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The Corpse Queen

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In this dark and twisty feminist historical thriller, a teenage girl starts a new life as a grave robber but quickly becomes entangled in a murderer's plans. Soon after her best friend Kitty mysteriously dies, orphaned seventeen-year-old Molly Green is sent away to live with her "aunt." With no relations that she knows of, Molly assumes she has been sold as free domestic la In this dark and twisty feminist historical thriller, a teenage girl starts a new life as a grave robber but quickly becomes entangled in a murderer's plans. Soon after her best friend Kitty mysteriously dies, orphaned seventeen-year-old Molly Green is sent away to live with her "aunt." With no relations that she knows of, Molly assumes she has been sold as free domestic labor for the price of an extra donation in the church orphanage's coffers. Such a thing is not unheard of. There are only so many options for an unmarried girl in 1850s Philadelphia. Only, when Molly arrives, she discovers her aunt is very much real, exceedingly wealthy, and with secrets of her own. Secrets and wealth she intends to share--for a price. Molly's estranged aunt Ava, has built her empire by robbing graves and selling the corpses to medical students who need bodies to practice surgical procedures. And she wants Molly to help her procure the corpses. As Molly learns her aunt's trade in the dead of night and explores the mansion by day, she is both horrified and deeply intrigued by the anatomy lessons held at the old church on her aunt's property. Enigmatic Doctor LaValle's lessons are a heady mixture of knowledge and power and Molly has never wanted anything more than to join his male-only group of students. But the cost of inclusion is steep and with a murderer loose in the city, the pursuit of power and opportunity becomes a deadly dance.


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In this dark and twisty feminist historical thriller, a teenage girl starts a new life as a grave robber but quickly becomes entangled in a murderer's plans. Soon after her best friend Kitty mysteriously dies, orphaned seventeen-year-old Molly Green is sent away to live with her "aunt." With no relations that she knows of, Molly assumes she has been sold as free domestic la In this dark and twisty feminist historical thriller, a teenage girl starts a new life as a grave robber but quickly becomes entangled in a murderer's plans. Soon after her best friend Kitty mysteriously dies, orphaned seventeen-year-old Molly Green is sent away to live with her "aunt." With no relations that she knows of, Molly assumes she has been sold as free domestic labor for the price of an extra donation in the church orphanage's coffers. Such a thing is not unheard of. There are only so many options for an unmarried girl in 1850s Philadelphia. Only, when Molly arrives, she discovers her aunt is very much real, exceedingly wealthy, and with secrets of her own. Secrets and wealth she intends to share--for a price. Molly's estranged aunt Ava, has built her empire by robbing graves and selling the corpses to medical students who need bodies to practice surgical procedures. And she wants Molly to help her procure the corpses. As Molly learns her aunt's trade in the dead of night and explores the mansion by day, she is both horrified and deeply intrigued by the anatomy lessons held at the old church on her aunt's property. Enigmatic Doctor LaValle's lessons are a heady mixture of knowledge and power and Molly has never wanted anything more than to join his male-only group of students. But the cost of inclusion is steep and with a murderer loose in the city, the pursuit of power and opportunity becomes a deadly dance.

30 review for The Corpse Queen

  1. 4 out of 5

    Kerri

    already read this dark beauty and it is STUNNING. i couldn't put it down! already read this dark beauty and it is STUNNING. i couldn't put it down!

  2. 4 out of 5

    Ayman

    YALL read this book!! this was bad bitch energy all over! the way i was cheering for these female characters! shiiit! it’s the perfect book to get back into spooky season. it was kinda slow but it picked back up fast so yeh that’s about it from me

  3. 5 out of 5

    Booktastically Amazing

    I have no idea what to think, honestly. Was it good? Yes. Was it better than good? No. Did it have potential? Yes. Did it reach said potential... No. And I'm a little peeved. Did I laugh at the murder jokes, though? ... Um, would it be normal if I said I did? Like, come on. Person A: "What do dogs and trees have in common?" Person B: "What?" Person A: "They both lose their bark when they die." BAHAHBAHAHAHAHAHAHHAHAHAA *me running from Hades* Yo, I searched up Murder Jokes and I can't breathe- (I didn't ev I have no idea what to think, honestly. Was it good? Yes. Was it better than good? No. Did it have potential? Yes. Did it reach said potential... No. And I'm a little peeved. Did I laugh at the murder jokes, though? ... Um, would it be normal if I said I did? Like, come on. Person A: "What do dogs and trees have in common?" Person B: "What?" Person A: "They both lose their bark when they die." BAHAHBAHAHAHAHAHAHHAHAHAA *me running from Hades* Yo, I searched up Murder Jokes and I can't breathe- (I didn't even realize about that pun) (annnnnnd, my FBI agent will probably arrest me, but oh well.)

  4. 5 out of 5

    Emma

    3.5 rounded up. I’ve read several books with a similar theme from this period in history . This was an enjoyable read without being terribly original. The main characters are endearing though. I would have liked more of a sense of place than that provided here. The book could really have taken place anywhere.

