Gemma is distressed to find that she has been followed from India by Kartik, a beautiful young man who warns her to fight off the visions. Nevertheless, they continue, and one night she is led by a child-spirit to find a diary that reveals the secrets of a mystical Order. The clique soon finds a way to accompany Gemma to the other-world realms of her visions "for a bit of fun" and to taste the power they will never have as Victorian wives, but they discover that the delights of the realms are overwhelmed by a menace they cannot control. Gemma is left with the knowledge that her role as the link between worlds leaves her with a mission to seek out the "others" and rebuild the Order.
My review: I must admit, this book is one I read grudgingly. I tend to shy away from books that are incredibly popular but poorly written (Twilight, Eragon) and so I only read it because my library had it. To my delight, it was very well written. I was immediately drawn into the world of Gemma and found her a likable character. Though she began as rather spoiled, she quickly became grew up in the face of tragedy.
I enjoyed the portrayal of strict Victorian England. It was written in a way that made it easy reading (especially for the teenage audience) while still capturing the strictures the society place on girls in that era. And I loved Katrick. What a great male lead, although he was not in the book quite enough.
While I liked the setting, characters and writing very well indeed, the plot, particularly the phantasmagoria, was lacking just enough credibility to make me a fan. (In other words, the author didn't quite make me believe in the other-worldly elements.)
It takes a lot for me to want to pick up a sequel, and while I enjoyed the book very much I do not think I will pick up the sequel...well, perhaps I will if I see it on the library's shelf!
Rating: 4 out of 5 stars, simply because it was refreshing to read a well-written book with likable characters!
Drugs and Alcohol: The girls do drink a stolen bottle of wine
I would love your thoughts on GOING BOVINE!