Jan T. (Leona Valley, CA)
The Quick by Lauren Owen
The debut novel, The Quick, is Gothic storytelling at its best. Owen creates an atmospheric historical epic with paranormal twists. The cast of characters range from the London slums to the peerage. Most mysterious is the Aegolius Club. This is a dark mix of plot twists and horror elements. I thoroughly enjoyed it. The momentum builds to a fascinating and satisfying ending. I hope Ms. Owen offers us more novels in this fantastical world.
Kristy G. (Jonesboro, AR)
The book starts out strong, creating a spooky gothic atmosphere with a secret society and a strange disappearance. The author is great at setting a story, and she does know how to turn a phrase. Unfortunately, I found myself becoming bored by the middle of the book. The author weighs the book down with too much detail leading to a slow, laboriously paced story.
Beverly S. (chesterton, IN)
The Quick by Lauren Owen
Lauren Owen has shown great talent in her writing and her degrees in Victorian Literature and Creative Writing are showcased on each page of her novel "The Quick".
I found it difficult at first to engage myself in her story, however after the first 100 pages I jumped on board for the race to the finish line with all of the plots' twists and turns. Once I finished the book, the story stayed on my mind for days. I loved her novel and would recommend it for all age groups, especially readers who love historical fiction. I will look forward to future novels by this author.
Sarah H. (Arvada, CO)
Prose makes up for plot
I was surprised by several plot lines and twists which are not topics I would normally be interested in, and when it comes to the supernatural, it's a topic I would actively avoid. But the author has a way with words, where the experience of reading them allows the reader to have a relationship with the words themselves. The Quick was a an exciting and unexpected book and I appreciate the author's gift with words that allowed me to read outside of my usual interests.
Christine D. (Closter, NJ)
A Wonderful Story Filled with Twists and Turns
Lauren Owen's The Quick is something of a "slow burn" read, first leading you down one path of Victorian England by the hand, then pushing you quite suddenly into something else that it leaves you shocked. The book keeps on doing this, time and time again as it changes from third person narration to another character's diary, and back and forth until you aren't sure you'll be able to differentiate one character from another or that Owen knows quite where her own story is going. But then Part 4 comes along and something amazing happens - characters that seemed superfluous at first show how essential they are, and you find yourself grateful for the jumps back and forth in time that in the beginning felt haphazard. By the time you've finished reading, you don't want to let go of the world and characters and Owen has created and are simply left mystified and wishing for more. What promised to be the story of a would-be-poet in a dark Victorian London became nothing short of a wonderful story of grief, hope, survival, and love.
Elizabeth M. (Syracuse, NY)
The first 100 pages of this book was a quite interesting love story between two young men living in early 1900s London. The protagonist grew up in a decrepit country estate with only his older sister for company. He goes to London with the intention of becoming a writer. He meets his lover as a roommate and soon they are inspiring each other and fumbling towards a relationship that is not acceptable in their time and place. Towards the ends of the first 100 pages the two men are planning to leave London for a trip through Italy and I was looking forward to seeing where this story led and how the romance developed.
However, after those first 100 pages, the book abruptly takes a left turn and -SPOILER---all of a sudden the book is about vampires. There is a non-vampire doctor who seeks to explore the rules of vampiredom, the older sister's quest to find her disappeared brother and a caste of lower class vampires versus upper class ones. I think part of the problem is that I have vampire fatigue from the large profile they have had in popular culture lately. But I also think that this book doesn't really bring anything new to the vampire canon. I had hints of Bram Stoker's Dracula and hints of Interview with a Vampire and nothing that felt really original.
I would mildly recommend this book for the first hundred pages, but the rest was just not interesting to me.
Vicki R. (York, PA)
In "The Quick" by Lauren Owen, I was immediately drawn in by the characters. I sympathized with James and quickly was rooting for things to go his way. Although as the story moves along, more and more characters are introduced and the true plot is revealed, which may be surprising to readers that were expecting just a Victorian novel. The book is fairly quick paced and easy to read. There is a lot of background information but I felt that added to the story. I enjoyed reading "The Quick" and would recommend it to readers who enjoy a more dark and gothic novel.