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Wormwood by G. P. Taylor

Wormwood (original 2004; edition 2004)

by G. P. Taylor (Author)

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7901217,560 (3.07)16
Authors:G. P. Taylor (Author)
Info:Faber & Faber (2004), 320 pages
Collections:Your library

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Wormwood by G. P. Taylor (2004)


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Wormwood J P Taylor

Published by Faber and Faber 2004

312 Pages

Book 1 of 2

Set in London in 1756 this is a fantasy/ steam punk novel about a comet called Wormwood, a book called the Nemorensis and the eternal battle between good and evil.

Caught up in the battle are a serving girl cum thief Agetta, her employer Dr Sabian Blake a scientist looking for the truth of the universe and experimenting with magic, several human characters with questionable motives and at least 2 fallen angels.

This was an interesting read I liked the way the author has blended fantasy with religious scripture and how this blending is probably the way the events in the book would have been perceived by people actually living in the time period.

( )
  BookWormM | Jan 15, 2016 |
I was pleasantly surprised to find that 'Wormwood' was far more enjoyable than 'Shadowmancer'. However, most things in life are better than 'Shadowmancer' and so that's really not much of an endorsement.

While I liked the general idea of the plot, I felt that Taylor did not use it to its full effect. The slow descent of the comet, gradually causing London to fall to chaos, could have made for a dramatic and suspenseful story. However, Taylor seemed to largely forget about this until the climax and instead pursued numerous sub-plots which went nowhere - often petering out without resolution and never doing anything to explain the gaping holes in the main plot. The ending is also very abrupt, the entire climax taking less that twenty pages and leaving many loose ends hanging.

Although less out-and-out preachy than 'Shadowmancer', the novel also had a heavy message that both science and the Kabbalah are evil, and that the ongoing search that mankind has for knowledge/power is gradually damning us all. While this did not irritate me nearly as much as Raphah's pagan bashing in the previous novel, it also did not make me warm to the novel. I don't really enjoy books that try to make me feel bad about reading them.

Finally, the characters in this book are exceptionally dislikable. None of the cast - angels included - were altruistic in any way, instead going out of their way to either hurt others or further their own selfish ends. I could not get behind any of these characters at all and found myself not caring if they lived or died.

In short, this was not the book for me at all. I can see little appeal in it and certainly won't be recommending it to anyone. ( )
  ArkhamReviews | Jul 8, 2014 |
I've had Wormwood sitting on my bookshelf for years. I'm not entirely sure when or why I originally grabbed it, except that it implied magic. There was magic, as well as comets and demons and angels. The book had some potential. The writing wasn't bad and there were some interesting idea, but it ultimately fell flat for me.

The details to the world building seemed a little off. It didn't quite seem like 1756 London. Parts of it felt too modern, like some of the dialog. Other parts made it feel like and alternate version of London, rather than historical.

I also couldn't get a handle on the characters, on why they did what they did. Their motivations weren't clear and I didn't really like any of them. Agetta was the only one I could almost sympathize with, but even with her, I was confused to the point of not knowing how old she really was. Sometimes I though she was around 18, other times she seemed around 12. And her personality seemed to flip flop quite a bit, so her growth seems convenient to the story rather than natural.

Ultimately, not for me. ( )
  andreablythe | May 18, 2014 |
I found this story to be hard going. ( )
  Chris.Graham | Jul 30, 2013 |
To see my review:http://bookvacations.wordpress.com/2011/02/07/wormwood-by-g-p-taylor/ ( )
1 vote ABookVacation | Nov 12, 2011 |
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To JC & KST you have beaten back the Black Dog
and filled my life with your light.
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From the top-floor window of his large four-storey house on Bloomsbury Square, Dr. Sabian Blake could see the farthest depths of space.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0399242570, Hardcover)

An epic adventure from a master storyteller.

Panic fills the streets of London on a night in 1756 when the earth suddenly lurches forward and starts spinning out of control. Within moments, eleven days and nights flash through the sky, finally leaving the city in total darkness. Is the end of the world at hand?

Agetta Lamian fears so. She's the young housemaid of Dr. Sabian Blake, a scientist who has recently acquired the Nemorensis, the legendary book said to unlock the secrets of the universe. And what he sees through his telescope confirms what he has read: This disaster is only a sign of things to come. Agetta overhears Dr. Blake's prophecy that a star called Wormwood is headed toward London, where it will fall from the sky and strike a fatal blow.

Dr. Blake believes the comet will either end the world as he knows it or hearken a new age of scientific and spiritual enlightenment. Soon even Agetta seems to have been seduced by the book, and whom she ultimately delivers it to will determine much more than just her fate.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:25:37 -0400)

(see all 5 descriptions)

In 1756, as a deadly comet hurtles toward London, Dr. Sabian Blake and his fourteen-year-old housemaid, Agetta, struggle against dark forces that seek an ancient, powerful book in Blake's possession that would enable them to carry out an evil plan in which Agetta unknowingly plays a pivotal role.… (more)

(summary from another edition)

» see all 6 descriptions

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