My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Genre: Historical Fiction
Given the sprint reading course that I have been on lately I was a little intimidated by the bulk of this book 544 pages is not something to blink an eye at but a gothic Victorian London and vampires is just to hard for this girl to resist. It is like my favorite genres meshed into one glorious book!
So James and Charlotte Norbury, brother and sister, grow up in the family home, Aiskew Hall, with each other as the others only companion. There are some servants of course but since their mother's death their father doesn't ever come home to see his children and seems even to bothered to take care of their welfare. But they have each other and they make due the best that they can. Then one day their father comes home but only because he is deathly ill and whilst the kids are playing the children are finally allowed to see their father but only Charlotte does because while they were playing James went into the hidden priest hole in the library and so as not to get in trouble Charlotte left him in there and went to see their father alone. After leaving her father's side Charlotte noticed that Mrs. Chickering, her aunt, Mrs. Rowley, the housekeeper, and the doctor all went into the library where James was still locked in the hidden priest hole unbeknownst to the adults they were actually informing James of his father's death in the most unpleasant way. What a horrible way to find out your father is dead and that you missed the chance to see him, would you blame your sister for it? James doesn't seem to but Charlotte fears it but by then it doesn't seem to matter because they are soon forced apart, James to school and Charlotte to live with their aunt, Mrs. Chickering.
Time soon passes rather quickly and in the case of this book a turn of the page burns through years of James and Charlotte's lives. James is in his final term at Oxford and is getting ready to take London by storm deciding upon writing as a profession since he is rich enough already to be able to do what he loves even though the pay is dismal. James soon finds himself sharing a suite of rooms with Christopher Paige and a friendship of note ensues but then something more seems to grow there and that is just not something you do in Victorian London. Confronted by Eustace, Paige's brother, about their relationship, James wants to end it but Paige would rather run away together than lose James or let Eustace tell him how to live his life. But tragedy strikes first leaving Paige dead and James a creature of the night.
After not hearing from James after the death of their aunt, Charlotte sets out for London to discover what has become of her brother and finds that thanks to the Aegolius Club her brother is now a vampire. Both Charlotte and James meet both regular people and vampires along the way who help them escape the clutches of the Aegolius Club. A lot of action ensues and they are able to escape London and return to their ancestral home where Charlotte seals James into the priest hole in the family library as she sets off to find a cure for her brother. Always searching Charlotte ages as her brother stays hidden in the priest hole looking just like when she sealed him in there but when Charlotte dies her husband goes to free James only to find the priest hole empty!
I found the writing gripping the kind that bounds you to the page having to know what is next, there were a few parts that I thought what the "...." but this book is quite a large undertaking for a first novel so I choose to forgive those parts.
Thanks for coming by,
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