Goodreads synopsis- An astonishing debut, a novel of epic scope and suspense that conjures up all the magic and menace of Victorian London
London, 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. Unnerved, his sister, Charlotte, sets out from their crumbling country estate determined to find him. In the sinister, labyrinthine city that greets her, she uncovers a secret world at the margins 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 one of the country’s preeminent and mysterious institutions: The Aegolius Club, whose members include the most ambitious, and most dangerous, men in England.
In her first novel, Lauren Owen has created a fantastical world that is both beguiling and terrifying. The Quick will establish her as one of fiction’s most dazzling talents.
Named One of the Top 10 Literary Fiction Books of the Season by Publishers Weekly
Let me start off by saying that this book took me several tries before I got into it, but I'm beyond glad I kept trying!
Without giving too much away (because I feel like this book is one of those that you shouldn't know too much going in), this book is about a young man named James who has moved to London and is living with another young man named Christopher. Where James is quiet and bookish, Christopher is a partying, out all hours of the night, charming opposite. James and Christopher eventually develop a relationship that inadvertently ends in tragedy.
James is missing, and his sister Charlotte comes to London looking for him. What she stumbles upon and is pulled into will change her life, and her view of the world, forever.
Okay, so this is a little obscure, (hopefully not too misleading) but I promise you I'm leaving out a lot because there is a twist that I at least didn't see coming, and I really think if you go into this book knowing what that twist is, it won't be quite as enjoyable. I do promise that it's more than worth it! This book had me in tears, it had me screaming, it had me laughing. I honestly can't tell you the last time I enjoyed an historical novel so much! This book is dark and charming, and I honestly couldn't get enough!
The only thing I was upset about was the ending. However, that's probably because I like nice clean endings in these kinds of books, but at the same time the ending leaves room for a sequel (which I am fervently praying is in the works!).
All in all, this was a SPECTACULAR debut novel, and I really can't wait to get my hands on more of Owen's work! I urge you, if you have not done so already, to pick this book up! I promise you won't regret it!
Until next time,