Publication: 30th August 2022 – Hodder & Stoughton
For as long as Signa Farrow has been alive, the people in her life have fallen like stars…
Orphaned as a baby, nineteen-year-old Signa has been raised by a string of guardians, each more interested in her wealth than her wellbeing – and each has met an untimely end. Her remaining relatives are the elusive Hawthornes, an eccentric family living at Thorn Grove, an estate both glittering and gloomy.
Its patriarch mourns his late wife through wild parties, while his son grapples for control of the family’s waning reputation and his daughter suffers from a mysterious illness. But when their mother’s restless spirit appears claiming she was poisoned, Signa realizes that the family she depends on could be in grave danger, and enlists the help of a surly stable boy to hunt down the killer.
Signa’s best chance of uncovering the murderer, though, is an alliance with Death himself, a fascinating, dangerous shadow who has never been far from her side. Though he’s made her life a living hell, Death shows Signa that their growing connection may be more powerful – and more irresistible – than she ever dared imagine.
From New York Times bestselling author Adalyn Grace, Belladonna brings to life a highly romantic, gothic-infused world of wealth, desire, and betrayal.
I really enjoyed Adalyn Grace’s previous novels, so there never was a doubt in my mind that I was going to read her latest one. Also, Belladonna was presented as Bridgerton meets Knives Out so I was entirely sold on it and I wasn’t disappointed because I LOVED it!!! I loved the characters, the story, the writing, and the brilliant ending that left me hanging for more and I already can’t wait for the sequel to come out next year!
The protagonist of the story is Signa Farrow. Signa has what it may be called either a gift or a curse… it depends on the perspective. For Signa her ability to see Death and evade it is a curse. No matter how many belladonnas she eats, she can always see him and not die, but those close to her do. First her parents died when she was a baby and then the long series of guardians who raised her. After her latest guardian dies, she is invited to Thorns Grove by the Hawthornes, her last living relatives.
When Signa arrives at Thorns Grove she finds a party going on. Since his wife Lilian died, Elijah Hawthorne has been drowning his sorrow in alcoholism and wild parties while his son Percy tries to take the reins of the family business and his daughter Blythe is suffering from the same illness that killed her mother. And when Lilian’s spirit tells Signa that she was poisoned, she knows she needs to hurry and find the killer before even Blythe succumbs to it, even if that means asking for the help of a mysterious and charming stable boy, but, above all, for the help of Death himself.
Belladonna is truly an addictive and compelling story. I loved the gothic and haunting atmosphere and the unexpected twists and the suspense. Most of all, I loved the characters. Signa and Death are fascinating characters with a complex relationship. Only seventeen years old, Signa has seen enough people dying around her. The guardians who raised her were only interested in her family’s money, so she craves affection and acceptance. She hates Death because he took her family away from her, but, as the story develops, she comes to accept her gift and her relationship with Death turns romantic.
There is romance, murder, spirits, secrets, and much more. Belladonna is a fantastic and gripping story that kept me glued to the pages and with a stunning cover I can’t stop stare at!!!
A huge thank you to Hodder & Stoughton and NetGalley for providing me with a proof of the novel.
Adalyn Grace is the New York Times bestselling author of All the Stars and Teeth, which was named ‘2020’s biggest YA fantasy’ by Entertainment Weekly. Prior to becoming an author, Adalyn worked in live theatre, acted as the managing editor of a non-profit newspaper, and studied storytelling as an intern on Nickelodeon Animation’s popular series The Legend of Korra. Local to San Diego, Adalyn spends her non-writing days by watching too much anime, and playing video games with her two dogs.