I received a copy of this book from NetGalley in exchange for an unbiased review.
I really liked this story. I’ve read some of Ms. Armstrong’s work in the past and her prose is always easy to read and enjoyable. The premise here of a modern day female detective transported through time when she’s attacked in a dark lane in old Edinburgh is creative and right up this reader’s alley. Being a huge fan of Edinburgh and having experienced the magic of the city firsthand, in this reader’s opinion, it’s the perfect setting for the story. A very atmospheric town and extra creepy in 1869 when the lighting would have been candles or gas lights.
The heroine is plucky and savvy and learns quickly that she’ll have to work hard to try to fit in where most everything is unfamiliar. The work she has to do as a housemaid is tough yet she realizes a roof over her head in those hard times is worth the backbreaking chores. Even the cleaning of the chamber pots.
Ms. Armstrong does a great job evoking the era in housing and the sights/smells of an old city as well as the biases against women and people of mixed race.
The supporting characters are well-drawn and appealing with each having unique qualities. I especially enjoyed the brother and sister and how they interacted with the heroine as well as each other and the local police detective. There were parts that strained credulity, but being as it’s a time travel story, realism was always going to take a back seat.
The heroine was flawed and made mistakes which made the tale more exciting. A perfect heroine is always dull. The person whose body the heroine was transported into was a wicked person and I’m glad the heroine made many attempts to try to make things right with the people the real housemaid harmed.
It appears there will be more stories with these characters which is great as they each have their own unique back story and I, for one, look forward to exploring more of old Edinburgh with them and learning more about their lives.
Got delayed in finishing reading this one. Had to go out of town to a conference and had no time to read. I know I was recommending this book when I first posted that I was reading it. I was throughly enjoying it. And now I’m mad.
I take back my recommendation of this book. Don’t get me wrong, the writing is excellent and the story line is intriguing – that I like. What makes me mad as a snake is that it is NOT a complete book. The book ends in the middle of the action. IN. THE. MiDDLE. OF. THE. ACTION. You have to buy the next book in the series to even get a conclusion to this book. Reminds me of the middle movie of the Pirates of the Caribbean trilogy. That was what I call a “bridge” movie- you HAD to see movie # 3 to find out the end of movie #2. I, for one, refused and I still haven’t seen it.
I have to think that this is a marketing ploy to get people to buy the second book. I won’t do it. I refuse. I hate to be manipulated and that is exactly how I feel right now. Manipulated in a very bad way. When I buy a book, I want a conclusion. Now, don’t get me wrong, I want to be intrigued enough to buy a second in a series to see what happens next but I don’t want to be forced to buy a second book to get any conclusion at all.
There was also one scene near the end where I found myself hoping the author hadn’t gone for the cliché I’d expected to happen all along. I was proud that she hadn’t done it and then in the last 30 pages, she did. Bummer. Hated that she gave in to that impulse. Based on the creativiity in the earlier part of the book, I expected better of her.
So, even though I’ll probably get blasted for this. I have to say it – Don’t buy it- Just say no.
The Summoning is a Young Adult novel by Kelley Armstrong. I got it at RWA National conference in Orlando. I started it last night when I was too tired to work anymore on edits on my own manuscript. I read a bit more at lunch today. I am enjoying the heck out of it. Very lightly written even though it’s categorized as horror. The protagonist is a 15 year old girl who sees ghosts AND they see her.
She freaks out at school when she sees a dead janitor and is taken to a group home for teens with “issues”- she is told she is schizophrenic and that almost freaks her out as much as seeing ghosts.
Something is amiss at this group home- I’ve just gotten past the part where one of the residents is taken away and something happens to her. Will be interesting to see where this goes.