Cover Image: The Untimely Undeath of Imogen Madrigal

The Untimely Undeath of Imogen Madrigal

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Member Reviews

While I quite enjoyed this book, it didn't fully captivate me. The cover is the main thing that caught my eye when I was scrolling on Netgalley and the premise intrigued me as well. Overall it was pretty good but not exactly a new favourite.
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I absolutely loved the gothic vibes throughout the books and I found both main characters so endearing and easy to read! I thought the premise was super interesting, and the found family warmed my heart. The mystery aspect of the book was so well set up, even though I would've personally liked more stakes at the end. 

It's an overall great read !
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I was scrolling through Netgalley, because yes, I do have a serious issue when it comes to thus site, when this cover caught my eye. It reminded me of the type of glamour that The Great Gatsby tried to convey, and so my interest was piqued. The description of this book was so much more than that, and I'll admit that I was quickly lured in. 
The untimely Undeath of Imogen Madrigal is a warm and cozy, fast-paced read that cannot be held down by one genre. It has elements of magical realism, murder mystery, romance, and the paranormal. The story features so many queer characters, and it is so refreshing to see a novel where being queer is completely normal and accepted in this fictional society. 
I'm not the type of reader to enjoy historical fiction, but I find that I really enjoyed the ambiguous time period at the heart of this story. It leans towards a historical time period, but features some modern technologies which helped the story keep that otherworldly air that makes this a great escapist read without the difficulty that sometimes comes with fantasy novels. 
But above all else, I think my favourite part of this novel is the character relationships. I love the relationship between Maeve and Imogen throughout the novel, and the friendship of the sisters in the convent was so heart-warming. Though they have their faults and their relationship is not perfect, Maeve has built her own family with these friends, and I think this is just a group that's hard not to love. Also, Orion was such a delight to have in the story. He is ridiculous and funny, he is charming, very full of himself, and being a poet, he has his own way of words. 
If you like magical realism, cozy mysteries, and elements of found family, i cannot urge you enough to read this book. Throughout the story, the phrase "A good life is made up of good moments" is repeated by different characters, changing meaning throughout the story as we see the characters grow and discover themselves. I am very happy to have been able to read some of Maeve and Imogen's good moments.
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The untimely undeath of Imogen Madrigal is a Good Book, I liked it. Different to other ghoststories. Unexpected contens.
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This story was so quirky and fun to read! I loved the setting, especially the portrayal of the convent, and the worldbuilding of how the society was set up was really unique. The dynamic between Imogen and Maeve was so fun to explore with them, and all of the secondary characters (Orion, Thalia, Frances and Shivani) were all super nuanced and compelling to read about. I did feel like the end was a bit rushed and could have had more time to unwrap and explain everything, but I really enjoyed the way that Maeve's character grew throughout the story but still stayed true to herself.
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I loved this book! It was so great I will definitely have to get a physical copy to be able to read it again. I really enjoyed the mystery and if you have ever watched something where the ghost is trying to figure out what happened to themselves and enjoyed it then this is a book for you! I will definitely be recommending it to all of my book loving friends!
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This was much more fun than I thought it would be! I expected something grimdark, where everything is foggy and sad and slightly disgusting.
Instead we get Sister Maeve, from the Sisters of Good Death, and Imogen Madrigal trying to uncover the latters murder and also the reason why she isn't dead. 
What we get is very fun worldbuilding. A port city with a connected island. A nunnery that believes a good life leads to a good death. A steampunky vibe but with modern society (same sex marriage, for example, gender neutral pronouns, my man Orion with his nipple piercings, high heels and lipstick) without it feeling forced. A science vs. faith plot that doesn't hammer home the fact that Christianity Is The Only Way(TM). 

All in all, a very fun read! I really liked Maeve as a main character, and her character growth by the end (that I won't spoil, but I liked her talk with Mother Superior in the end), and the colorful cast! 
The only negative point I have is, that the solving of Imogens undeath never felt really pressing. It was certainly the main plotpoint, but it was really just the two of them bumbling along with no clear deadline, or other reasons for it to feel like it mattered that they found out who did it. Usually, you have a "find out by day x or something horrible happens", but this novel doesn't have that (and when a somewhat important deadline is introduced, it doesn't feel like it's all that important and deadline-y). Unfortunately, that makes it somewhat lukewarm for a mystery book.

Ultimately a fun read that lacked a bit of urgency in its plot development, which unfortunately makes it somewhat forgettable.

