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Life, Law & Libros

The Dark Unwinding by Sharon Cameron (3 stars)

11 comments
Mini-reviews are tweaked versions of reviews I wrote before starting the blog. It's a good way to show some love to older books (and keep me from panicking when I slack off and don't have anything new). The originals remain on Goodreads (unless it was, like, one sentence), and the new reviews get posted here in between reviews of books I'm currently reading. How to tell them apart? The mini-reviews get this cool intro paragraph. :)


The Dark Unwinding by Sharon Cameron
Series: The Dark Unwinding #1
Genres: YA, Steampunk, Suspense
Published on August 27, 2012
Published by Scholastic Press
Final Rating: 3 stars
Synopsis:
When Katharine Tulman’s inheritance is called into question by the rumor that her eccentric uncle is squandering away the family fortune, she is sent to his estate to have him committed to an asylum. But instead of a lunatic, Katharine discovers a genius inventor with his own set of rules, who employs a village of nine hundred people rescued from the workhouses of London.

Katharine is now torn between protecting her own inheritance and preserving the peculiar community she grows to care for deeply. And her choices are made even more complicated by a handsome apprentice, a secretive student, and fears for her own sanity.

As the mysteries of the estate begin to unravel, it is clear that not only is her uncle’s world at stake, but also the state of England as Katharine knows it.

Mini-Review:
Katherine is sent to Stranwyne to declare her uncle insane, making her aunt and cousin very rich. She meets adversity from the staff and residents, finally agreeing to stay one month's time before returning to London and telling her aunt anything. Katharine Tulman is a sensible, frugal young woman who is well aware her financial security and future rest upon the tenuous good will of her greedy aunt and cousin. I don't have any major problems with her. She is curious without being reckless, assured without being a snobbish know-it-all and generally levelheaded. The supporting cast is interesting in a sometimes slightly off kilter manner that adds to the overall strangeness of the setting and circumstances.

The plot progresses smoothly at a decent pace. My one great unhappiness with the story is that Katherine's analytical, logical mind has a certain large, not quite believable blind spot regarding a certain matter. It lessened the scary factor for me. The romance develops somewhat slowly (though it's only a one month acquaintance) and isn't horrendously in your face. Throughout, Katherine remains sensible of her position, his, and the unchanged bleak future awaiting her. And there's no love triangle. :)

If you're looking for a clean, gothic tome of suspense, somewhat reminiscent of Jane Austen or the Brontes, this may be the book for you. I enjoyed it for the most part and would recommend it to YA readers looking for suspense with a touch of steampunk and limited sappiness.

11 comments :

  1. Boooo, I loved this one! Well, I think I loved the second one even more. Have you read it yet? It really made me realize that I loved the series overall! This one was good, but the second one was even better :D *nudges* I'll be reading Rook soon - totally unrelated to this series, but a Sharon book nonetheless. Happy reading, Kel!

    Fabulous review - and I hope you have a lovely weekend!

    Alyssa @ The Eater of Books!

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    1. Thank you! I thought The Dark Unwinding was good; it just didn't blow me away. :) I've been meaning to read the second book. I still have to track it down.

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  2. Against my better judgement, I feel like I want to read this one. Your review sounded pretty positive, so overall the book must not have impressed you that much?

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    1. I think you'd like this one. No "wow" for me, but a good story and good characters. :)

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  3. I'm interested by this, and that it does draw some comparisons to Jane Austen and the Bronte sisters. The atmosphere sounds pretty cool. And no love triangles is always a win!

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    1. If you like that era/feel with a bit of suspense mixed in, you'll probably like The Dark Unwinding. And while there is another man on the premises, it's not a love triangle, so yay! :)

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  4. I definitely like the sound of no love triangle! I'm excited to read Rook soon, and if I like that one, I may end up giving this series a try. :) Love the idea of your mini reviews, btw!

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    1. Ooh, I thought Rook looked really fun! Can't wait to see your thoughts on it! And I love my mini-reviews. They're mini-life savers when my brain won't cooperate. ;)

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  5. Just finished this last night (checked it out after reading your review), and I loved it! The Jane Austen-feel, mild suspense, and slow romance were perfect. The kind of Gothic novel I actually like! And the steampunk flavor was delightful. Thanks for recommending it!

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    1. I'm so glad you liked it! I can see the historical suspense with romance being right up your alley. You'll have to let me know what you think if you get to the sequel before I do. Or Rook, Cameron's new retelling of The Scarlet Pimpernel. :)

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    2. I put a hold on it at the library, so we'll see how soon it's available! Rook sounds good too. Thanks for the suggestion!

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