writers of America (RWA), and I serve as the Volunteer and Membership Coordinator for my local chapter, the Music City Romance Writers (MCRW).

Inspired by my fantastic experience at UtopYA Con 2015, I started The Debut Collective, an online community of authors committed to publishing by June 2016. The Debut Collective is a supportive tribe of authors (both published and aspiring), editors, formatters, and cover designers working together to foster a new generation of stories and authors.

Find S.E. online at:





My Review

Ever read a book that creeps you out, crawls under your skin, and threatens to haunt your thoughts day and night? Well, S.E. Summa’s Much of Madness is one of those books.

Oh my gosh! I just loved the descriptions, the details… I literally looked up every landmark reference and even food and drink mentioned. Now, mind you, I don’t normally do that with a book. This book begged me to do it. One, I’ve been to Nashville a few times and wanted to see if the references ran true. Second, I wanted to see how Summa handled real references in fiction. Talk about excellent world building! Her details helped the story come alive for me.

I absolutely loved Summa’s characters. Every single one of them resonated in some way. I’m torn over who I liked the most. Seraphina, a Spellcaster, was determined and troubled. Marceau, a Curseweaver, was tormented and intelligent. Khatereh, half djinn, was secretive and feisty. Finn, a Sin Eater, was a protective being who conducted a hazardous, emotional job with relative ease. Lynette and Babette, reanimates, were demented beings who didn’t ask for their fates. And speaking of fate… Maximilian. I won’t tell you what his role is. If you figure it out before it’s revealed, good for you. Despite how despicable he was, I loved his elegance. Out of all the characters, Vespa may have been my ultimate favorite. I’m still trying to figure out what type of being she’s supposed to be.

The plot of “Much of Madness” is divine. There’s a supernatural quest embedded with revenge. It twists and culminates with a ‘didn’t see that coming’ ending. Once you find out what role Max plays, you might be tempted to wonder how Marceau didn’t see how things would happen. I’ll just say that Max is a deceptive being and shouldn’t have ever been trusted. And then when you learn the whole story, you’re left thinking ‘now I get it’. It’s easy to see how poor Marceau was deceived.

I can’t wait to read the next book in this series. Don’t forget you can read short stories related to “Much of Madness” in the Debut Collective anthologies—“Secret Identity” and “Underdogs”.

Rating: 5-hands-up5-hands-up5-hands-up5-hands-up5-hands-up (5=Excellent, 4=Pretty Good, 3=Good)

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