@NetGalley & BooksGoSocial: Thank you guys for this ARC!
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Thank you Netgalley for this advanced copy. This was an interesting mix of sci-fi, fantasy and paranormal. Had me laughing, rushing through chapters, and anxious to know what was next!
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The Untimely Undeath of Imogen Madrigal by Grayson Daly offers a mysterious and captivating plot that draws readers into a world where the living and the dead intertwine. The concept of the Sisterhood of Good Death and their duty to guide lost souls is intriguing, providing a unique backdrop for the story. The initial encounter between Maeve and the enigmatic Imogen Madrigal promises an enthralling exploration of justice and the afterlife.

However, while the plot shines with its allure, the characters fail to live up to their potential. The main characters, Maeve and Imogen, lack depth and fail to evoke a genuine connection with the reader. The romantic subplot falls flat, lacking chemistry and emotional investment. It's disappointing because there was potential for a compelling dynamic between the two, considering their unusual circumstances.

The most interesting character turns out to be a side character who makes only fleeting appearances throughout the narrative. This character captures the imagination and leaves the reader yearning for more. It's a missed opportunity that the book doesn't delve deeper into this intriguing persona, as their presence is a breath of fresh air amidst the otherwise lackluster main cast.

Another aspect that falls short is the world-building. While there are glimpses of an intriguing setting, it suffers from underdevelopment. Certain aspects, like naming conventions and the rules of the world, are left unexplained, leaving the reader with unanswered questions. It feels as though the author expects the readers to accept these elements without questioning, which can be frustrating for those seeking a more thorough understanding of the world they are immersed in.

In conclusion, The Untimely Undeath of Imogen Madrigal delivers a plot that holds a strong allure of mystery and intrigue. However, the characters, especially the main ones, fail to evoke a genuine connection and the romantic subplot lacks chemistry. The most captivating character is unfortunately sidelined, leaving the reader wanting more. While the world-building shows glimpses of promise, it suffers from underdevelopment, leaving important aspects unexplained. Overall, while the story has its moments, it falls short of its potential and leaves some lingering dissatisfaction.
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Omg, I cannot. This book started off strong in the first chapter or two, and then it just became a plotless slog of drudgery. I got to 50% finished before I just literally could not take another word. This has no direction, no character development, no discernible plot concerns to move the story along. It’s just a girl, talking to another girl, who she’s hiding from other girls. You have a literal zombie in your book—how do you make that dull??
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It’s a bit cozy, a bit quirky, but a lot of steampunk queer joy. It’s a mystery romance with unique world building that is both totally different than The Undertaking of Heart and Mercy but also sort of reminded me of those vibes? Idk I think if you read this book you’ll get what I mean. I was honestly obsessed with the world building and especially this idea of poets being these very sophisticated, snazzy, and powerful people. Most the poets I know of are big old nerds so this was fun to imagine. idk there’s also something very cool about a religion that revolves around death and ghosts. Not sure how I feel about it all on a deeper level but for this story it was extremely fun to read about. 

 I had a very hard time with Maeve in the beginning but I really started to like her to longer she was with Imogene. The writing of their relationship and how they slowly brought out the best in each other was so well done. I maybe could have done with some more emotional heart to hearts - but that’s just me bc I like big emotional conversations. 

Anyways, the found family was equally lovely to read! Orion especially was an absolute delight. The mystery was extremely well set up but in the end it was the weakest part- I think I just needed more interactions and scenes with all the people involved for me to really feel the stakes. Anyways- if you like a weird but very fun mystery romance then you’ll like this I think. 

Thanks again to NetGalley and Nosetouch Press for this Arc!
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The Sapphic longing! The death obsessed society! The idea of a good death! The poets as hedonists! THE SAPPHIC LONGING!

I have a soft spot for stories that explore death in positive ways and if you add a wonderfully diverse cast of well-rounded characters, then I truly couldn't be happier. I was deeply attached to Maeve and Imogen and loved the way Daly wrote the conclusion to their story. This is easily one of my favorite reads of the year so far! Perfect for anyone who enjoys Gothic supernatural stories and lesbians.

Thank you to Netgalley for the E-ARC!

*Review also appears on Goodreads + Storygraph
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Thank you NetGalley and the publisher for allowing me access to this arc. 

4 stars / 5

Things I love: 
Well written characters.
Beautiful world building.
Absolutely loved the plot.
Things I didn’t love:
Would have been better as a dual pov.
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TW: murder, death, torture

<b>Poets’ words have power, you see, and the words they utter within sight of the far side of the veil may as well be divine. Words have power, and if no one is around to receive a poet’s last, they may not go gently into that good night.</b>

For a debut novel, I enjoy the plot and intrigue, I liked the murder-mystery aspect and the location it was set in. The story itself was interesting and wasn’t like anything I have come across before. The opposing mix of the arts, sciences an religion is very interesting and well thought out. But something in the story was lacking for me making it feel slow in the beginning.