  5. 5 out of 5

    ale ♡︎

    robbing graves? i'm here all the way for this! robbing graves? i'm here all the way for this!

  6. 4 out of 5

    rachel ☾

    Orphaned 17-year-old Molly Green goes to live with her affluent aunt in 1850s Philadelphia, only to discover the source of her aunt's secret wealth is from robbing graves and selling the bodies to anatomists. um yes please Blog • Trigger Warning Database • Twitter • Instagram Orphaned 17-year-old Molly Green goes to live with her affluent aunt in 1850s Philadelphia, only to discover the source of her aunt's secret wealth is from robbing graves and selling the bodies to anatomists. um yes please Blog • Trigger Warning Database • Twitter • Instagram

  7. 5 out of 5

    Kelly

    The premise was way more interesting than the execution. That we don't get any characterization of anyone, even Molly, but a lot of similes and metaphors instead, just drags out the book unnecessarily. I went in for macabre and dark and, I guess if you've never read dark and macabre before, you'd see that but compared to, say, Daniel Kraus, this book is super tame. The romance was shoehorned in, and thanks to the lack of characterization -- literally, all we know about is how his body looks (a t The premise was way more interesting than the execution. That we don't get any characterization of anyone, even Molly, but a lot of similes and metaphors instead, just drags out the book unnecessarily. I went in for macabre and dark and, I guess if you've never read dark and macabre before, you'd see that but compared to, say, Daniel Kraus, this book is super tame. The romance was shoehorned in, and thanks to the lack of characterization -- literally, all we know about is how his body looks (a theme throughout, the body vs. the person, that didn't gel). I had no investment anywhere. There's this interesting trend in YA, especially the last few years, to call anything with a presumed strong female lead feminist. Is this a feminist read? I guess if your criteria is that. Molly defies some gender norms, but it's not especially interesting, and the main villain turns out to be a woman, which frankly, I found more "feminist" an angle than anything. Plenty of readers will dig this, but don't expect grave robbery, honestly. It's a lot more talk than action.

  8. 5 out of 5

    cyra

    Ladies, gentlemen, and nonbinary peeps let me present to you the best read of this spooky season. This book was amazing. I will try to keep this review spoiler-free so everyone can know about my love for this book. The writing was great. It got me hooked from the beginning but my favorite part of this book was Molly. This MC is my favorite one. She is smart and fearless. She is not your classic brave hero, she is THAT girl. Honestly, idol material. Her PTSD was also handled very well. She didn’t Ladies, gentlemen, and nonbinary peeps let me present to you the best read of this spooky season. This book was amazing. I will try to keep this review spoiler-free so everyone can know about my love for this book. The writing was great. It got me hooked from the beginning but my favorite part of this book was Molly. This MC is my favorite one. She is smart and fearless. She is not your classic brave hero, she is THAT girl. Honestly, idol material. Her PTSD was also handled very well. She didn’t forget about her past or the traumatic events. They created battles for her constantly. I also love how this book misled me. I was ready to write a very VERY angry review about how predictable this book was but I was wrong. I’ve never been more glad that I was wrong. Truth to be told, it’s my fault for believing an author would write a plot twist this badly. Ops. I’m giving this book five stars but it doesn’t mean I don’t have some issues with it. First of all, it was way too repetitive. If I have to hear about Kitty and how her ‘tail’ was ‘slashed perfectly neat’, I’m carving my own eyes out with a teaspoon. I am DONE. For fucks sake, that tail will hunt me in my dreams. It’s not only that but many many other things were repeated constantly and it bugged me a lot. I’m not gonna give examples for the sake of keeping this spoiler-free. (You learn about Kitty’s murder and her ‘tail’ at the beginning of the book so it’s not a spoiler, no worries.) The ending and the epilogue of this book… They are my 13th reason I swear. This book was perfect right until the final showdown. Let me explain, the ending was rushed. It was so rushed it gave me whiplash. The build-up was great but the climax just wasn’t there. It has come and gone way too fast. My other issue with the ending was the ‘final plot twist’, it was just thrown in there. It didn’t make any sense. I swear the author was like “Nah, this ending isn’t striking enough, let me add this too!” because what the fuck was that? The ending was also bittersweet. It doesn’t mean it’s bad, I’m just a sucker for happy endings. Now let’s talk about the epilogue, I honestly have no idea how to explain this part without spoilers but let me just say this, Molly is a young adult not freaking Hannah Montana. There is no way in hell she can pull a ‘best of both worlds’. There is no way she can do all of those things. Just no. This book also had some very cheesy and cringey scenes. I would like to only mention one of them, which is “She became the knife.”, as a tribute to the king of being a cringey dipshit, Mal Oretsev. Honestly, that scene was supposed to be the most stressful part of the book but I just could not stop laughing. Anyway, long story short READ THIS BOOK.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Kat

