I never would have picked this novel up if I hadn't been complaining to one of our publisher reps that I hadn't read a good book in a long time. They all had the same feel and were predictable and I was just plain bored despite the plethora of books I devoured, I said, so he asked if I trusted him to give me an unique debut novel - he wouldn't tell me what it was about, but said I wouldn't be disappointed.
He was right.
"The Quick," which I admit has a slow start, is a refreshing change of pace that puts a new spin on old legends. James, a young poet/playwright, inadvertently becomes entwined with the exclusive and highly ambitious Aegolius Club, whose members' intentions have taken a turn to the sinister in hopes of redefining power in London. James' sister Charlotte becomes concerned when his regular letters stop so she travels unaccompanied to London. What Charlotte finds when she arrives is far from what she expected and pushes her to her ethical and physical limits as she tries, desperately and at great risk, to reclaim the brother she loves. — Jess Hanlon
The readers familiar with the lore may recognize the Aegolius Club as a haven for vampires long before the author makes the revelation, but that will hardly lessen the enjoyment of this plush and elegant tale. Written with style and a palpable sense of terror. You may want to stock up on holy water. — Alden Graves
“In her debut novel, Owen captures the pacing and cadence of Victorian fiction without the sometimes florid language of that era. She manages to deftly balance a large cast of characters and several seemingly diverse story threads while keeping the reader guessing through all of the twists and turns in this tale. With its formal language, diverse cast of characters, explorations of prejudice and oppression, and a bloody secret at its center, The Quick is very much a Victorian gothic novel written for a 21st century reader.”
— Billie Bloebaum,, Powell's Books, Inc, Portland, OR
Advance praise for The Quick
“Seductive . . . extraordinarily polished . . . [Owen] packs many surprises into her tale, making it a book for readers to lose themselves in.”—Publishers Weekly (starred review)
“A suspenseful, gloriously atmospheric first novel, and a feast of gothic storytelling that is impossible to resist.”—Kate Atkinson, bestselling author of Life After Life and Case Histories
“A sly and glittering addition to the literature of the macabre . . . As soon as you have breathed with relief, much worse horrors begin. It’s a skilled, assured performance, and it’s hard to believe it is a first novel.”—Hilary Mantel, bestselling author of Wolf Hall and Bring Up the Bodies
“Ambitious, elegant, atmospheric, and often deeply poignant, The Quick is a seamless blend of Victorian London and rich imagination. This is a book to savor.”—Tana French, bestselling author of In the Woods and Broken Harbor
“Seductive . . . extraordinarily polished . . . a book for readers to lose themselves in.”—Publishers Weekly (starred review)
“The book’s energy, its wide reach and rich detail make it a confident example of the ‘unputdownable’ novel.”—The Economist
“An elegantly written gothic epic . . . Owen’s soaring imagination and her light-handed take on magic save this story from being either obvious or boring. . . . The journey from one genre to another is satisfying and surprisingly fresh.”—Kirkus Reviews