Saturday, August 13, 2011

[Review] Haunting Violet by Alyxandra Harvey

Title: Haunting Violet {goodreads}
Authors: Alyxandra Harvey
Publication (dd/mm/yy): 01/08/11
Publisher: Bloomsbury
RRP: $15.99
Source: Publisher for review
Age: 14+
Pages: 340
My Rating:

Summary:
Violet Willoughby doesn't believe in ghosts . . . but they believe in her.

Violet has spent years taking part in her mother's elaborately faked seances, putting the rich and powerful in touch with the dead, and their success has brought them a life of luxury they could only have dreamed of and Violet the prospect of a society marriage.

The last thing Violet expected was to start seeing and hearing the dead for real. But now she is haunted day and night by the ghost of a drowned girl who won't let her rest until her murdered is uncovered. Violet must use her talents to unravel the mystery surrounding the girl's death - and quickly before the killer strikes again . . .
My thoughts: 

Written 2 weeks after reading it, sorry! This review is dreadful . . . uni has just been a massive change and I don't know what to do with this blog at the moment. I'm still hanging on, barely, but I'm just really lagging on reviews.

Part historical fiction, part supernatural mystery, HAUNTING VIOLET possessed great qualities from both worlds. We've got the modern-archaic writing style, and Victorian England environment and cast; as well as a girl who can see, hear and speak to the dead, which leads to a complete whirlwind of a whodunnit plotline.

It actually gave me the same chilling atmosphere and feel as THE ETERNAL ONES and PROPHECY OF THE SISTERS -- both which I loved! However, it definitely stands on its own. Violet, the main character in this book, is cleverer than Haven. And Violet grows up with a brother figure like the Milthorpe sisters, but he's an adopted orphan . . .


[enter crappy synopsis thingy]
Violet Willoughby has been living under the shadow of her mother since she was young - she aids in making her mother's fake seances work. Her mother, Celeste, has been obsessed with the wealthy and since she harbours no real skills, other than relentless foolery, she is the town's regarded seance. Violet and her only friend Collin, an orphan taken in by Celeste, are the only ones who know. One day, Celeste is given a job by an elitist. And it's only then that Violet discovers she can see ghosts for real, and one ghost in particular wants her murderer known by all. 


Sorry about that. Anyway, this review is probably going to be short otherwise I'll go around in circles.


I just loved it. Harvey's writing style was detailed but in a way that it wasn't boring or too longwinded. Yes, there were some slow points in the book, but don't worry because it all quickly picked up again. What I enjoyed most of the book was the constant guessing. Who killed this girl? I love the mystery revolving around that, and the cluelessness of the people in the area really made it even spookier. Everything was cleverly planned out; one small action could change your outlook entirely and think that one suspect was innocent. And then something else would happen that could turn it all around.


As for the characters themselves . . . I liked the history revolving around the Willoughby family. I'd have loved more information about Collin, though I suppose most of it would be terribly depressing. His interactions and presence really shifts the dynamic in the "family". Celeste (the mother) patronisingly dotes on Violet, while mostly ignoring Collin and treating him like a slave. But V and Collin are as close as anything. And their relationship gets annoying. Collin is overly protective of V, which is good, but I don't know, it just drove me mad at times.


I wish I could remember more about the specific townspeople but my memory is appalling, so. Yeah. Uh. That's pretty much it.


Haunting Violet is a suspenseful rollercoaster: one minute you know exactly what's going on, the next you don't. With a sweeping family dynamic and a female protagonist whose haunting newfound powers drive the plot, you won't want to let go!

Quote:

First lines

"I was nine years old when my mother decided it was time I took part in the family business. I was pretty enough now, she said, that I might be of use. I'd grown into my ears and my long neck and might be clever enough to handle myself. Besides which, she claimed, she had no other option.




Buy:

* cheapest Australian e-store price

AUSTRALIAN RESIDENTS

Fishpond * | Readings | Dymocks | Angus & Robertson | Borders | The Nile

INTERNATIONAL READERS

Amazon | The Book Depository

All links from Booko, because I'm too lazy to search each individual store anymore.




I have received this review copy in return for an honest review.

Challenge: ---

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