    I just keep expecting too much of historical YA fiction. Let me put it like this: If you're looking for a well-researched story about medicine and grave-robbing in the 19th century, this isn't that story. "The Corpse Queen" is a medical thriller, focusing on themes the genre has been focusing on forever: Molly wants to be a doctor but she's a woman, so she's not allowed. At the same time, a Jack-the-Ripper-esque serial killer is murdering young women in Philadelphia and Molly is the only one who I just keep expecting too much of historical YA fiction. Let me put it like this: If you're looking for a well-researched story about medicine and grave-robbing in the 19th century, this isn't that story. "The Corpse Queen" is a medical thriller, focusing on themes the genre has been focusing on forever: Molly wants to be a doctor but she's a woman, so she's not allowed. At the same time, a Jack-the-Ripper-esque serial killer is murdering young women in Philadelphia and Molly is the only one who might be able to stop him. Sounds familiar? I thought so. While I enjoyed the atmospheric writing style and Molly as a main character quite a lot, the lack of research irritated me so much. I read historical fiction to "time travel", not for tired tropes about how Victorians took creepy life-like photographs of corpses (they didn't) or how medical students were all spoilt, talentless boys who need a completely untrained girl to come along and teach them some real medicine. (view spoiler)[ There's a scene where Molly, drunk on absinthe at the time, mind you, turns a breech baby in the womb while a whole room of medical students helplessly looks on, are you kidding me? (hide spoiler)] What honestly bothers me most is how the author picks the parts of Philadelphia history she likes (the medical progress made in the city in the mid-19th century) but ignores every other part of the city's troubled history. In the 1850s, there were racist riots in Philadelphia that shaped the city and its history as well. I think, when writing historical fiction, you can't just pick what you like and ignore the rest, even when it's happening right outside your protagonist's front door. There not being a single black character in this book is also not a great look. This is real history after all and history is not a playground for YA authors to romanticise and cherry pick the parts they like. I wouldn't usually accuse a book of not being well researched because I obviously don't know the author's research process, I wasn't there. But let me tell you one thing: The research for this book must have been superficial at best. The author keeps bringing up Molly's clothing. A lot. And every time she describes her dresses as being one-piece, with the "underskirts" and crinoline sewn in. That's absolutely ridiculous for so many reasons (the crinoline is a seperate piece of underwear that goes under the petticoats, which go under the actual dress. It was worn to give the skirts their famous mid-century bell shape. In the early 1850s, it looked like this.) A lady's dress in the 1850s was not made "of crinoline". The crinoline petticoats of the era have nothing to do with modern day crinoline fabric (which is used to stiffen garments). You also could not rip off "the crinoline top layer", like Molly does in one scene, to reveal the "underskirt" that is somehow attached to the bodice. There is no "top layer". There's a skirt, usually made of silk, draped over several layers of petticoats and, if worn, a crinoline. Listen, I wouldn't be going off about this like this if this wasn't such an avoidable mistake. There are 15-minute youtube videos online of people dressing up in these clothes and explaining each garment. All the author had to do was watch one 15-minute video on the clothes she mentions in every second chapter, and she didn't. That's why books like "The Corpse Queen" make me so angry. It feels so lazy. If you want to write about history, do your damn research. I'm not expecting a 100% historically authentic outcome, that's impossible. But I think it would be cool if writers actually tried? History is not a playground and its not some fancy backdrop. The way we portray history in fiction always shapes readers' understanding of history and, in consequence, the present. So, yeah, "The Corspe Queen" is a macabre, well-written medical thriller, perfect for autumn and Halloween. But it could have been a lot more than that with just a bit more nuanced research.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Kaley

    Quick Stats: Overall: 1.5 ish stars Characters: 1/5 Plot: 2/5 Setting: 3/5 Writing: 1/5 This was a huge disappointment. Wow. Marketed as a feminist historical thriller in the vein of Stalking Jack the Ripper, it quickly became one of my most anticipated releases. SJtR is one of my favorite series of all time! And while this book did have a similar premise (girl who does autopsies while trying to solve a crime in the 1800s), it did not live up to its comp title. There was no character development or grow Quick Stats: Overall: 1.5 ish stars Characters: 1/5 Plot: 2/5 Setting: 3/5 Writing: 1/5 This was a huge disappointment. Wow. Marketed as a feminist historical thriller in the vein of Stalking Jack the Ripper, it quickly became one of my most anticipated releases. SJtR is one of my favorite series of all time! And while this book did have a similar premise (girl who does autopsies while trying to solve a crime in the 1800s), it did not live up to its comp title. There was no character development or growth—not even with Molly Greene, the main character. No one had any personality. Molly was simply a vessel with a goal shoved into her and nothing else and the side characters were NPCs that slooooooooooooowly helped her towards (or in some cases hindered) her progress towards that goal. This book was PAINFUL to get through, and I definitely would have DNFed if not for the fact that it was an ARC and I didn’t want to lower my NetGalley percentage. Now, I mentioned that Molly had no characterization outside of her goal—finding Kitty’s killer—so you’d think that, at least, would be something that the novel cohesively builds towards, right? Wrong. Molly gets distracted by being a doctor. Molly gets distracted by being a brat to everyone who cares. The plot points happen, but none of them move the story any closer to the resolution. If you took the first two chapters and the last 2-3 chapters and just pasted them together, the story would stay the same, because even though there’s like 2-300 pages in between, nothing of substance happens. Instead of the plot actually going anywhere, the author relied on shock factors every couple chapters that didn’t always even fit in with the story. Grisly murders and body horror, a brothel, and Molly became a sex worker for an hour??? Nothing fit cohesively. Nothing happened. And half the things that occurred barely made sense in the context of the story. And then we get to the end. We finally find out who the serial killer is. It’s not the red herring that literally didn’t fool anyone (shocker). And I’ll be honest. The conclusion wasn’t exactly what I thought it would be. It was only like 75% what I thought it would be. But I wasn’t shocked, and even after reading the entire book, I really couldn’t have cared less. I was just happy it was over. So, moral of the story? It isn’t worth it. Maybe you’ll like it. Everyone has different taste. But in my opinion, you’re better off just rereading Stalking Jack the Ripper.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Vee_Bookish

