Tuesday, January 4, 2011

THE VESPERTINE by Saundra Mitchell

It’s the summer of 1889, and Amelia van den Broek is new to Baltimore and eager to take in all the pleasures the city has to offer. But her gaiety is interrupted by disturbing, dreamlike visions she has only at sunset—visions that offer glimpses of the future. Soon, friends and strangers alike call on Amelia to hear her prophecies. However, a forbidden romance with Nathaniel, an artist, threatens the new life Amelia is building in Baltimore. This enigmatic young man is keeping secrets of his own—still, Amelia finds herself irrepressibly drawn to him.
When one of her darkest visions comes to pass, Amelia’s world is thrown into chaos. And those around her begin to wonder if she’s not the seer of dark portents, but the cause.

Wow. I really enjoyed Saundra Mitchell's Shadowed Summer but The Vespertine exceeded all of my expectations. It's been a while since I've read a historical novel--I've been a bit overwhelmed by paranormals--but I am so glad I picked this one up. I honestly felt like I was in 1889 with Amelia and the rest of the cast of characters. There was a perfect mix of historical and paranormal, and oh, the twists! There are so many, I can't even describe how often I was holding my breath. The romance and chemistry meters are high--Amelia and Nathaniel literally cannot stay away from each other. Amelia's gift of seeing the future at sunset is unique and hides quite a few surprises. Though it appears like a light read, The Vespertine is actually quite dark at certain points. Amelia and her best friend and cousin, Zora, are quite naive at the beginning of the novel, but they quickly realize that life is not simply about finding a husband and settling down. They both have to face some serious issues. I don't think I've given much away with this review and that's how it should be. If you decide to read The Vespertine be prepared for some heart-stopping moments. I loved it! I CANNOT wait to find out what happens next in the second novel of the series, The Springsweet, though I have absolutely no idea when it releases. Sometime in 2012, perhaps? Hopefully sooner. And isn't that cover gorgeous?

5/5 stars

The Vespertine releases on March 7, 2011.
** ARC received from publisher at the request of the author.

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