Review: The Quick / by Madeleine

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The Quick follows two siblings in unusual circumstances. As children, James and Charlotte were close companions, but an incident in their youth and the separation from James's days at boarding school left their relationship to grow distant. Now James is living in London, exploring the city from the perspective of a young writer and discovering companionship in unexpected places; that is, until the day he disappears. Charlotte, living on a small estate in the country, feels compelled to venture into the intimidating landscape that is London to find out what's happened to her brother. When she arrives, she finds an impossible change has taken place and realizes that the world is far bigger (and scarier) than she ever thought. The shocking discoveries she makes bring her together with an unlikely group of heroes and form into a most dangerous and uncommon path, one that she pursues to make things right for the sake of her family.

I put myself on the library's waiting list for this book and was thrilled when my turn arrived quickly. I have been on a Victorian-era kick lately (it's one of my favorite time periods) and I was craving another dark and brooding story with plenty of plot twists. What I didn't realize about the story and would like to emphasize here is that the supernatural element plays quite an important role. I hadn't expected that, but ended up really liking the book anyway for many different reasons. The author's style is sophisticated without being pretentious, and the characters are quiet in their strength. I was impressed that this is the author's first published novel, and look forward to seeing more from her in the future. I'd recommend this to readers who like a quiet thrill and the slow, winding plot that is the mark of this era in historical fiction. Amazon suggests it for fans of The Historian and I wholeheartedly agree with the recommendation.

Bottom Line Rating: 4/5


  • Title: The Quick
  • Author: Lauren Owen 
  • Publisher: Random House, 2014
  • Price: $13 on Amazon
  • ISBN: 0812993276
  • Format: Hardcover
  • Source: Public Library