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The Quick

by Lauren Owen

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
91612717,983 (3.3)133
"Lauren Owen's thrilling first novel introduces an utterly beguiling world. London, 1893: James Norbury is a shy would-be poet, newly down from Oxford and confounded by the sinister, labyrinthine city at his doorstep. Taking up lodging with a dissolute young aristocrat, he is introduced to the drawing rooms of high society and finds love in an unexpected quarter. On the cusp of achieving a happiness long denied to him, he vanishes without a trace. In Yorkshire, his sister Charlotte - only in her twenties but already resigned to life as a rural spinster - sets out to find her brother. Her search for answers leads her to one of the country's pre-eminent and mysterious institutions: The Aegolius Club, whose members include the richest, most ambitious men in England. Trying to save James - and herself - from the Club's designs, Charlotte uncovers a secret world at the city's margins populated by unforgettable characters: a female rope walker turned vigilante, a street urchin with a deadly secret, and the chilling "Dr. Knife." As emotionally involving as it is suspenseful, The Quick will establish its young author as one of contemporary fiction's most dazzling talents" --… (more)
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» See also 133 mentions

English (125)  Italian (1)  French (1)  All languages (127)
Showing 1-5 of 125 (next | show all)
Started strong, then I lost interest. ( )
  usuallee | Oct 7, 2021 |
My god, does anything ever happen in this book? 70 pages in, and...

...nothing...

...has...

...happened.

There's pages of description. There's dialogue. There's even some homosexuality.

But other than that, this feels more like a big collection of words than a story. I'm out.
  TobinElliott | Sep 3, 2021 |
How does one take a potentially good story and make it deadly dull? By being an ineffectual and plodding storyteller. Sorry Lauren, in spite of my loyalty to Oxford, I am unlikely to read anything else you write. ( )
  scunliffe | Jul 17, 2021 |
Lauren Owen's "The Quick" initially comes across as a slow-burning Gothic period piece, rich in poetic and atmospheric descriptions of a decaying country house, its unkempt gardens and the family which inhabits it. It suddenly flares up to become a fast-paced supernatural thriller, crowned with a bloody action-packed climax worthy of a Tarantino movie. Some readers have spoken of a "twist" in the plot. In actual fact, the novel provides many twists and turns as it meanders through the grimy, foggy streets of Victorian London. This is an assured, genre-bending début from a novelist to look out for. ( )
  JosephCamilleri | Mar 5, 2021 |
2.75 stars

I finally finished! M'kay, so there was nothing really wrong with this book, I guess, it just didn't deliver on what I might have liked and did deliver on some things I really could have done without. So. Exhibit A for why books should have content labels. There was a smattering of mild language throughout and a couple uses of the f-bomb. A gay relationship that I just would have liked some warning or lead-up to, because even if it had been any other relationship it came out of nowhere. Some unnecessary sexual content (and some necessary content that was handled tactfully, which I appreciated; not sure why the tact level differed where it did?). Since it's a vampire novel it was necessarily violent, although there were times it kind of toed the line for me as far as what I felt was strictly necessary.

But with the content labeling out of the way. The first half of this book (sans a chapter or two) was my favorite part of the book. One thing this book does really well is vampire lore, and the first half was full of it. The worldbuilding aspect of this book was fantastic.

The prose is also a nice style. There were several places where there was nothing but straight dialogue for a few lines and I had to back up to sort out for sure who was talking, but it wasn't terribly off-putting amidst the rest of the prose.

I didn't personally connect well with any of the characters, at least not long-term. They each had their moments, but none of them really stuck with me. Except Howland. I liked Howland. Howland and Charlotte's interactions saved the last portion of the book, for me, and I likely would have DNFed the book without them.

Unfortunately... that's about all I can say for it. :P ( )
  RMArcher | Dec 1, 2020 |
Showing 1-5 of 125 (next | show all)
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There were owls in the nursery when James was a boy.
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"Lauren Owen's thrilling first novel introduces an utterly beguiling world. London, 1893: James Norbury is a shy would-be poet, newly down from Oxford and confounded by the sinister, labyrinthine city at his doorstep. Taking up lodging with a dissolute young aristocrat, he is introduced to the drawing rooms of high society and finds love in an unexpected quarter. On the cusp of achieving a happiness long denied to him, he vanishes without a trace. In Yorkshire, his sister Charlotte - only in her twenties but already resigned to life as a rural spinster - sets out to find her brother. Her search for answers leads her to one of the country's pre-eminent and mysterious institutions: The Aegolius Club, whose members include the richest, most ambitious men in England. Trying to save James - and herself - from the Club's designs, Charlotte uncovers a secret world at the city's margins populated by unforgettable characters: a female rope walker turned vigilante, a street urchin with a deadly secret, and the chilling "Dr. Knife." As emotionally involving as it is suspenseful, The Quick will establish its young author as one of contemporary fiction's most dazzling talents" --

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