(I received a free copy of this book in exchange for a review).
(This review may contain spoilers).
Ideally, I’d give this book 3.5 stars out of 5. I thought the idea, while not on a whole a unique one, had a very different twist. While Senza was a very young character, I actually felt the fact she was obsessed with the thought of dying made a lot of sense, considering the time period she was in.
My biggest issue with this book, I found, was the fact that there was little else to Senza’s character. Just beauty and the obsession with death. (And I felt the fact that she was beautiful was repeated so many times… I was sitting there thinking, ‘What else?’)
If I had to pick another word for Senza than beautiful, it would be shallow. For a lot of the book, she thinks only of herself. While she does have an evolution towards the end, that didn’t fit naturally with the journey of her character. Part of it might have been because I didn’t get the impression that Senza really connected with anyone. Many conversations and interactions with people were glossed over, to the point I couldn’t remember a lot of the minor characters.
I thought it was interesting to see how Senza’s locket played a big part in keeping her alive. It was interesting to see how more heartbeats were needed at certain times and less at others. I would have liked to see Senza’s thoughts on the changing world around her… but it seemed to me that she was only wrapped up in her own reality for most of the book.
I had mixed feelings about Knell. While the ending cleared some up in the way of confusion, I still didn’t really like him as a character. And the ending was… unsatisfying.
I thought it was interesting to see Senza involved in the Jack the Ripper murders, though I completely lost who it actually was and got quite confused when Senza had her confrontation with him. (Though I’m fairly sure that Senza had a flash of intuition about the murderer when she met him).
There were some good aspects to this book, but I struggled a lot to connect to Senza especially. It wouldn’t stop me reading other books by this author, but I won’t be reading this one again.