The Mummy of Monte Cristo is a book that has been on my TBR pile for quite a while. It’s a big one—708 pages—and it took me some time to finish it, in part because of its sheer volume and in part because of something explained below; however, I’m glad I’ve been given the opportunity to read it.
A thrilling tale of magic, monsters, envy, wrongful imprisonment, and revenge. Adapted from the classic Alexandre Dumas adventure The Count of Monte Cristo.
When jealousy and ambition drive a group of men to frame young Edmond Dantes for treason, he’s sent to prison indefinitely; there, he finds a friend and tutor who tells him about a terrible power hidden on the island of Monte Cristo.
Edmond escapes, makes the impossible decision to be mummified alive for the sake of revenge, and pursues his enemies to Paris with an intricate plan to tear down their new lives brick by brick.
His plans are complicated by unexpected reminders of the humanity he left behind, and one of his foes has an even grander plan that could mean worldwide death and panic for his own profit.
Cover: Hm. I’m not that taken with it.
- The Mummy of Monte Cristo is a retelling of the old classic, but with a twist: zombies. Gargoyles. Revenants. Vampires. . Against the backdrop of a France ravaged by Royalists, Bonapartists, and the undead, a sailor named Edmond Dantes ends up in prison. His innocence is irrelevant. People he considers friends, acquaintances, or mere strangers are only interested in their personal gain, and they pull all the stops to pursue it. When Edmond escapes from the Chateau d’If, he devotes his life to revenge. If you’re a fan of the supernatural, then this is the right novel for you
- The idea behind The Mummy of Monte Cristo is magnificent. I’m not a fan of classic books, so my first approach was cautious; such caution soon turned out to be unnecessary, because the supernatural theme gives it a fresh, entertaining spin. Kudos to the world building skills of Robinson here.
- As a general rule, I check other reviews only when I’m done writing mine. Every reviewer brings their personal taste to the table, after all, not the Gospel. So, I noticed how some of them lamented that revenge was the main plot point of The Mummy of Monte Cristo; while that’s true, it’s also a strength. The count is relentless in pursuing his vendetta and delivering retribution, and that’s fine. A turn the other cheek approach is not always a viable—or believable—option. Even more so because (see below)
- Monte Cristo’s arc is beautiful. Character growth is right there, and that’s the thing that I care about the most. Just check the ending.
- There are many characters, each of them with a unique voice. This is a feat commendable in itself, because it’s difficult to handle such a big cast. Well done!
- The POV. The omniscient POV is the major flaw of this story, and it’s a real shame. It gives away too much and the constant character-hopping doesn’t help keeping a reader’s attention engaged.
- I would have gone easier with the backstory. As it is, it’s bordering on Infodump territory, at least in the first chapters. I’m putting this down as growing pains, because after a slow beginning, it picks up the pace nicely enough.
- A few mistakes here and there. Nothing major, but a stronger editing would have picked them up.
I’ll be honest with Robinson: if the story itself had been just a little less entertaining, this would have ended up with three stars. However, the plot showcases amazing writing skills, and that can’t be ignored.
4 stars on GR.