Saturday, June 14, 2014

The Quick - by Lauren Owen - An epic story set in Victorian England

4 of 5 Stars     Review copy

An auspicious debut for writer Lauren Owen.  Given my love of horror, at first I thought I may have been misled into reading The Quick.

From the book's description, "1892: James Norbury, a shy would-be poet newly down from Oxford finds lodging with a charming young aristocrat.  Through this new friendship he is introduced to the drawing-rooms of high society and finds love in an unexpected quarter.  Then, suddenly, he vanishes without a trace.  Alarmed, his sister, Charlotte, sets out from their crumbling country estate determined to find him.  In the sinister, labyrinthine London that greets her, she uncovers a hidden, supernatural city populated by unforgettable characters: a female rope walker turned vigilante, a street urchin with a deadly secret, and the chilling, ' Doctor Knife.'  But, the answer to her brother's disappearance ultimately lies within the doors of the exclusive, secretive Aegolius Club, whose predatory members include the most ambitious, and the most bloodthirsty, men in England."

So, I'm more than a hundred pages in and I'm wondering where is all the good stuff I was promised?  At this point it was well written, but more like Jane Eyre or Sense and Sensibilty, great stuff, but not what I signed up for.  Once the story took a twist to the dark side it manged to hold on to the tone of the book's beginning, but added the elements I had been promised.

It's difficult to believe The Quick is Lauren Owen's first novel.  She is a talent to be watched and read.  Available in Hardcover, Paperback, ebook and audio book formats from Random House LLC and available for pre-order from

Official publication date is June 17, 2014.  Recommended.

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