Sue P. (Richardson, TX)
The (not so) Quick
This is a long book. It's also a very good book; however, it risks being bogged down by its sheer volume of people, places and situations. I've not read a better description of London at the turn of the century - the atmosphere is brilliant, and it is populated by fascinating (and wonderfully weird) people. Gothic in the extreme, and ultimately, very satisfying.
Marybeth T. (Bellingham, WA)
I wanted to like it!
I really wanted to like it. It started out really grabbing my attention. Half way through I became bored and I never recovered. It really could have been 10 chapters less. It has a few good twists but not enough to keep me interested.
Ruthie A. (Summit, NJ)
Victorian Gothic with a BIG Surprise!
It is best to read this book with no foreknowledge so try not to read reviews as they may spoil the "surprise"! I will not reveal it here, so proceed!
The books begins with young Charlotte and James, living in the family mansion, their mother dead, father away. Fairly neglected by the help, young Charlotte raises James until father dies and James is sent to boarding school and later Oxford, and Charlotte moves to a smaller cottage on the property to live with and later take care of, an aunt. Fast forward to James, graduated, living in London, attempting to write poetry. He rooms with a college friend and experiences London's high society lifestyle. And then he disappears. Cue the ominous music.
While I enjoyed this novel, I found it a bit frustrating. We get to know characters, and then they are gone. Pivotal characters are not always sufficiently realized, others that seem like they should be very important fizzle out. Characters make decisions that are out of character, again without explanation. The author seemed to spend a lot of time on certain set-ups that were never resolved - perhaps there is a sequel in the works?
Despite the issues I had with the book I found much to enjoy. The new author can really write. Her descriptions; of the sights, sounds and smells of London in the 1860s, of her cast of characters and their thoughts, fears and loves, are impressive. She is definitely a talent worth watching. The book often reads as if it was written in the 1860's; the language and tone are very accurate, giving the reader a true Gothic experience.
Fans of historical fiction and gothic novels will enjoy this book. There is an entire other genre of readers this book will appeal to... but that would spoil the "surprise"!!
Michele W. (Kiawah Island, SC)
Not So Quick
This story of late Victorian London had little new or thrilling to offer- no romance, no suspense, no clever twists and turns. The ending was totally predictable. It was not badly written, but not well-written, either. All in all, very average.
Nan G. (Mazomanie, WI)
Long but worth the read
I want to start by saying that it is very difficult to honestly review The Quick without giving away plot points that would ruin the experience. So...what can I say? Well written, atmospheric, one surprising ( in a good way) character for a Victorian Gothic, twisty plot that is decidedly creepy (also in a good way) with a satisfactory, if unsettling, ending (which I am betting will lead to a sequel)- all of these describe this intriguing novel. Some may find it too predictable, it is long - the ARC was 500 pages- and there is a large cast of characters that can be difficult to navigate but in the end it was worth my time. I would recommend it.
Barbara M. (grants, NM)
The Quick was not like anything I expected. Right from the start I was drawn into a world that kept me intrigued. I was able to connect with the characters and felt part of their lives immediately.. The character development along with the world building and a plot with lots of twists and turns kept me coming back for more. About the time I thought I had the whole thing figured out there would be a new twist that would totally throw me for a loop and hook me all over again.
This book has it all, mystery, intrigue, romance and even the undead! This book should appeal to a wide audience and I will definitely be looking for more from this author. Thank you for allowing me the opportunity to enjoy this fabulous read.
Deanna W. (Port Jefferson, NY)
Do I want to join this club?
What goes on behind the doors of The Aegolius Club? In this 19th century style novel the reader will find a straight-up gothic horror tale told from multiple points of view. If you enjoyed THE HISTORIAN by Elizabeth Kostova, you will want to discover the secret hidden in the shadows of Victorian London.