1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Enchanting ghost/spiritualist fantasy,
This review is from: Haunting Violet (Paperback)
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
I hadn't heard of Alyxandra Harvey before reading this book, and I have to say that I am very likely to read more books by her.
The setting is approximately in 1872 in Victorian England, switching between London and a country house, and coinciding with the spiritualism craze that was rising at around that time. Violet's mother is a clutching fake medium, and they travel performing seances with their two servants, Colin and Marjorie. A short while after the start of the book, Violet starts to see real ghosts, one of whom, Rowena, is connected to the people she meets at a spiritualist house party.
The first couple of chapters read very awkwardly to me, with several anachronistic references that stood out; I had the feeling that this could have been an early attempt by the author. However, as I got further into the book that story brought me in, and I noticed them less often.
Most of the characters are very shallowly drawn; only really Violet seems fully real, with Colin an idealised love interest, Mrs Willoughby (her mother) simply malicious, and Elizabeth, Violet's friend, rather soppy.
I want to emphasise that there's a lot of potentially interesting background to the story - Violet's father, who we very briefly meet, and the mechanics of the ghost world are certainly intriguing. Add to that an enchanting heroine, a fast moving story, and I think there's plenty there for the average YA reader.