Then, suddenly, what seems to be a gothic saga transforms into an intricate, sinister epic involving many unique personalities, immense personal danger, unexpected love, and an unusual pursuit of scientific advancement—all centering on the exclusive Aegolius Club. Revealing any more would be a spoiler.
With her startling plot, Owen proves a master at anticipating readers’ thoughts about future happenings and then crumbling them into dust. Her world building is exceptional, and readers will simultaneously embrace and shrink from the atmosphere’s elegant ghastliness, but the novel’s structure is uneven—it feels overlong in places—and she devotes regrettably little time to her most intriguing characters. It’s an impressive feat, nonetheless, one with the potential to attract a cult (and occult) following this summer.
This review first appeared in Booklist's May 15th issue. The Quick will be published in June by Random House ($27.99, hardcover, 523pp). The hype surrounding this forthcoming novel has been unavoidable, and I don't think it lives up to it, quite, but The Quick does have a lot going for it. If you've read it already, what did you think?