(This review may contain spoilers).
When I read this book for the first time several years ago, I remember I enjoyed it a lot more. I still liked the main concept, but re-reading it didn’t grip me in quite the same way this time around.
The events promised by the blurb didn’t occur until more than halfway through the book and while it was interesting to read a book that imagined a different reality, it wasn’t very clear on why the world was so different; what part of history ‘alternated’.
While I’ve never actually read any of the classics, I did find Thursday’s interactions with Rochester intriguing. It was also good to see a different side to Rochester himself, rather than have him just come across as a gruff, dark, brooding man.
I found it particularly interesting to see some of Mycroft’s inventions and recognise at least one of them as technology similar to what we have nowadays. It was good to see that there were some kinks that he needed to work out and there was a nice bit of humour when it came to his interactions with Thursday about the memory machine.
I have to say, I felt the biggest issue with this book was the fact that it kept slipping from first person to third. That made it very difficult to read the book from Thursday’s perspective, as I was forever having to discard knowledge I as a reader had that Thursday didn’t actually know at the time. A lot of the mystery in the book fell by the wayside because of this.
The snippets at the beginning of each chapter were intriguing and enough to give me at least some insights into the world as it stood there. However, there was too much information dumping when it came to Thursday’s relationships and past history with the other characters. I would have liked to see them for myself, rather than have my perceptions of them coloured by Thursday’s own observations about characters like Landon.
I did think there were some good moments of foreshadowing and the book was engaging to read at times. The world had a lot of potential, but I was disappointed that such a promising blurb really ended up falling short by the time I reached the end. And I felt like the book broke its own rules of the universe.
It’s a bit disappointing to admit, but I don’t expect I’ll be seeking out the next books in this series for a re-read.