Read: 11th August 2013
Rebecca Stott creates a great web of details and plots and twists… but perhaps a little too many. The story builds and builds giving little to nothing away as to why these strange occurrences are happening. There are pop ups of courts rooms, and dead animals and reflected rainbows, and mediums that get the reader caught up in the world of Lydia Brooks, but also gets them highly confused as to what the heck is going on.
Everything is related and yet nothing is related. By the end of the book what is real, imagined and actually causing the problems and deaths are completely entangled. Was everything supernaturally caused, or governmentally caused? She had enough of a story without the animal rights angle and I really think that second plot ruined the book.
Everything wonderful and intriguing about the novel was found in the connection between Sir Isaac Newton, Alchemy, and the mysterious Mr. F. The manuscripts that make appearances are spell binding and beautifully written.
The tangled personal relationships between Lydia, Cameron, Sarah and Kit were fabulous too. The characters and situations were superbly written, and this surface plot kept everything moving in the realm of reality.
Then there was the animal rights, neuroscience, and government organization plot line that literally felt thrown in on top and in the end really didn’t need to be there at all! It just ruined the fantastic story of Newton and Lydia.
The first half of the novel is so focused on building these illusions and throwing the reader off that it becomes hard to get into the story. Luckily I waded through and found the last 25% off the book spellbinding enough to read it in one sitting. It is a real shame that Stott tries so hard to make the multilayers work, and keep the reader guessing to a point of loosing their attention when her core story is so brilliant!