Pastworld is a "theme park" set in the Victorian times of London. The visitors, called Gawkers, get submerged in that lifetime. They must follow strict rules to keep to the authenticity.
The story is about Eve, a girl who was shut away in a house in Pastworld and only let out with her guardian, who runs away to join the circus. She doesn't remember much of her childhood, but she dreams of being free. The story is also about Caleb, a visitor to Pastworld whose life is turned upside down when he's a witness to a murder. Before long, he is labeled as the murderer and his father is kidnapped right before his eyes. He is taken in by a pickpocket named Bible J. And then there's the Fantom. He is a serial killer with a gruesome calling card.
These three characters are all involved in some way - a very shocking way!
PASTWORLD was definitely...interesting. Working for Disney, I saw that this was about a "theme park" and was excited. But I wouldn't exactly call Pastworld a theme park; it's just a city set in the past.
You could definitely tell this book was written by a guy, since it was really gory. I wasn't expecting that, but it didn't turn me off from my reading. Sometimes, I didn't really care about the characters. While I wanted to care about Eve, I didn't feel like there was enough about her for me to feel sympathetic about. That being said, this was a good science fiction/mystery book. I spent a lot of the storyline trying to figure out what was going on, and I would say that about two-thirds of the way through, I finally figured it out. And it was a good twist!
I feel that the ending wrapped up too quickly, as I would have liked to have read more about what happened at the end scene with the Fantom and Eve. Still, a good read overall, though.