[Book Review] The Quick — Lauren Owen

This review is also posted to Goodreads and Amazon. It was also part of a large book haul, you can find the other reviews here.

The Quick is intended to be a Victorian Gothic/Horror novel. It’s widely touted to be among the best written since the heyday of the Gothic genre. It’s a first novel from a young writer. I feel somehow as though I’m not allowed to write a summary of what it’s about because it seems to be a gigantic secret jealously guarded with all the force and might of the publisher. So, I won’t. But, there were multiple plot developments in the first 100 or so pages where I found myself saying, “Well that was unexpected!”

book review quick
I thoroughly enjoyed the first 100 pages and the last 100 pages, but the middle of the book is long, wind-y, and sometimes gets lost. I found myself impatiently reading through long segues that seemed to lose the thread of the novel. The pacing is just … off. I will say that much of the information held in sections of the book that initially seem unimportant and superfluous do return to the plot later, but the book still seems unnecessarily tangential.

The book starts as a Jane Austen love story, told from a male perspective. I liked it. Then, abruptly, the perspective and focus changes and our likeable protagonist is lost to us for what seems like ages. There are sections of the novel told in the epistolary form, but it’s among the portions of the novel that drag on the longest. Almost all of the characters get a backstory chapter, some of which were very interesting but hardly apropos.

TLDR:

If you enjoy Victorian Gothic reads, it’s probably worth your time. If I had known it was a vampire book, I wouldn’t have been nearly as excited to read it.

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