Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Season of Mists by Jennifer Corkill

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆
Obtained from: Author
Read: July 13, 2015

The year is 1888. Justine Holloway finds herself an orphan after her parents die in a horrific fire. She is sent to live with her godparents, Harold Mendenhall and his sister Frances. On the boat ride home, she meets Amun Farouk, a handsome Egyptian Ambassador who is also sailing to England to meet her godfather. What Justine does not realize as she dons the veil of mourning is that Harold runs a secret organization under the nose of polite society, much to the dismay of his genteel sister. The Council was created for the protection of humanity from the Varius, refugees from a parallel universe who shift their form while others channel the forces of magic. They seek refuge in Victorian London, hidden in the slums, easily forgotten until a human ends up incinerated or sucked dry. Drawn into the plot against her will, Justine finds herself the object of a vampire’s lurid obsession. According to ancient texts, vampires kill humans for fodder, their blood and the air they breathe inferior, but this killer has other intentions for her. Does Justine’s survival depend on Amun or will he kill her to save humanity?

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Jennifer Corkill’s Season of Mists was one of those books that more or less found me. The author very kindly offered me a copy in exchange for an honest review and the rest is pretty much history. 

I’ll be blunt, the cover doesn’t do much for me. I’ve seen the same model on a lot of ebooks and much like the image that once graced Andrea Zuvich’s The Stuart Vampire, I don’t think the jacket does justice to Corkill’s story. 

Part paranormal fantasy and part historic fiction, the novel has a lot of fun material in it. Other reviewers have compared Justine Holloway’s adventure to The Mummy and Downton Abbey, but I personally think Corkill’s work closer to The Young Sherlock Holmes, you know, with a stronger female protagonist, shape-shifters and vampires.

In terms of style and technique, I won’t lie, the novel took me a while to get into. It wasn’t until chapter eight that I felt the story really took off so if you’re reading this, understand patience will be rewarded. Ideally, I’d have liked more in terms of world building, but I’m pickier than most and generally speaking, I found Corkill’s representation of paranormal London dark, engaging and fun.

All told, Season of Mists is a solid paranormal debut. Recommended alongside That Scoundrel Emile Dubois by Lucinda Elliot and Mozart's Blood by Louise Marley.

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"... trust me when I say humans are not the only species living in London. In fact, we are the docile ones in comparison.”
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