Publisher: Angry Robot
Series: The Peculiar Adventures of John Loveheart, Esq. #1
Publisher: various formats
1888. A little girl called Mirror and her shape-shifting guardian Goliath Honeyflower are washed up on the shores of Victorian England. Something has been wrong with Mirror since the day her grandfather locked her inside a mysterious clock that was painted all over with ladybirds. Mirror does not know what she is, but she knows she is no longer human.
John Loveheart, meanwhile, was not born wicked. But after the sinister death of his parents, he was taken by Mr Fingers, the demon lord of the underworld. Some say he is mad. John would be inclined to agree.
Now Mr Fingers is determined to find the little girl called Mirror, whose flesh he intends to eat, and whose soul is the key to his eternal reign. And John Loveheart has been called by his otherworldly father to help him track Mirror down… (Goodreads)
That was a lot! This book is 192 pages but so many things are discussed and there are so many characters it took me ages to read.
I read this book in an eBook edition but I think the real paper version is what you want seeing certain word and chapter type setting. Will for sure check for a paper edition when this is out.
As I said there is a lot. First characters. Mirror is a child, young, innocent and a victim of crime. It is easy to feel for her and finding Goliath a hero for saving her and taking care of her.
Loveheart though being a part of the dark world still has some good left which shows from his parts of the story. I thought he was likeable and I was really curious what he was going to do to change things.
There where a lot of other characters but besides Mr Finger and Tumbletee I had a hard time keeping track of the who is who. I noticed at some point I started to ignore certain characters because I was not sure if I was supposed to know them already.
The story is jumping in time and between characters. Mirror has a clear own voice but I had a difficult time separating the male characters. Specially White and Goliath. They where to close in characteristics and voice. I feel I would have liked this story better if the timeline had made more sense.
The atmosphere in the book is great though. Victorian London is falling from the page. The demon meals are very descriptive and not for the faint hearted. I enjoyed the horror aspects of the story.