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Lauren Owen Books In Order

Publication Order of Standalone Novels

The Quick (2014) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle

Lauren Owen is an English author who specializes in fiction. She was born on July 6, 1985, in Cheltenham, Gloucestershire, in the United Kingdom.

She is the author of The Quick and spends much of her time in Durham, England, where she currently resides. She graduated from St. Hilda’s College in Oxford with a degree in English Literature and then went on to complete an MA in Creative Writing while attending the University of East Anglia. There she received the Curtis Brown prize for best fiction dissertation in 2009.

The Quick is her first novel. It is published by Random House Children’s Publishers UK in 2014. The main character of this novel is named James Norbury. James Norbury is a shy young man who would be a poet and is new to London from the city of Oxford, having left to come to the strange streets of London to be a writer, something that he seemed born to do. But when it comes to this new and exciting city, it turns out that London is very different from Oxford as James Norbury is about to find out for himself.

It is 1892 and James Norbury is quickly confused and astounded by the sinister city that waits for him just outside his doorstep. London is hustle and bustle, and the labyrinthine city seems to be teeming with danger. Not to be dissuaded, James takes up lodging with a young aristocrat named Christopher Paige. Christopher is the black sheep of a very wealthy family in the upper echelons of society, and it is through Christopher and by rooming with him that he unexpectedly is introduced to the rooms of high society. Not only that, but he ends up finding love in an unexpected way.

But just as he has found that love and is on the verge of a joy long denied, James disappears into the blue without a trace. No one seems to know what happened to him, particularly his sister Charlotte. In Yorkshire, Charlotte is a young woman in her twenties but has accepted the apparent fact that she will spend life alone as a spinster in the rural areas of country England. With nothing to lose, Charlotte sets out to find her brother or find out at the very least what has happened to him.

Charlotte and James were never really given the same childhood. Charlotte had to grow up fast as the older child. They had a relationship as kids, and James was the sensitive artist type while Charlotte had the role of being more like his mother. She practically raised James, so when he goes missing, it comes as no surprise that Charlotte’s maternal instincts kick in. He was her charge before and he becomes her responsibility once more years later in the future. Just like then, Charlotte is not going to give up the burden of looking out for James, and apparently, this is a good thing as he has gone completely off the grid.

As Charlotte searches for answers as to what happened to her brother, she finds herself drawn to one of the most mysterious institutions in the country: The Aegolius Club. The Aegolius Club has members that are definitely some of the most ambitious men in England, and certainly some of the richest. The club’s designs are strange and difficult to penetrate, but Charlotte has to get to the bottom of what’s going on and find the answers that she is looking for.

Charlotte desperately tries to find answers in the strange world that is London. Perhaps it is the strange workings of The Aegolius Club that hold some clue to what happened to her brother. Now it appears that Charlotte is under their target as well. It turns out that Charlotte finds a whole secret world of people that exists in the margins of London. The exciting characters that she meets include a street urchin who has a deadly secret, a vigilante female former rope walker, and the deadly Doctor Knife.

This emotionally gripping novel takes place in London, but it may as well be a fantastical world. Lauren Owen creates a plot that is absorbing and intriguing, leading the reader to wonder what is going to happen next. It’s a strong showing in contemporary fiction for the author, and The Quick builds on the legacies that authors such as Neil Gaiman have accomplished with works like Neverwhere that tap into the unusual and sometimes dangerous energy that London has to offer.

This first novel also has a lot of parallels besides that of Gaiman. Elements are here of Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell as well as the gothic supernatural aspects of Bram Stoker’s groundbreaking novel Dracula. This new world is full of the interesting and the eccentric, the orderly and the chaotic. You as the reader will come into the rooms of not only Christopher Paige, the black sheep aristocrat, but also the quiet rooms of Yorkshire, the streets of London, the alleys and backways that no one ever goes except for the people who live on the outskirts of society, the very fringe.

With endless romance, adventure, mystery, and action, there is plenty to enjoy about The Quick. And yes, there is plenty of horror and tragedy involved within the relationship of a brother and sister who grew up together so very long ago. As worlds collide and Charlotte’s search for her brother starts to yield more answers, the reader is drawn into a world where there are gentlemen and vampires, killers and thieves, vigilantes, rope walkers, secret clubs, and so much more that make this novel a modern gothic work of art.

Engaging and perilous, pick up this book and be transported to an England that you never knew– and will never have the chance to know but through the gallant imagination of Lauren Owen. Her first fictional debut is a natural wonder of characters that seem real and a world that you will never want to ever leave. Pick it up and see what The Quick is all about, and be prepared for an ending that you never see coming.

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