Source: ARC from LibraryThing early reviewer program and publisher for review
In nineteenth-century Victorian England, a young widow finds that she has inherited more than her late husband’s property: The Furnavals serve as the ancestral keepers of supernatural portals scattered around the globe. When demonic entities begin crossing over from the Netherworld, Lady Diana realizes that a war is brewing, and she must be the one to confront it.
Accompanied by a young Chinese sailor named Yi-kin, her feline guardian Mina, and a mysterious scholar, Stephen, Diana will begin a journey to solve the mystery of her husband's death and prevent the apocalypse.My thoughts:
The book is set in the 19th century with a huge dose of the paranormal. Diana is a young woman who has been encouraged to have ideals unlike her peers in terms of religion, but yet is staunchly critical of anything that smacks of the paranormal. She meets her husband, William who, prior to engaging her, shows her a gateway to hell which quickly changes her mind. William is called away to a trap which spins Diana on a new quest. Closing all the gates to hell.
The book is filled with worldly descriptions which is both interesting but slows the book down considerably. There were times when the description seemed to go on, but I was ready for what would happen next. It did help at times when you really wanted to get a feel of things, but when it was more of the mundane parts of the book, I just wanted to move a bit quicker.
The other parts I did have trouble with was the mix of 19th century with present times. At times Diana behaved much more boldly that would have been allowed in that time. She seemed to be able to behave with men in a way that I don't believe would be acceptable then but would be chaste now. There were also parts where Yi-Kin, her side-kick, would experience a lot of prejudice. While this made sense, but he still seemed to have found a freedom I'm not sure would exist with Diana being seen as a recent widow. He is also a bit stereotypical of what you might think of as a asian sidekick.
Still with the problems I had it was an interesting ride with Diana figuring out how to close the portals. I especially enjoyed Mina, her cat, who seemed to be a bit wiser than your average feline. I give this book 3 stars. You will have to ignore some of the inconsistencies in the era and her behavior, but if you just want to have fun with a paranormal mash up of religion, faeries, and mythology you might enjoy your time here.