Review Detail4.7 1
After finally gaining access to the e-book of The Dark Unwinding (in order to read this), I wondered if it would be worth all the trouble (library had some issues, as do I with jumping into a series midway!). And oh, my, how happy I am to have gone to all the trouble! This series is right up my alley. It has every element this girl could possibly desire, including a quiet and brooding love interest, beautiful dresses (with not too much attention put on them, either), old houses and tunnels and incredible inventions and contraptions, enduring, loyal love, and true-to-history cities, villages, and landscapes. And moors. What girl that enjoys old, romantic novels doesn't love the moors?
Okay, the moors aren't included in this sequel, but Cameron satisfied my hunger for more of these characters and elements and then some. She took me to France? Oh, la, la, could she have done more than this for me? I felt like she was writing this book just for me. I'm gushing, I know.
Katharine Tulman will stop at nothing to protect her Uncle Tully and to find her missing love, Lane. (I love that name. Do I love everything? Yes, I do. There will not be a "what I didn't like" in this review). She puts herself and many others at risk to protect his life and his work. She does this because she is devoted in the extreme to him and to his livelihood. THIS right here is why Katharine is such an amazing heroine. Her uncle is living in a time when his eccentricities would have been considered lunacy, although to us it is clear that he must have autism or some other similar condition, and she can see past his draining needs and tantrums into his heart. She loves him and his childlike ways, and she loves his home that has become her own. With so many heroines bordering on self-obsession, Katharine's love of others is a breath of fresh air. She does have her own desires in mind as well, but even then, she is able to see throughout the book when she has acted foolishly or selfishly, and she bears much guilt as she is proceeding with her plans to save Uncle Tully and find Lane. She doesn't go through with her ideas with a bullheaded arrogance. Katharine is one amazing young woman.
Sharon Cameron has a knack for world-building as well. It is not often that I am able to picture places and faces well in my mind, but she paints the scenery in my head with her words, touching just enough on the wallpaper here or the stonework there to build the street or the church or the tunnel in the workings of my mind. She describes the way Katharine has a knot of anxiety in her stomach or the spill of tears on her hands in a uniquely beautiful way that captivated me. And the interplay of interaction between Lane and Katharine is breathtaking; they have a chemistry that goes deep, and their words and actions weave into a dance that is lovely to behold. I wish I could see those sea-gray eyes of his, she describes them over and over but each time is different and intriguing.
I also really liked that she drops hints here and there of the plot line, and it allowed me to pick up some of the pieces, but most certainly not all. I was pleasantly surprised with how everything turned out, and boy is there a whopper I did not see coming at the end.
Oh, there is one thing I didn't like: the villain. I hate him. And yet, you can see, that is a good thing. Cameron has created a classic but still yucky villain we can all despise. Wanting to see his demise (is that gruesome?) kept me turning the pages of A Spark Unseen as well.
A Spark Unseen, like it's prequel The Dark Unwinding, is a book you will not want to miss if you are a fan of historical novels like me.