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A Spark Unseen by Sharon Cameron

October 17th, 2013 (03:02 pm)
creative

Current Mood: creative
Current Song: Swingin' Party by Lorde

A Spark Unseen by Sharon CameronAt the start of Sharon Cameron's novel The Dark Unwinding, the year was 1852. When she turned 18, Katharine Tulman's life and view of the world changed drastically. After spending years with a cold and manipulative aunt, she was sent to visit her uncle Tully, instructed to simply and quickly witness his state of being and declare him legally insane. But Katharine unexpectedly bonded with Tully, a man whose intelligence was off the charts but whose personality was childlike, fragile. She refused to declare him insane and became his protector instead. This led to encounters with ruthless people who would stop at nothing to get Tully's inventions. Katharine and Tully survived their vicious attacks - but others they loved did not.

Now we move into the year 1854 for the follow-up novel, A Spark Unseen, which begins with two men attempting to kidnap Tully. Katharine and Mary stop them, but not easily. Blood is spilled, the stakes are raised, and new plans have to be made. Katharine and a few trusted individuals journey to Paris, hoping they'll be safer there - and Katharine secretly hopes she will find Lane there as well. But almost immediately she finds more than she was bargaining for in France, where secrets, suspicions, and nosy neighbors abound.

In her follow-up to her engrossing novel The Dark Unwinding, author Sharon Cameron continues to weave together suspense and science in a story filled with both strong and sympathetic characters. Tully's sweet disposition remains unspoiled by the darkness surrounding him; it is easy to understand why his smile helps lighten his niece's heavy heart. I shan't spoil Lane's reappearance and storyline, but I will say it's cool. I appreciate Katharine's cleverness and Tully's smarts; each are crafty in different ways. The aforementioned scientific element is wholly plausible, and the apparatus which is detailed in the opening pages is, in my eyes, gorgeous. The book incorporates art and history as well. If BBC or BBC America optioned these books and made them into a mini-series, I'd definitely tune in - and I think John Noble (Walter Bishop from the TV show Fringe) would make a brilliant Tully.

Some of my favorite lines from the book include but are not limited to:

I opened my eyes, the air in my bedchamber pulsing with the kind of silence that only comes in the wake of sound - a sound that never should be there. - Page 1, the opening line of the novel

"I am not sleepy, Simon's baby!" The light of his attention had focused suddenly on me. "I am not sleepy. The clocks were ticking, but you came before they could tell me when." - Page 10

It was for this that those men had come, foro the strange and wonderful contents of my uncle's mind. And they could not have it. They would not have it. - Page 11

I sat down beside her, nerves jangling, wondering what I had put in motion, and where it might end. We watched the clock hands move. - Page 234

"Clocks should be wound and people should be splendid!" - Uncle Tully, Page 278

"If I count, then the silence is only on the outside. Not inside my head. Not in my head. Only on the outside. I do not mind the outside kind. I can make it go away on the inside." - Uncle Tully, Page 323

Read my review of The Dark Unwinding by Sharon Cameron.