Author: Adam McOmber
Series: Stand Alone
Published By: Touchstone (Sept. 11, 2012)
Source: Copy Provided By The Publisher (in exchange for an honest review)
Genre: YA Fantasy
My Rating: 3.5 to 4 Stars!
Young Jane Silverlake lives with her father in a crumbling family estate on the edge of Hampstead Heath. Jane has a secret—an unexplainable gift that allows her to see the souls of man-made objects—and this talent isolates her from the outside world. Her greatest joy is wandering the wild heath with her neighbors, Madeline and Nathan.
But as the friends come of age, their idyll is shattered by the feelings both girls develop for Nathan, and by Nathan’s interest in a cult led by Ariston Day, a charismatic mystic popular with London’s elite. Day encourages his followers to explore dream manipulation with the goal of discovering a strange hidden world, a place he calls the Empyrean.
A year later, Nathan has vanished, and the famed Inspector Vidocq arrives in London to untangle the events that led up to Nathan’s disappearance. As a sinister truth emerges, Jane realizes she must discover the origins of her talent, and use it to find Nathan herself, before it’s too late.
It is no secret that I love the nineteenth century, especially set in England. I think my summer of reading Jane Austen and the Bronte sisters forever ingrained that love into my heart.
I love the idea of men being gentlemen and ladies being ladies. The beautiful speech and proper manners. The manner of dress. Everything.
So of course this book would appeal to me. I loved that I was going to get a little paranormal/fantasy thrown into all the greatness that was the nineteenth century England.
This does have a very dark goth feel to it. It is beautifully told and intrigued me greatly. There is no real action in this story but it does flow nicely, although it jumps back and forth from the past (through memories) to the present which could be a little disconcerting at times.
I loved the friendship between the three friends. Two girls and one boy just screams conflict to me. Take three very different people that are thrown together because of their differences and strangeness, throw in petty girl jealousies over one cute boy and you just know this will be an interesting read.
There wasn't a love triangle surprisingly, in fact there was very little romance in this at all (which was a little disappointing) but there is a lot of mystery and such unique ideas and concepts of another dimension that it will have you thinking and pondering about it days after you have finished the story.
I can't say I connected with any of the characters, to be honest I didn't even like them much. Jane was strange and sometimes downright cruel to those around her. Nathan was obsessive and a little manipulative and to be honest, I think he used both girls to get the things that he wanted with no real thought for them. He was easily persuaded into harms way and only had his own interest and desires at the forefront of his mind. I never got the impression that he truly felt for anyone other than himself.
Maddy was petty, selfish and seemed to judge others too harshly. I wanted to feel sorry for her at times because of her family's downfall but just couldn't muster enough emotion for her to do so.
This was a complex tale that at times was a little confusing and definitely made me think. The ending left me reeling a little. Not because it wasn't conclusive but just because of all the things that came together and transpired. Of how it all ended.
This is definitely a unique read that I really think anyone who enjoys fantasy will love. I think the author did a great job getting details about the era out there and told from a female perspective (being male himself) was fabulous and I applaud him for it. I don't imagine it was any easy feat.
I think this will be an author that we can expect some more great, unusual things from in the future.