Thursday 20 February 2014

The Quick - Lauren Owen Spoilers included
It's strange just how much your expectations can impact on the enjoyment of a book. When you start a book thinking it is one thing and it suddenly becomes something totally different it can be a pleasant surprise, or it can just make your heart sink. I must admit that while reading The Quick I got a sinking feeling at least to start with. I was really looking forward to a bit of Victorian melodrama, was expecting it to be nicely Gothic, and OTT. That is what I wanted to be reading. The first third or so satisfied me totally, we had family misfortune, with siblings locking each other in fake priest holes, while their father's died of unspecified diseases upstairs. We had houses that couldn't keep hold of staff domestic or educational and we had languid young men roaming London, writing awful poetry and falling in love with each other and with the plays of Wilde. So far so good is what I thought. Just what I had hoped for. A slightly different take on Clare Clark's Beautiful Lies, Victorian, overblown and perfect for curling up with in bad weather. Suddenly however my languid young men were busy having their throats ripped out while en route to Wilde's Salon. This was not what I was expecting, or what I was wanting; too much gore and all too suddenly.

My first thought was 'murder?', followed almost instantly by 'Oh no, it's Vampires.... tell me it's not Vampires...' I really wasn't in the mood for Vampires. Often I rather enjoy a Vampire novel; however I really do prefer that the little buggers don't creep up on me both in real life and in fiction. I have enjoyed Anne Rice's Vampire world, and much more recently loved reading George RR Martin's Fevre Dream, but I knew what to expect there and had time to prepare. That was not the case here and I'm afraid that my view of this novel has suffered because of it. In all fairness there is very little wrong with The Quick, it has some entertaining characters, some interesting situations, and some very well imagined set ups. There are some unusual aspects which do add to the charm of the whole thing. It's just I really didn't want to be reading about Vampires, not right now.... sorry but there it is. I guess that it would have been possible that the novel would have been so amazing as to overcome my initial reluctance to the genre, but sadly it didn't. I finished it, and found it to be a mildly entertaining read, just not the read for me. Maybe at another time I would have been drawn in, maybe I would have enjoyed it more. Right now, in the mood I'm in at the moment it wasn't really for me, so proved to be a slight disappointment.

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