<b>Maeve found herself struck by the expression—struck like she’d find herself before a cathedral or a monument or the expanse of the sea. A moment of loveliness in what was otherwise sharp and inhospitable.</b>

The characters were good but not great, I feel like some of them should have stuck out more and others had some unnecessary spotlight. I did enjoy Maeve’s growth but a lot of the other characters felt jumbled and I had a difficult time connecting with them.

<b>”That’s all wonder is, isn’t it? Taking pause to notice your blessings.”</b>

I would have liked this book so much more if it was easier to read. The formatting of this book completely threw me off and made me had to backtrack and reread paragraphs to find out who was speaking or what was happening. And this didn't only happen a handful of times,  it happens throughout the entire book. At first I thought it was an issue with my e-reader settings, it was not. If you have a character writing messages in response to other characters speaking to them it should be clear. It wasn’t, it was all thrown in to the same paragraph without any direction or identifying markers that it was written text vs narration or who was responding to whom. If this had been edited and formatted in a clearer way, this book could have been great.  But this formatting issue really brought down my ability to enjoy this book fully, so I ended up feeling a bit disappointed.  I feel a little generous giving it 3 stars but I did enjoy more than I had issues with it.

<b>A good life is made up of good moments.</b>
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I enjoyed the mix of genres, from paranormal to murder mystery with a sprinkle of romance. The story was interesting, the world building as well. The characters were quite particular, but the middle fell a bit flat for me. I had to push through for the story to pick back up again and the ending was more engaging. The murderer reveal was a bit underwhelming, maybe because it wasn't really hard to guess. I liked the concept of having nuns being exorcists though!
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It's a wonderful thing to fall into a world where some things are familiar--tea, books--and others are not--poets having enormous power, the nuns of the Sisters of the Good Death, and more. Daly creates a fabulous and original world and characters for this novel, which, despite dealing with the half-undead, is charming and cozy and delightful. It's got Victorian plot devices used in excellent ways, including land-grabbers, lost siblings, and unexpected romance. Make your own cup of tea so no one can poison you, and settle in for a good read.
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This was a book I knew very little about before going in, but I think it was one of the most enjoyable reads of the year for me.

We follow young nun Maeve in the Sisterhood of the Good Death in a fantasy world that has elements of early 20th century obsessions with seances, ouija boards and spirits. In this world, Maeve's convent aim to peacefully help spirits pass on here possible, but they are in a constant fight with the Poets of this world who are seemingly agitating spirits through their seance's, leaving them with a higher chance of remaining and turning violent.

The convent live by the code that living a good life means a good death, so some of the younger sisters regularly leave convent grounds to visit tea houses and bars at night. They only aim to not become like the 'hedonistic' Poets and Artists.

(Un)fortunately for Maeve, she soon becomes entangled in not only Poets, Artists, but also Scientists, the social elite and a maybe not-quite-alive but not-quite-dead Imogen Madrigal, a beautiful semi-famous Poet who is trying to solve her own sort-of murder. There's questionable morals, scientific ethics, guns, and harpoons; which is a lot for a woman in her early 20s to take on after living in a convent for over a decade.

This is ultimately sapphic, and it shows the heart but often messy first time crushes between sisters and other acquaintances. The mystery was lacking somewhat for me, but the characters and relationships between the characters really made this book something I utterly devoured.

(For any critical role fans who want a sapphic Laudna-adjacent character, check out Imogen Madrigal and you'll be in love)
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Thank you NetGalley and BooksGoSocial!
Amazing concept and amazing execution. Imogen is such a complex and intricate character and fits so well together with Maeve. The plot was what made me want to read it, but the queer rep was but ultimately sold it to me. I saw the words queer ghostbusting nuns and just had to read it!
Not only are the characters fantastic queer characters, but the plot is very well written and explained fantastically. This is a book that could get confusing really quickly or drag on, but I'm glad that it flows extremely well.
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Gorgeous writing!

Thank you to NetGalley for access to this story.

Imogen and Maeve are two loveable characters that the story follows. The overall themes are intertwined between dark and light and the author made both feel balanced as you follow the sequence of events.
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Thank you to NetGalley and Grayson Daly for allowing me an early access copy. 
Now to begin with I really struggled to get in to this book. I read a few chapters and had to put it down for a while. 
But I am so glad I went back to it! 
I loved Imogen, her character development was so unexpected to me, I was t an huge fan at first but by the end I think I loved her the most. The relationship between her and Mauve was just beautiful. 
The book definitely became a lot more exciting as it went on, there were some truly fun scenes to read. 
It ended well but I could happily read more about these characters.
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