    "Orphaned 17-year-old Molly Green goes to live with her affluent aunt in 1850s Philadelphia, only to discover the source of her aunt's secret wealth is from robbing graves and selling the bodies to anatomists" I mean... ok "Orphaned 17-year-old Molly Green goes to live with her affluent aunt in 1850s Philadelphia, only to discover the source of her aunt's secret wealth is from robbing graves and selling the bodies to anatomists" I mean... ok

  12. 4 out of 5

    Amber

    “Sometimes it is easier to believe in monsters than the truth about someone we love.” -Heather Herrman🖤 The Corpse Queen blends the intensity of a murder mystery with the dark atmosphere and wild thrill of grave robbing in this haunting new tale perfect for the fall season.👻 In the dark, dreary streets of 1800s Philadelphia, women are disappearing and left brutally murdered all across the city. When her friend suddenly goes missing, Molly Green is determined to find the killer by taking a job oppo “Sometimes it is easier to believe in monsters than the truth about someone we love.” -Heather Herrman🖤 The Corpse Queen blends the intensity of a murder mystery with the dark atmosphere and wild thrill of grave robbing in this haunting new tale perfect for the fall season.👻 In the dark, dreary streets of 1800s Philadelphia, women are disappearing and left brutally murdered all across the city. When her friend suddenly goes missing, Molly Green is determined to find the killer by taking a job opportunity robbing graves for the notorious Corpse Queen.💀🪦 Overall, the mysterious plot kept me on my toes and made my head spin with theories.🕵🏻‍♀️ I absolutely loved the grave stealing aspect of the story and the cast of amazing secondary characters so much that I wanted more of them! (Especially the budding friendship, flirty banter, and tender moments between Molly and Tom!🥺😍) This book has all the makings of a perfectly spooky read with adrenaline-rushing adventures, buried secrets, a strong heroine, and plenty of skeletons in the closet.🗝 I hope there’s going to be a sequel because I could see this growing into a story with many expanding plot lines!🤗 *Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for sending me an eARC in exchange for an honest review.* [TW: Mutilation, loss of parent/loved one, childbirth, miscarriage, assumption of sexual assault/abuse, medical practices/surgery, handling of corpses, misogyny, prescription drug abuse, animal death]

  13. 4 out of 5

    Lexi

    I really enjoyed this book! The book follows a girl named Molly, whose friend kitty was found drowned in the river. Her tail, found missing. After Kitty’s death, someone claiming to be Molly’s aunt requests she comes to live with her in Philadelphia. But this aunt isn’t just anyone, she is the notorious Corpse Queen and wants to help Molly procure bodies for a medical school. This is an ominous, and dark YA book that is a perfect fall read! The setting of the book was definitely one of the highl I really enjoyed this book! The book follows a girl named Molly, whose friend kitty was found drowned in the river. Her tail, found missing. After Kitty’s death, someone claiming to be Molly’s aunt requests she comes to live with her in Philadelphia. But this aunt isn’t just anyone, she is the notorious Corpse Queen and wants to help Molly procure bodies for a medical school. This is an ominous, and dark YA book that is a perfect fall read! The setting of the book was definitely one of the highlights. I really enjoyed how vividly it was portrayed. Also Tom, is such a fun character and I loved getting to know him. He’s sweet, but definitely a little bit spicy. If you’re a fan of burden falls I feel like it has a similar vibe!

