Tuesday, May 20, 2014

G282 Book Review of The Quick by Lauren Owen

Name of Book: The Quick

Author: Lauren Owen

ISBN: 978-0-8129-9327-1

Publisher: Random House

Type of book: Vampires, permission, Victorian England, 1890s, journal entries, mysteries, homosexuality, the cure, fiction

Year it was published: 2014


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.


I liked a few characters, but not the ones the author hoped I'd like. I really liked James and his lover as well as Doctor Knife's boss and the lover's family members along with Adeline and Shadwell. Ones I couldn't stand are Charlotte and the other guy that was destined to become a vampire, the American man as well as Liza and her ilk. Charlotte is someone I should have admired, but for some odd reason I couldn't really connect with her.


To be honest, I have no idea what lessons I should have learned from it.


Its written in third person narrative, and I have to mention that its organized poorly. For one thing is that the reader goes back and forth between the present time-line and that of Augustus Mould (Doctor Knife) in most of the book. Then randomly we meet other characters who don't seem to be well-woven into the narrative until way later.

Author Information:
(From TLC)
LAUREN OWEN studied English Literature at St. Hilda’s College, Oxford, before completing an MA in Creative Writing at the University of East Anglia, where she received the 2009 Curtis Brown prize for the best fiction dissertation.The Quick is her first novel. She lives in Durham, England.


At times I bemoan and curse the fact that popular novels and I are just like oil and water. Why couldn't I like more popular novels and those that everyone loves instead of liking books that most people haven't heard of? However, reading this book and then reading Goodreads views and complaints that it falls into an overused genre, I bless the fact that I never got into the Twilight craze, and that I haven't really read billions of vampire novels, which helps me judge the book on its merits. (Last time I cracked open the vampire novel was back in November, The Color of Light.) So yeah, this is a vampire book, although they aren't called that in the book, but how else will you call creatures that drink blood and don't age? At first I was going to give it four stars for creativity and that I enjoyed the younger brother romance angle, but I guess upon further reflection and that its a very frustrating puzzle to put together, I have to give this three stars. I did enjoy the beginning of the story, prior to Charlotte and the disappearance. As the book does go on and when it ends, I ended up being frustrated with a number of things; one is that some characters don't really fit in together and they didn't have a clear function (I'm looking at you, Liza) and I did hope that Adeline and Shadwell would play much bigger parts than they used to.

Lauren Owen’s TLC Book Tours TOUR STOPS:

Monday, May 5th:  Bibliophilia, Please
Monday, May 5th:  No More Grumpy Bookseller
Tuesday, May 6th:  A Daily Does of R & R
Wednesday, May 7th:  Unabridged Chick
Thursday, May 8th:  Too Fond
Friday, May 9th:  October Country
Monday, May 12th:  A Bookish Way of Life
Monday, May 12th:  Let Them Read Books
Tuesday, May 13th:  For the Love of Words
Wednesday, May 14th:  Must Read Faster
Thursday, May 15th:  A Fantastical Librarian
Friday, May 16th:  Bookish Whimsy
Monday, May 19th:  River City Reading
Monday, May 19th:  In Bed with Books
Tuesday, May 20th:  Reading Reality
Tuesday, May 20th:  Svetlana’s Reads and Views
Wednesday, May 21st:  Love at First Book
Thursday, May 22nd:  Luxury Reading
Friday, May 23rd:  A Novel Review
Monday, May 26th:  A Reader of Fictions
Tuesday, May 27th:  Broken Teepee
Wednesday, May 28th:  Book-a-licious Mama
Thursday, May 29th:  Read Lately
Friday, May 30th:  Patricia’s Wisdom
This is for TLC Book Tour

3 out of 5
(0: Stay away unless a masochist 1: Good for insomnia 2: Horrible but readable; 3: Readable and quickly forgettable, 4: Good, enjoyable 5: Buy it, keep it and never let it go.)

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