The Muse by
Charles T. Daube
Charles T. Daube is a West Virginia based author who recently released his first novel, The Muse, in September. The description of the novel listed online is very brief and left me intrigued to what this romantic suspense novel had within its pages. The Muse follows the story of Aurora, a young, beautiful, and naive woman who ends up being kidnapped by the famous artist, Vincent Coen. Vincent develops an intense obsession for Aurora, making her his muse while she is held captive. The book follows Aurora’s struggle to find her escape to get back home to her father. It also details Aurora's father's search for her in the time since she has gone missing. As the many layers of each character unfolds, readers are pulled into an engaging story.
For this novel being Charles Daube’s first book, it is very well written, easily capturing the reader's attention. The plot has interesting twists, and the characters are very detailed. As I read, it was easy to imagine and picture each character in every scene. I felt that some parts of the book that allude to Aurora’s experiences are at times overly sexualized, however, the book is a work of fiction and I accepted these feelings while reading it. Though there is initially a touch of romance, the main theme of The Muse seems to be suspense. The suspense continued to build throughout the novel and kept me wanting to see what happened next. There were complexities to the story and the characters that made this novel unique. From beginning to end Daube has an excellent way of allowing Aurora's story to be different yet compelling. Ultimately, the ending, though upsetting, was empowering and allowed the story to be redeemed.
In my original feedback of the book I suggested that the novel was a tad too intense at times which made me uncomfortable, and Daube humbly responded stating that he intended the novel to be intense. He was glad that the book could make readers feel this way because that meant the reader could become personally invested. Overall, Daube’s writing style is very effective and creative. He has potential for more great works in the future, which I look forward to reading. For readers interested in buying this novel, The Muse is available for purchase on Amazon in paperback and kindle version. As listed on his Amazon author biography, Charles lives in the Eastern Panhandle with his wife and their dog and cat. He is a proud graduate from American Public University System and has several additional fiction works in progress. Readers can also follow him on Instagram, charles_t_daube for updates on future releases.