Sunday 14 April 2013

Seduction by M. J. Rose - Book Review

Title: Seduction
Author: M. J. Rose
Publisher: Atria Book
Publication Date: 7 May 2013
Pages: 384
Format: E-Book - PDF
Genre: Literary / Historical
Source: ARC via NetGalley

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In 1843, novelist Victor Hugo’s beloved nineteen-year-old daughter drowned. Ten years later, Hugo began participating in hundreds of séances to reestablish contact with her. In the process, he claimed to have communed with the likes of Plato, Galileo, Shakespeare, Dante, Jesus—and even the Devil himself. Hugo’s transcriptions of these conversations have all been published. Or so it was believed.

Recovering from her own losses, mythologist Jac L’Etoile arrives on the Isle of Jersey—where Hugo conducted the séances—hoping to uncover a secret about the island’s Celtic roots. But the man who’s invited her there, a troubled soul named Theo Gaspard, has hopes she’ll help him discover something quite different—Hugo’s lost conversations with someone called the Shadow of the Sepulcher.

What follows is an intricately plotted and atmospheric tale of suspense with a spellbinding ghost story at its heart, by one of America’s most gifted and imaginative novelists.
(Goodreads Synopsis)

I came away from Seduction with mixed feelings. The first half of the book was beautifully written - suspenseful and intriguing - with strong characterisation. The pacing was a little slow at times, but mostly fine and I liked the way the storyline wove between Jac and Victor.

However, once the reincarnation element of the story came more to the fore, the story lost its way a bit and became somewhat clichéd and clunky. I didn't find that part of the story at all believable and began to disengage from Jac, too.

Overall and interesting read, particularly for Hugo fans, but for me it just fell a little short of the mark towards the end. If you are new to Rose's writing, I would recommend The Book of Lost Fragrances before this one.

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