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a marvelous book that will linger with readers

  • Dec 20, 2012
Rating:
+5
Katharine Tullman does not want to send her uncle to an asylum anymore than she wants to please her horrible aunt by doing so. Unfortunately Katharine very rarely gets to do anything near what she wants--not if she ever hopes to secure even the smallest bit of independence for herself.

When Katharine arrives at her uncle's estate she soon realizes that dealing with her uncle is not going to be as cut and dry as she had hoped. Instead of a lunatic she finds her uncle is an incredibly gifted but eccentric inventor. Instead of a ramshackle estate near ruin she finds a village filled with workers rescued from London workhouses.

As Katharine explores the estate and learns more about her uncle, matters become more complicated as she is taken in my a handsome apprentice and an ambitious student. Soon, she realizes she is starting to care about her uncle and his household more than she can afford to given rising questions of her own future. And her own sanity.

With mysteries all around her and far more at stake than she can imagine, Katharine will have to decide who to trust and who to protect in The Dark Unwinding (2012) by Sharon Cameron.

The Dark Unwinding is Cameron's first novel.

In a delightful blend of suspense, steampunk and historical drama, Cameron has created a delightful world with compelling characters and a plot filled with twists and excitements. The story perfectly captures the wonder of Uncle Tullman's estate and the urgency felt by everyone who wants to keep it safe.

The question of Katharine's own sanity and the mysteries surrounding the estate add another satisfying dimension to the story. Best of all Cameron's writing is wonderful throughout giving each character a unique voice and bringing them to life. The beautiful prose elevates what could have been a sensational action story into something more as Katharine is forced to confront of her own principles and grow as a character as her priorities (and loyalties) change.

The Dark Unwinding is a marvelous book that will linger with readers. The undercurrent of suspense and mystery make it a perfect read for a dark winter night.

Possible Pairings: Magic Under Glass by Jaclyn Dolamore, Dearly, Departed by Lia Habel, Thone of Glass by Sarah J. Maas, Unspoken by Sarah Rees Brennan, The Shadow Society by Marie Rutkoski, The Invention of Hugo Cabret by Brian Selznick, Leviathan by Scott Westerfeld

*This book was acquired for review from the publisher at BEA 2012*

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December 20, 2012
Thanks for sharing!
 
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Ranked #204
Reader, writer, blogger.      I have a master's in library science and information systems and am currently searching for a librarian position.      You can … more
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Praise forThe Dark Unwinding

Recipient of the SCBWI Sue Alexander Most Promising New Work Award

"Cameron's debut creates a fascinating world within a world and features a unique and memorable cast... This novel is utterly original, romantic and spellbindingly imaginative... I for one will be looking forward to the next bit of magic that falls from Sharon Cameron's pen." —USAToday.com

"Cameron's eerie and suspenseful first novel offers gripping twists, rich language, and an evocative landscape. Readers should find it easy to become fully absorbed in this gothic coming-of-age story about finding unexpected freedom." — Publishers Weekly

"[A]tmospheric and imaginative, rooted in a rich history and packed with well-drawn characters — and is a great crossover for adults." —BookPage

"[A]ny reader looking for romance, thrills, and mystery will find this entirely satisfying." —Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books

"The strong romantic influence of the Brontës is not hard to notice, but first-novelist Cameron also does justice to the Enlightenment era, with its poverty, poor working conditions, and the threat of war against France, in the assembly of this singularly polished piece." —The Horn Book

"Cameron, through wry, observant Katharine, spins a deliciously gothic tale peopled with appealing and not-so-appealing secondary characters, punctuated by the requisite madness and shot through with intrigue... By turns funny and poignant,...

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