  14. 4 out of 5

    Kaya

    Reviews are hard so please forgive me in advance. The Corpse Queen is an interesting read because on the one hand, I really enjoyed aspects of it. On the other hand, my expectations were thrown out the window and trampled by a carriage. Very saddening stuff. I really loved the dark atmosphere of the Philadelphia streets! When Molly is pulled into her aunt’s body-snatching business, she does a lot of works by night. It was so interesting see how the whole “body black market” worked because it wasn Reviews are hard so please forgive me in advance. The Corpse Queen is an interesting read because on the one hand, I really enjoyed aspects of it. On the other hand, my expectations were thrown out the window and trampled by a carriage. Very saddening stuff. I really loved the dark atmosphere of the Philadelphia streets! When Molly is pulled into her aunt’s body-snatching business, she does a lot of works by night. It was so interesting see how the whole “body black market” worked because it wasn’t really grave-robbing. There were so many intricacies to obtaining a body for medical students to practice on, and so much moral ambiguity, that it makes me want to do actual research. For fun. That’s how good of a job this book did at immersing me into this world. And the women in this book! Despite all of the sexism (because yikes history), Molly stands up for herself. In fact, Molly’s aunt is the one making a name for herself, and many of Molly’s friends are just great people. At first, I wasn’t totally sold on the romance in this book. But it actually ended up being such a fantastic sign of Molly’s character arc, and what a healthy relationship based on mutual trust should look like. So I really enjoyed that! The thing that brought down my personal rating for this book is honestly unsurprising. I’m extremely picky when it comes to YA mysteries because there’s rarely enough mystery for my tastes*. While there was a killer in the streets, that wasn’t the main focus of the book. No, the main focus was Molly’s character arc, turning this story into more of a coming-of-age drama than a mystery. That isn’t necessarily bad, it simply threw my expectations a little. *look if it’s being pitched as a mystery i want the MYSTERY. i want INVESTIGATING. if you go two full chapters with little happening in the way of it, i am an angry bumblebee vampire. yes, we exist, and no, i will not be taking questions. I’ll be honest: I didn’t see the ending coming. I love when there’s multiple plot twists hidden behind layers upon layers. The climax was a little bumpy but overall pretty well-written. This definitely reminded me of Stalking Jack the Ripper with the combination of atmosphere and historical mystery! Overall, 3.5/5 stars. pre-review: the plot twists, y’all. also historical fiction + a macabre setting? perfection. full rtc. thank you so much penguin for an e-ARC in exchange for an honest review!

  15. 4 out of 5

    Becca

    Thank you to Penguin Teen for providing me with an e-ARC of The Corpse Queen in exchange for an honest review! Let's list the goods, yeah? & some solid aspects that really won me over. - graverobbing - dark historical fiction - a strong-as-hell female protagonist - serial killer - more fantastic female characters - v much love the atmosphere & characters of the nightclub The Corpse Queen is perfect for spooky season; it's not necessarily a horror book, but has dark vibes & is so perfectly atmospheri Thank you to Penguin Teen for providing me with an e-ARC of The Corpse Queen in exchange for an honest review! Let's list the goods, yeah? & some solid aspects that really won me over. - graverobbing - dark historical fiction - a strong-as-hell female protagonist - serial killer - more fantastic female characters - v much love the atmosphere & characters of the nightclub The Corpse Queen is perfect for spooky season; it's not necessarily a horror book, but has dark vibes & is so perfectly atmospheric. And, as usual, I love women & Molly is definitely an amazing & strong protagonist!

  16. 5 out of 5

    Patty (IheartYA311)

    Fantastic book! Everything was great from the writing style and pacing to character development and world building. I loved the story; it was creepy, weird and original. A well deserved 5 stars!

  17. 4 out of 5

    Sara ✨

    Trigger Warnings: death, mentions of suicide, mutilation, abortion In 1800s Philadelphia, 17-year-old Molly has just lost her best friend, Kitty. Though the cause of her death is unknown, Molly is certain that Kitty - who was also pregnant - was murdered by her secret lover, Edgar. And when Molly is told that she is being kicked out of her convent and sent to live with her estranged aunt, she makes it her mission to find this Edgar and make him pay. All while becoming her aunt’s body snatcher. Th Trigger Warnings: death, mentions of suicide, mutilation, abortion In 1800s Philadelphia, 17-year-old Molly has just lost her best friend, Kitty. Though the cause of her death is unknown, Molly is certain that Kitty - who was also pregnant - was murdered by her secret lover, Edgar. And when Molly is told that she is being kicked out of her convent and sent to live with her estranged aunt, she makes it her mission to find this Edgar and make him pay. All while becoming her aunt’s body snatcher. This book gave me MAJOR Stalking Jack the Ripper vibes (which I guess is pretty fitting considering Kerri wrote early praise for the novel). We have an MC who is interested in anatomy. She also doesn’t hesitate to defy gender norms while also being keenly self-aware of her own limitations. She has her charming and witty male sidekick/partner-in-crime. And then there’s the mysterious killer on the loose who’s murdering women - particularly those who are most vulnerable. But, of course, though the premise is similar, the story is quite different in its own right. Molly learns that the pursuit of power often comes with a steep price and wonders just how far she’s willing to go to pay it. And I don’t think I’ve ever picked up a novel with main characters robbing graves for a living. Heather also very skillfully delved into classism and sexism and how they played an integral part in the body snatching business (if one can even call it that. No matter how anybody tried to justify it in the story, it never sat right with me lol). Was this the most exciting mystery novel for me? Not really. It started off strong but then lost some of that energy as the story progressed. And the ending was rushed. But I still do recommend it as a good, quick-paced read for the fall season.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Natalie

