This novel, set in late Victorian England, centers around James Norbury and his sister Charlotte. After growing up isolated in a crumbling country estate, James is eager to move to London and try his luck as a poet. He slowly begins to conquer his shyness and mix a little in society, and eventually he even falls in love. But everything changes one fateful night when James is attacked, kidnapped, and initiated into the sinister Aegolius Club. Meanwhile, Charlotte has grown more and more anxious about her brother, who seems to have vanished without a trace. She journeys to London and attemps to discover what has happened to him, but what she finds out is more shocking and horrible than she ever could have imagined. As the Aegolius Club’s secrets are slowly revealed, and its members become more and more dangerous, Charlotte realizes that her only course of action is to destroy the club; but even if such a thing were possible, would she truly be able to rescue James?
I find that I really can’t talk about this book without mentioning one significant spoiler, so please STOP READING NOW if you don’t want to know anything else about the plot of this book! … If you’re still interested, here goes: this book is about vampires. I mention it because there is nothing in the book’s description or on the cover blurb about them, yet they are central to the entire book! Personally, I’m not a big fan of vampire novels and would not have picked up this book if I’d known they would be such a big part of the plot. That said, I actually really liked it a lot; Owen is a wonderful writer, and I found the novel a real page-turner despite the fact that it’s over 500 pages long. In fact, my other complaint is that it could probably have ended a few chapters before it did. I wasn’t a huge fan of the (largely depressing) ending, and I would have liked a little happiness for the main characters in the end, after they’d suffered so much. Still, this is a very accomplished gothic novel, and I’d definitely consider reading more by Lauren Owen.
11 thoughts on “Review: The Quick”
I read this in January, but have my blog post scheduled for May, although I’ve already posted a review on Goodreads. I agree about the ending!
Right? It just went on a little too long, especially after the main plot was resolved.
You had me at “gothic novel” — I can’t resist a gothic novel! I am just coming back from a very long hiatus from the big spoiler you mentioned (I don’t want to spoil anyone who’s reading the comments, so I’m not saying what that plot point is here!), so I think it would be fun to give The Quick a try!
I think you will really like the book! I’m not a big fan of that spoiler plot point, myself, but it was well done here. And even though most of the story takes place in London, it still maintains that spooky gothic feel.
I like the idea of this and the way you describe it as gothic. But, and I didn’t want to read your spoiler so I skipped that bit, would you say that you loved this? Plus the sound of the ending, not sure if it puts me off a bit. Do you think it’s a must read – even with the odd negative??
Hmm…not sure how to answer your question! I didn’t absolutely LOVE it, and I don’t think it’s a book I need to own. But it was a very good read, especially if you’re into gothic-type books. So I guess I’d say it’s a must-read, but not necessarily a must-buy, if that makes sense!
Okay, that’s a good answer and it did make sense. Sorry, I know that’s a bit of a piece of string question isn’t it because we’re all individuals but….
Haha, true. I find it hard to know how hard to “push” a book sometimes, because what works for me may not work for someone else. The only exception is when I read a book I absolutely love…then I’ll push it on anyone! 🙂
I added this book on my wishlist after reading somewhere that it had some Gothic undertones (totally there!). Great review (skimmed a bit though as I didn’t want to get spoiled 😉 )!
By the way, I nominated you for the Liebster blog award 🙂 http://www.caffeinatedlife.net/blog/2014/04/21/ramblings-liebster-blog-award/
Thanks very much! 🙂
If you like gothic, I definitely think you’ll enjoy The Quick.