Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Quicksilver -- Good, Scary Fun!

By Amanda Quick

Quicksilver is the second book in The Looking Glass Trilogy, and the eleventh to feature the Arcane Society. I enjoy the Arcane books in general, but some much more than others. This is definitely one of my favorites. Heroine Virginia Dean is the illegitimate daughter of a nobleman. Forced to make her own way in the world, she uses her inherited psychic gifts as a looking glass reader. Seeing the spirits of the dead in the mirrors in the rooms where they died enables her to help the bereaved find closure, and often to help murder victims find justice. Owen Sweetwater is an assassin, a trade he comes by honestly as it's the family business. The Sweetwaters are more vigilantes than bad guys, as they limit themselves to taking out those who use their psychic gifts to prey on others. The monsters, as Owen calls them, are often able to escape the more run-of-the-mill forms of justice due to the nature of their gifts, but they are rarely able to escape the Sweetwaters. Owen and Virginia join forces to find whoever is responsible for the deaths of two psychic practitioners. Because the two victims were glass readers, Owen fears Virginia may be next.

This book has great gothic elements – dark old houses with mysterious labyrinths underneath and madwomen wandering about upstairs, footpads lurking in cemeteries, malevolent wind-up toys, mirrored rooms with no discernible exit, disapproving housekeepers, and fog – you name it. I loved the creepy factor! The author’s sly humor is evident throughout as well, and every character, no matter how minor, has enough depth to come vividly to life. While this book can be enjoyed by someone not familiar with the series, I would still recommend starting with some of the earlier Arcane Society books. It will make this book that much more enjoyable.


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