    Wow, I was not expecting to like this book as much as I did! Both well-written and exciting, I was drawn into the story pretty much from page one. It was a quick read that kept me eagerly turning the pages because I had to know what would happen next. The book does get somewhat dark and gruesome in spots, so be warned about that. The ending was wrapped up neatly, but still gave an opening for a sequel. Overall I was really impressed with this one. A perfect October read with plenty of spooky vib Wow, I was not expecting to like this book as much as I did! Both well-written and exciting, I was drawn into the story pretty much from page one. It was a quick read that kept me eagerly turning the pages because I had to know what would happen next. The book does get somewhat dark and gruesome in spots, so be warned about that. The ending was wrapped up neatly, but still gave an opening for a sequel. Overall I was really impressed with this one. A perfect October read with plenty of spooky vibes.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Alaina

    The Corpse Queen was such a fun and dark book to dive into. Especially since October is the season for spooky books. In this, you will be meeting grave robbers and some bad ass women selling bodies. Molly is one of the main characters and she definitely kept me on my toes throughout the entire book. She wasn't the only one to do so either. No, this book gave me so many fantastic characters that it was hard to find a particular favorite. Or maybe that's just me. Now she has a romance that develop The Corpse Queen was such a fun and dark book to dive into. Especially since October is the season for spooky books. In this, you will be meeting grave robbers and some bad ass women selling bodies. Molly is one of the main characters and she definitely kept me on my toes throughout the entire book. She wasn't the only one to do so either. No, this book gave me so many fantastic characters that it was hard to find a particular favorite. Or maybe that's just me. Now she has a romance that develops for most of the book. It's with Tom, who is a complete sweetheart. I really liked them being together but I also liked how things ended between them at the same time. They both had dreams of doing something more and they never held anyone back from them. They made a very mature decision in my eyes. Then there's the mysterious Knife Man. Honestly, this had so many mysterious characters that either creeped me out or just intrigued me even more. There was no in-between for me. In the end, I really enjoyed everything that happened within this. Each little twist and turn kept me on my toes and the gory body scenes made me feel like I was in Grey's Anatomy.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Loli ☽

    i simply loved everything about this book: the writing, the characters, the plot, the IMMACULATE DARK VIBES? it was such a good book. molly green was a beautiful character, flawed and sweet, strong and annoying sometimes but always feeling real and solid. like i could look across the room and see her. she was splendid to meet.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Jennifer

    4.5 stars

  22. 4 out of 5

    Courtney

    I was sent an advanced copy to review. I’d be lying if I didn’t mostly want to read this because it was set in Philadelphia, my home town, and was curious how the author would view the city I’ve called home my whole life! Unfortunately, there wasn’t much description of the actual area of Philadelphia besides a couple of street names mentioned but that’s okay, it didn’t affect my reading experience at all! What did though was the fact that there wasn’t much actual grave robbing (insert sweating e I was sent an advanced copy to review. I’d be lying if I didn’t mostly want to read this because it was set in Philadelphia, my home town, and was curious how the author would view the city I’ve called home my whole life! Unfortunately, there wasn’t much description of the actual area of Philadelphia besides a couple of street names mentioned but that’s okay, it didn’t affect my reading experience at all! What did though was the fact that there wasn’t much actual grave robbing (insert sweating emoji here). I went into this expecting Molly, the main character, to be literally in holes, looking over her shoulder when she dug a body out.. what we actually got was her more or less buying bodies off of other seedy characters. I also didn’t connect with anyone in the story and felt like I didn’t have a great grasp on what anyone looked like lol. Even though The Corpse Queen had some downsides for me, I still read this book pretty much in two days and had no problems picking it up and diving in! This does get darker in some spots and feels like an EXCELLENT fall time read with some pretty awesome plot twists!

  23. 5 out of 5

    Kristen

    Loved this book and the characters. It reminded me a lot of Stalking Jack the Ripper by Kerri Maniscalco.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Molly the Gemini

    4.5 stars. Thank you Netgalley and the publishers for the ARC of The Corpse Queen in exchange for an honest review. THIS IS WHAT I WANT OUT OF YA HORROR/THRILLER BOOKS. It was MACABRE. There is a lot of death in this book ya'll (I mean the premise of grave robbing should give you a clue...and maybe the title) but just a heads up, you get some gnarly details. I really enjoyed the MC and her drive to be something that she's told she cannot be. The other female characters in this book were also ver 4.5 stars. Thank you Netgalley and the publishers for the ARC of The Corpse Queen in exchange for an honest review. THIS IS WHAT I WANT OUT OF YA HORROR/THRILLER BOOKS. It was MACABRE. There is a lot of death in this book ya'll (I mean the premise of grave robbing should give you a clue...and maybe the title) but just a heads up, you get some gnarly details. I really enjoyed the MC and her drive to be something that she's told she cannot be. The other female characters in this book were also very intriguing and I would have loved to have gotten to know them more. Just like the MC they were strong and able to carry their own. The plot moved along at a good pace and there was always something interesting happening. I will say the mystery/thriller aspect was a bit predictable (the only reason it lost 1/2 a star from me) but other than that, I thoroughly enjoyed it! I will be getting a finished copy for my bookshelf.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Eva B.

