Review: The Quick by Lauren Owen

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Goodreads | Waterstones

You are about to discover the secrets of ‘The Quick’ – but first you must travel to Victorian England, and there, in the wilds of Yorkshire, meet a brother and sister alone in the world, a pair bound by tragedy. You will, in time, enter the rooms of London’s mysterious Aegolius Club – a society of the richest, most powerful men in England. And at some point – we cannot say when – these worlds will collide. It is then, and only then, that a new world emerges, a world of romance, adventure and the most delicious of horrors – and the secrets of ‘The Quick’ are revealed.

This one was very outside of my comfort zone, but I’m really glad I picked it up. I read this as part of a little book club that some of my friends have created, and I’m glad I’m already reading something I wouldn’t have picked up otherwise. I think when we chose this one we had no idea how fitting it would be for this season (I won’t say anymore due to spoilers, but the Gothic vibes were perfect!).

In a lot of ways, this book actually reminded me of The Binding. Both of them were rollercoasters for me that I liked parts of and other parts fell flat, but the Gothic Victorian setting and literary writing were along similar lines. I’m so glad I went into this having no clue what this one was going to be like, as a lot of the aspects of this book were surprising to me.

Shooed outside—like chickens—they wandered rather aimlessly into the grounds.

Oddly, the first part of this one was my favourite. This was a shame, as I feel like a lot of books get better as you go on, whereas this one kind of got…worse. I loved the first part and it had an LGBTQIA+ aspect I didn’t expect but I really enjoyed reading about. I also really liked the last part of the story which took around the last 50 pages or so. However, the pages in between kind of fell flat.

As this story went on, more and more characters were introduced and I found myself switching off. The second part was told in more of a diary format which felt very jarring and disjointed. I found myself losing interest as I couldn’t quite follow all of the different aspects of the story and different stories happening within the book. If this book followed the characters from the first part of this book throughout the whole thing, I think this one would have been a 4 or even higher star rating from me.

Somehow it was always less fun to be told to go out and play.

So yet again we have a book I felt very up and down about and had a lot of mixed feelings! I did enjoy this and I’m glad I picked it up, but it definitely wasn’t without parts I didn’t enjoy so much.

★★★★
3.5 out of 5 stars

-Beth

May your shelves forever overflow with books! ☽

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