If you are looking for a good, old-fashioned vampire novel, look no further than Lauren Owen’s The Quick. For the first 150 pages, you may think that Owen’s novel (her first) will be a straightforward, conventional tale of orphaned siblings in Victorian England. Then, James Norbury finds himself a reluctant member of the Aegolius Club, a secret society for the wealthy (and undead). After James goes missing, his sister Charlotte travels to London to search for him. Like the heroine of any Gothic novel, Charlotte finds herself navigating a underground London populated by dangerous characters: child vampires, a pair of “Van Helsings,” and the mysterious Doctor Knife. Like Bram Stoker’s Dracula, Owen plays with narrative and form to encompass the thoughts of both the (un)dead and the “quick.” Only the narrative of Charlotte, our virginal heroine, falls flat. Overall, however, Owen has written a dark, compelling story of the monsters within us all. No sparkly vampires in sight.
Review Submitted by: Kaitlyn Grigsby
Rating: Highly Recommended