    Holy shit- I don't know what I was expecting from this book, but not that, and I mean that in the best way possible. THE CORPSE QUEEN packages themes of classism, sexism, and objectification into one little bundle that's probably actually got a human hand inside of it. And despite having a character named The Tooth Fairy, this book is incredibly fucking gross and gory, and definitely not for the faint of heart; it opens with the main character hauling her dead best friend's body out of a lake as Holy shit- I don't know what I was expecting from this book, but not that, and I mean that in the best way possible. THE CORPSE QUEEN packages themes of classism, sexism, and objectification into one little bundle that's probably actually got a human hand inside of it. And despite having a character named The Tooth Fairy, this book is incredibly fucking gross and gory, and definitely not for the faint of heart; it opens with the main character hauling her dead best friend's body out of a lake as parts of her skin get stuck in the earth and it only gets grosser from there. Big content warning for (view spoiler)[ pregnancy and miscarriage (one occasion of each) (hide spoiler)] that are described fairly graphicly. This would have been an easy five stars if not for the twist at the end; it wasn't horrible and I've read worse, but also (view spoiler)[ I wish Ava had just been her aunt and not her mother...in a book that otherwise felt like it was very unique, that felt painfully cliche. (hide spoiler)]

  26. 5 out of 5

    CR

    This is one of those books that sounds better than the execution. The story lost its luster as it unfolded and the romance didn't bring anything to it either. The gothic feel and overall creepiness that I was hoping for slowly dwindled as the story progressed. I did not make it to the end of this one and after reading what I just did on goodreads I think I am really glad that I didn't. As it seems they bring in a live dog to cut up. This is one of those books that sounds better than the execution. The story lost its luster as it unfolded and the romance didn't bring anything to it either. The gothic feel and overall creepiness that I was hoping for slowly dwindled as the story progressed. I did not make it to the end of this one and after reading what I just did on goodreads I think I am really glad that I didn't. As it seems they bring in a live dog to cut up.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Lindsay

    Actual rating 2.5. This started off strong but then lost some energy as the story progressed. The romance was weak and unnecessary since it didn't add anything to the story. Molly's thoughts and actions were all over the place and there were a few scenes that left me utterly confused because they were so bizarre. Thank you Edelweiss for an ARC. Actual rating 2.5. This started off strong but then lost some energy as the story progressed. The romance was weak and unnecessary since it didn't add anything to the story. Molly's thoughts and actions were all over the place and there were a few scenes that left me utterly confused because they were so bizarre. Thank you Edelweiss for an ARC.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Starr ❇✌❇

    I received an ARC from Edelweiss TW: mutilation, death of a pregnant woman, talks of suicide, ethnic prejudice, gore, mentioned physical abuse, detailed & somewhat gruesome surgical operations, mentioned botched abortion, mentioned pedophilia, misogyny, slut shaming, rabies & animal death, prescription drug addiction, drowning, poison 4 Molly Green has been an orphan, with no one but the nuns who barely tolerate her and a single friend, for 4 years, and is used to her life. But now everything i I received an ARC from Edelweiss TW: mutilation, death of a pregnant woman, talks of suicide, ethnic prejudice, gore, mentioned physical abuse, detailed & somewhat gruesome surgical operations, mentioned botched abortion, mentioned pedophilia, misogyny, slut shaming, rabies & animal death, prescription drug addiction, drowning, poison 4 Molly Green has been an orphan, with no one but the nuns who barely tolerate her and a single friend, for 4 years, and is used to her life. But now everything is changing in one fell swoop. Her best friend, Kitty is found dead- and pregnant- and when Molly is discovered in the grave with her, attempting to get rid of any evidence of her friend's anomaly, she's happily tossed out, into the home of someone claiming to be her aunt. Though she was certain she had no family, her aunt turns out to be very real, rich, and dangerous. Drawn into the world of grave robbing and surgeons, Molly finds herself in a very new life that she's surprised she might be enjoying. But there's further danger than just getting caught- there's a killer on the loose, killing girls with anomalies, like Kitty, and Molly is determined to find out just who The Knife Man truly is. "A body is the only way a woman can making a living in this world. I just choose not to use my own." This is a very dark, interesting, atmospheric book. There are plenty of layers at work, and Herrman does a great job painting a picture of the world Molly finds herself in. The way the time period and the different facets of it- from ladies charity to asylums to surgery theatres- are all so well described and set the scene perfectly for the story itself. There's never any doubt of what time or place this takes place in. And the story really does take advantage of all that the setting allows. Herrman is a good writer in general. The descriptions of the setting are wonderful, but the descriptions overall deserve praise. Some of it is gross or shocking, but all of it is lush. Herrman strikes a great balance between the heavy details and still having it be incredibly readable. It's actually a bit difficult to pull away from. And part of that is because of the tension. There is a lot of tension in this book, and it builds well. There is the danger of Molly's work with grave/corpse robbing and getting caught, the danger of The Tooth Fairy himself, the mystery of The Knife Man, and Molly's journey into the surgical world. There's never so much going on that you get lost, but it's packed enough to never wane in action or interest. And while the time skip scenes were a bit of a problem for me, using them did definitely keep things on a precipice as well. The flashes in time for me didn't add enough to be worth being in the story. With the full context of them, I think it just makes things messy and confusing. Without the actual context they're certainly gripping, but with everything else going on they don't do much but promise pay off- which they don't really deliver on. The ending as a whole was weak for me. The answer to the question of the those scenes is a strange, unsatisfying answer, and the answer to the overall question of the novel isn't in itself inherently bad, but delivered in such a melodramatic way I couldn't take it seriously. The whole thing ramps itself into melodrama so much that it loses what it was building up the whole time. There are places where things felt stunted, and the romance was one I never bought into, but the story itself is very readable and compelling. And I enjoyed reading Herrman's writing throughout.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Megan Houde

