I started reading this with excitement at the Victorian elements (I say elements because some of the language, at least to my mind, seems slightly out of place for the times they were meant) and the voice. There are some lovely aspects to this book, such as the growing tension and the doubts that began to spring up about different characters and their true motivations... but then as the pages turned, these doubts started to seem more like the result of writing that didn't quite make me believe. Until the end I had the feeling that Denbury might turn out to be using Natalie, given how their love just seemed to spring up out of his need for human interaction, as well as hers (she's a mute but can magically speak in his world).
The setting and plot are both very interesting, and very Dorian Grey-ish, but I found the key to Natalie's identity, as the ONE who could save Dorian, er, I mean, Denbury, a bit too.. well, Harry Potter-like. I won't give it away as it's found at the end of the story and might seem like a big spoiler, but it's pretty much Harry's key to survival and being the chosen one as well. I know it's been done way before Harry Potter, but it's the most obvious comparison at this point in time and while it seemed fresh and so pure and hopeful in Rowling's books, here it seems too easy, almost a Deus ex machina.
I found Natalie's father's detachment of the whole business until the very end unbelievable. His attention to his only daughter seemed to wane as the book's action got heavier, and was always conveniently explained away (he's smoking a cigar in the other room, and thinks Natatlie's sketching YET ANOTHER corridor, or whatever).
I liked the idea of this story and some of the voice, but in the end I found it rather disappointing, mainly because the central relationship - Natalie and Denbury - was highly unbelievable and even though it's ended I STILL think he was using her... and Mrs. Northe seemed a little too good to be true with no real reason to be supporting Natalie. Also, as another reviewer on Amazon said, the mixture of Egyptian hieroglyphics and Christian symbolism and runes and dark magic is a giant "hot mess." None of it fit coherently together and felt like a big ol' mixed bag of "magic" that was lazily tossed into the pot.
The journal entry style was easy to read, but again, hard to believe within the world of this story. I get that she wanted to write down her thoughts since she wasn't speaking them, but really, you've just been kidnapped and you're writing in your journal? Hmm. Okay.
Interesting concept but it fell a little flat for me.