Lianne D. (Redmond, WA)
A Great Read!
I was pleasantly surprised by The Quick. I thought this book would be about a young man's coming-of-age in Victorian London, but it's so much more than that. There is a supernatural element that completely changes the path of the story. Lauren Owen knows how to evoke a setting, her characters are memorable, and her writing is so smooth that the pages just fly by. I had a hard time putting it down, glad that it was a long book because it just kept unfolding into unexpected plot twists, some of them completely terrifying to imagine. Lauren Owen has taken a much-written-about genre and made it new. She has also left the door open for a sequel! I highly recommend The Quick.
Judy M. (East Haven, CT)
When I first started reading The Quick, I fell in love with Lauren Owen's writing. The ease in which she brought me in to the time & place in England was so natural.
I did not remember upon receiving this book what it was about, and had not read the back cover for some odd reason before I began. So imagine my most welcome surprise to learn that this novel had to do with a version of the undead, truly one of my favorite subjects!
What I continued to love was not only her style and descriptions, but her slightly different approach to the topic at hand. Without giving up to much of the story, I can only say that I savored every page of this novel, and read it with a an appetite equal to some of it's characters.
I loved the relationships built between brother & sister, James & Christopher, and all the other people whose lives intertwine with the factions of the undead.
I am hopeful that the author will continue writing, and thrill me with her next novel. Accolades to Lauren!!
Christine B. (Lilydale, MN)
Quick with Detours
I actually enjoyed the last third of the book most of all. It takes that amount of time to incorporate all of the characters and how they interact with each other. Part of the problem is that sometimes 200 pages ensues in-between the names being mentioned. This book should really be read in one sitting- unfortunately it's too long for that. I like the author's writing style but I don't think she adequately ever explained who the "quick" actually were. Charlotte's relationships were the most endearing and believable. This book might be ok for book clubs if they can suspend their disbelief with the unknown.
Estella P. (New York, NY)
The Quick by Lauren Owen
Set near the end of the Victorian era, this novel is a love story, a Gothic tale, a detailed historical novel, a memoir via a diary and a maze because it changes directions so often that you never really know where you are going or where you will come out – all of this adds to the overall mystic of the story.
Siblings Charlotte and James Norbury grew up on an aging estate in the English countryside. With a deceased mother and a virtually absent father, they were raised mostly by servants and a distant relative, and left to their own devices. As the estate and their family's financial position declined, they were free to pursue their own lives which, after Oxford, ultimately leads James to London where he decides to pursue poetry as a career. He shares rooms with Christopher Paige, a wealthy young aristocrat who, unlike James, is quite at home in society. James lives vicariously through his adventures and Christopher's life style inspires James' writing and leads him to reluctantly experience society life. When James finds love in an unexpected place, and it inspires him to begin writing a play, he participates in a life changing event that completely alters his life and leads to his disappearance. Charlotte, in her search for her brother in London, experiences the unexplained, including the mysterious Aegolius Club, one of the darkest secrets of Victorian London, and meets one of the eeriest and strangest cast of characters in literature. The surprise ending and the true nature of the book are both elements that the readers need to experience on their own.
This book is not for the squeamish or for those who are not fans of Gothic tales.
Lauren C. (Los Angeles, CA)
Couldn't finish it
I got 200 pages into the 500 page book and found it to be uninteresting throughout my read. For the first hundred pages or so it kept jumping genres so I couldn't tell where it was going. Mystical British children's world like "Peter Pan" or "Harry Potter"? Victorian mystery? A fantastical world like "Night Circus"?
Then by about page 100 It became apparent that this was yet another vampire book perhaps with a few werewolves thrown in. I've read lots of them, so I often like the genre. But if an author is going to tackle this exceptionally well-worn genre she needs to have some new and interesting take on the legends, e.g., the first few Sookie Stackhouse books, Salem's Lot, etc.
I'm afraid that this standard vampire story in Victorian England just didn't cut it for me. Maybe I missed something really different that happens in the last 300 pages but I feel that 40 of the way through it I didn't anticipate any drastic revelations.
Michele C. (Harvard, MA)
I will start by saying that I probably would not have chosen this to read if I saw it in the bookstore, but I am so glad that I was given a copy to read! I stared to read it and I was unable to put it down. The whole book kept me on edge the entire time, never once disappointing.
I will keep the secrets under lock and key, because that way others may be able to enjoy this book as much as I did. I will say that it takes place in Victorian England and is a tale you may think you are familiar with, but it is told in an entirely fresh way. The characters were compelling, the story was suspenseful and there were surprises throughout.
A book which holds several love stories and a scary secret. I loved it!
Jill S. (Eagle, ID)
This is not a 'quick novel'. In the beginning, the book did grab me, but I quickly lost interest in the middle, and it never recaptured my interest. This is a Victorian gothic novel, and it has many twists and turns. Although the number of characters were distracting, Ms. Owen does surprise readers. These unexpected events kept me engaged, and I felt a sense of accomplishment when I finished. Overall, this book is well written, and for those who love historic London will enjoy this book.