    WOW! Just WOW! I have no words.. okay I do, but first thank you to Penguin Teen for this advanced copy that’s been on my radar and I just fell completely in love with!! This ‘The Alienist meets Frankenstein meets Ripper’ mash up was a drool worthy Victorian Era murder mystery. Our main character Molly lives in an orphanage. Dumped there at 13 because her parents both had consumption, she only makes one other friend Kitty. Kitty has an abnormality, she was born with an extra long spine, which m WOW! Just WOW! I have no words.. okay I do, but first thank you to Penguin Teen for this advanced copy that’s been on my radar and I just fell completely in love with!! This ‘The Alienist meets Frankenstein meets Ripper’ mash up was a drool worthy Victorian Era murder mystery. Our main character Molly lives in an orphanage. Dumped there at 13 because her parents both had consumption, she only makes one other friend Kitty. Kitty has an abnormality, she was born with an extra long spine, which makes her have a tail. These defects are what attract a murderer stalking young women; called the “Knifeman.” Molly’s long lost aunt finds her and offers her luxuries and an opportunity, to work for her as a body snatcher. Her aunt is called “The Corpse Queen” because she helps take bodies for medical studies. The world is dangerous but fascinating, and Molly wants to be a part of it to find the killer who took her friend. With a world where women are property and told to “sit down and shut up” Molly is the type that doesn’t set that standard. She wants to be a surgeon, and where she’s laughed at for her dreams, she proves her ways. This was delightfully wicked and much more gory than I expected and I loved for it. The story build and characters where perfectly constructed that the book grasped your attention and was hard to put down. It had everything I love in a Victorian Era gothic read. Strong headed women, a ‘Jack the Riper’ type killer and an anatomy lesson all rolled into one. And let’s not forget about the slow building tension of romance.. *pants* And an ending I didn’t see coming! I mean I read so much I usually know who’s who but that ending.. I definitely need more in this world! Heather Herrman is now an instant auto buy author for me!!

  30. 5 out of 5

    Aly

    Usually I'm not the biggest fan of historical fiction, but this was so interesting and had me in it's clutches straight away. Grave robbing is a crazy topic and a woman in the 1850's selling bodies is impressive, especially for her to be so good at it that's she exorbitantly wealthy. The characters were well written and the pacing was great. This is a perfect story for Halloween! The main character Molly is so easy to follow. She's pragmatic and knows her limitations, yet dreams of being a rare f Usually I'm not the biggest fan of historical fiction, but this was so interesting and had me in it's clutches straight away. Grave robbing is a crazy topic and a woman in the 1850's selling bodies is impressive, especially for her to be so good at it that's she exorbitantly wealthy. The characters were well written and the pacing was great. This is a perfect story for Halloween! The main character Molly is so easy to follow. She's pragmatic and knows her limitations, yet dreams of being a rare female doctor and isn't going to let someone stand in her way. She adjusts quickly to her new life of stealing bodies and starts to flourish with her medical training. Her relationship with Tom is sweet, he's a good guy and goes out of his way to help Molly succeed. The mystery of the Knife Man gave the story an extra thrill and ended in a way I didn't guess. It was a bit reminiscent of Jack the Ripper, with a dangerous killer on the loose and making everyone wary and on edge. There were a few moments of intensity where I was nervous for Molly and how everything would play out. For a bit of a content warning, there are many scenes describing dissecting a body and talking about organs and wounds.

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