I bought this book without knowing a thing about it. All I knew was that I’d had several really interesting conversations on-line with Mr Smith and I liked what he said. Would I have bought this book otherwise? Probably not because a paranormal fantasy novel set partly in the Victorian era is not usually my thing. In this instance it was good to read outside of my comfort zone. I read this book a lot more slowly than I would usually because I had to get my head around some of the concepts. The way the story moved from one era to another was done really well and avoided too much confusion.
I sometimes find that when a male author writes a story where most of the main characters are female it can feel a little forced and a bit fake. For me all of the characters felt genuine. My particular favourite was Dr Kara Mellencourt. The way her driving is described in the book is just so perfect for a London driver. I’d read this book for those sections alone. The way that Kara’s excitement is shown towards her gifted friends is perfectly pitched for how I see excited academics when they get anywhere near something to do with their chosen subject. These characters really do drive the story.
This story explores a slightly different take on ghosts than I am used to. I would over-simplify it by saying that there is a type of magic that is drawn from a parallel universe that directly overlays our own. It is the physical manifestations from this universe in our own that creates what we would call ghosts, but there are those that can harness the power of those no longer on this plane of existence. It is put a lot more eloquently than that and there is a lot more to it but it should give you a rough idea.
Overall this is a really interesting book that captives and entertains.