Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Netherworld (The Chronicles of Diana Furnval #1) by Lisa Morton

Series: The Chronicles of Diana Furnval #1
282p.
Publisher: JournalStone
Published: 1/10/14
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.

LibraryThing Early Reviewers

27 comments:

  1. I love the period but I confess it's sometimes difficult when we have too many descriptions because it's too slow, we need the right amount.

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    1. I agree. It didn't slow it too much but enough to notice.

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  2. Just can't do it :) I wish I could but steampunkish is already a miss for me and to many inconsistencies would drive me batty. I am already batty enough LOL

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    1. I probably could give you a rec that you may enjoy. Hm... :D

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  3. Aww, it's a shame about some of the inconsistencies as I'd have really enjoyed this one. Historical with Paranormal elements is one of my favorite genre combinations but I don't think this will work for me. I'll be on the lookout for more from this author, though, in the hopes that it's better. Wonderful review, Melissa!

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    1. I don't know if it would be enough to bother you, but I kept thinking... no way! I know it wouldn't bother some, but would be upsetting to others.

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  4. I feel like keeping the characters true to the time period is one of the more difficult parts of writing a historical of any genre. Diana sounds like an interesting character, however.

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    1. I agree. I did like that she was more forward even though it didn't fit exactly. :)

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  5. Bummer, I was all geared up to like this one from it's time period and the paranormal, but I would get irritated with all the inconsistencies especially with the stereotypical asian side kick. I think I'll pass on this one, Melissa. Great, honest review!

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    1. I think it would probably bother you. I know it wouldn't bother some though.

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  6. Long descriptive passages can be tricky sometimes. I can appreciate how well they paint a picture, but as you said, they also slow the pace of the book down considerably and I often find myself skimming. Lovely review my friend!

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    1. I agree, even though I did like the descriptions.

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  7. Never heard of this book but it does sounds great. I like the sounds of adventure it has in it. Great review!

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  8. Historical inconsistencies really bug me, and I'm not a huge fan of overly descriptive writing so I'm not sure this one is for me, but I'm glad you were still able to enjoy it for the most part! Lovely review :-)

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    1. Some of her historical facts were spot on, though. Just not so much with the main character. :)

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  9. Thanks for sharing. I don't think some of the little things would bother me, but I hate overly descriptive books. hah I do like the cover!

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    1. I still did enjoy the descriptions even though it did slow down the book a lot.

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  10. I am am feeling a bit eh and I would rather wait to see what people think about the rest

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  11. Hmm the cover and the premise draw me in but the inconsistiences and slow pace, not so much,

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    1. I also really liked the cover! :) It was interesting though.

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  12. The cover is so promising!! Well, eye catching! I don't think I'll be taking this one up, but I'm glad you could find it interesting enough.

    Heather

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  13. Hmm, okay. Sounds interesting. I must say, the cover drew my attention right away. :)

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  14. I love solid world building but it sounds like this was more tell than show at times and while I am not a stickler for period appropriateness and like my characters to break from the norm it sounds like this crossed the line. Wonderful review Melissa!

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  15. I'm so picky with my historicals! Historical inaccuracy, behavior not appropriate for the time in question, these are pretty much deal breakers for me. And it's a pity that the narrative was so burdened by endless descriptions, I can see how this would be very frustrating.
    Lovely review, Mel.

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  16. Now I am on the fence, I do want them to behave appropriate for the time line, unless it is steampunk of course.

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Thanks for commenting! I ❤ comments!