The Doll Factory

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date: 19 Aug 2019

Member Reviews

Thank you Netgalley for the opportunity to preview The Doll Factory by Elzabeth Macneal.
I would call this a horror story and it would make a great movie.

The author takes the reader back in time so you have to suspend your beliefs to some degree.  Two young women are basically slaves - they both perform artistic tasks for a rich woman.

But then one is taken in by a painter and things really splatter on the canvas.  

Good Book.  Different - haunting.
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I finished this book in one day because I couldn't tear myself away from it...it was THAT good.  THE DOLL FACTORY is everything I love in a good novel - propulsive storyline, dimensional, faceted characters, and a dark and gritty historical setting.  It reminded me a great deal of Edward Carey's LITTLE, which was one of my top 10 books of 2018.  This is an incredible story you shouldn't miss!
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Thank you for the publisher for sending me an ARC of this book.
Personally speaking, I couldn't get into the book because of the time period was set so far back.  This story isn't for me but I'm sure someone else might enjoy it.
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This novel is a gripping Victorian gothic page turner. I loved all the well-twined story threads throughout. It was equally creepy as well as inspiring, though I wished the ending was less vague and more questions answered.
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What an amazing read! I didn’t realize how suspenseful it would be. It was a wild, gripping thriller, that I never saw coming! I seriously couldn’t put it down! 

I voluntarily read and reviewed an advanced copy of this book. All thoughts and opinions are my own
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A delicious creepy dark psychological thriller Set in the Victorian era perfect setting characters that will shock it drew me in kept me turning the pages.So unique so original the author writes so beautifully even in the most horrifying story.Highly recommend #netgalley #atriabooks.
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Elizabeth Macneal has written a very intriguing and twisted book in The Doll Factory.  The story centers around Iris ahi has been indentured with her sister Rose to a woman who makes memorial china dolls for customers.  Rose sews and Iris paints the faces of the dolls.  Iris dreams of being an artist and finds a way to try and make this happen.  Louis Frost. aPRB artist discovers Iris and hires her to model for him in exchange for painting lessons.  Silas has also discovered Iris and believes he can make her his friend.  #thedollfactory.
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What an amazing read this was! I'm not sure what I expected going into it, but I know I did not get anything that I could have imagined. This book took me completely by surprise and pulled me right into the story. The author deftly sets the historical period through her writing and creates really dimensional characters. I don't think I have ever read a book in which I was completely endeared by a character, reveling in the quirks and imagination given by the author, only to have the character so very slowly devolve into a complete monster. This book was so very dark and so very creepy and I really loved every word of it. Warning: there are several disturbing and graphic animal scenes throughout the book.
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Well written, suspenseful, dark and Victorian, a great example of a psychological thriller set in a time period that already evokes a feeling of gloom and doom. Macneal uses so many elements in the story that just scream horror novel, feelings of fear and disgust, a jolt of the macabre and an overall atmosphere of uneasiness and dread. 
But then she balances that out and gives the reader a sense of well being, by adding some lovely light moments that lead you to believe that maybe things will be better than they seem. 

The story has wonderfully fleshed out characters, and perfect plotting and pacing, with descriptive passages that put you right in Victorian London. 

The only thing that kept me from giving it full marks was the predictability of the plot. I wasn't sure exactly how it would end, but I was certain of how things would play out.
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This is the creepiest novel I have read in ages, and I LOVED it.  I could feel the grime and soot, and the lizard like qualities of Silas.  This is a perfect thriller, so reminiscent of THE COLLECTOR.  not to mention, all the expertise with art.  This book is the beginning of a great new voice in the genre, and I for one shall champion heartily.
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When I first finished the book, I was bothered by the fact that it took so long to get to the incident between Iris and Silas. In retrospect, I can see that it's drawn out because the author's focus wasn't on Silas's actions, but on his mental obsession with Iris. The author took the time to fully develop both characters.

Iris is the kind of woman I want to be: fierce, brave, kind, and grounded. I thoroughly enjoyed "seeing" her spread her wings and face her fears. Silas, on the other hand, is repugnant. He is an absolute creep! I loved Albie and was rooting for him...

The setting, Victorian England, is almost a character of its own. There is so much to see, hear, smell, and taste..the detail is remarkable.  

I just might read this one again!

Reflecting back has prompted me to change my four-star rating to five.

Thank you to the publisher and Net Galley for the advanced copy in exchange for an honest review.
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This book was utterly gripping. I was completely enthralled and the plot twists abounded like crazy. I was on pins and needles and then when I was finished I made my mom read it too just so that I could rant and talk about it to someone. It was that intense, guys. Like ... wow.  

Would I recommend? Absolutely.
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I read this book to try something different and I was not dissapointed. The Doll House is a horror story, one I'm still not sure what to make of, but if you like Victorian Era horror, you will probably like this book. 

I would like to thank netgalley and the publisher for providing me with a copy free of charge. This is my honest and unbiased opinion of it.
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This book was absolutely horrifying and brilliant. I couldn't put it down, even when I really really wanted to and was squirming in my chair at all the horrible things happening & horrible things I knew were going to happen. Neo-Victorian novels are my absolute jam and so many of them claim to be a "gritty look at London's underworld" etc. and so few of them actually are. This one is. Entirely. 
I give it five stars, will insist my library purchases it, and will be buying my own copy.
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