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Wednesday, 13 July 2011

Review: Haunting Violet by Alyxandra Harvey

Title: Haunting Violet
Author: Alyxandra Harvey
Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing PLC
Publication Date: 4 July 2011

Synopsis: From Amazon

Violet Willoughby doesn't believe in ghosts, especially since her mother has worked as a fraudulent medium for a decade. Violet has taken part in enough of her mother's tricks to feel more than a little jaded about anything supernatural. The ghosts, however, believe in Violet and she's been seeing them everywhere. One ghost in particular needs Violet to use her emerging gift to solve her murder ...and prevent the ghost's twin sister from suffering the same fate.


I am a huge fan of Alyxandra Harvey's vampire series The Drake Chronicles, so I was very excited to read anything else by her, more so after reading the synopsis. I have to say that Haunting Violet has tipped the scales sending me into super fan girl mode. The book is superbly well written with dramatic atmospheric tension from the beginning.

I do not want to go into too much detail about the plot as you really NEED to read it for yourself. What I will say is that the story is heart pounding, compelling and utterly fascinating.

Written in first person narrative from Violet's perspective. The illegitimate daughter of a cruel, selfish woman; Violet is forced to help her mother deceive people while her mother pretends to be psychic, charging for her elaborate duplicity. Violet, in complete contrast to her mother, not only does she really communicate with spirits, she is caring, open and honest. The deceit she has to participate in with her mother, weighs heavy on her conscious. She is a very relateable character with her love of reading and escaping from the turmoil of her life into a book.

The setting of Victorian London is richly descriptive with beautiful use of simile and metaphor, creating a very realistic world. The historical details and portrayal of the divide in society added to the world building. The story had an air of Jane Austen in the narrative with the need to marry well, alongside the details of the parties on the country estate and the divide in classes. All extremely well portrayed. The feeling of women having no control over their own future without independent wealth really shone through. However, I did wonder how Violet was able to read given her standing in society. It may have been explained and I was too busy delving into the story to appreciate the details.

At one point I was a little worried that there was going to be a love triangle - thank goodness this didn't happen as I think it would have really spoilt the feeling of the romance within the book. I am not going to say anything about Colin apart from Wow and I want one. How Violet didn't have her eyes opened before I have no idea.

The portrayal of Spiritualism within the plot was superbly well researched and realistic. I give Alyxandra Harvey credit for the amount of research she put into it to make it so realistic. I would, if I had to be truly picky, like a little more detail about the circumstances that triggered Violet's abilities and more background detail about Lord Jasper's background especially regarding his knowledge of spiritualism.

I have surprised myself with being completely un-rambley today. I normally gush profusely when I like a book. This book contains the perfect balance of chilling ghostly tension, murder mystery and heart warming romance including some very hot kisses. So what are you waiting for- go read it [ : D ]


  1. A gorgeous review and a fabulous book!

  2. This book sounds amazing. I must get this. Thanks for the great review. x

  3. Just read this one too. The Victorian London setting is so invocative.

    I agree that the kisses with Colin were hot! I wish I could be kissed in the grounds of a country manor - so romantic!

  4. Really good review - I also really enjoyed this book. I loved the Drake Chronicles, (Am waiting for the 3rd one from my library, takes ages as popular!) Louise xx

  5. It sounds like a superb book - a lovely review too :D


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