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That Inevitable Victorian Thing
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That Inevitable Victorian Thing

3.36  ·  Rating details ·  253 Ratings  ·  124 Reviews
Set in a near-future world where the British Empire was preserved, not by the cost of blood and theft but by effort of repatriation and promises kept, That Inevitable Victorian Thing is a novel of love, duty, and the small moments that can change people and the world.

Victoria-Margaret is the crown princess of the empire, a direct descendant of Victoria I, the queen who cha
Hardcover, 320 pages
Published October 3rd 2017 by Dutton Books for Young Readers
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E.K. Johnston The illustration was done by Elizabeth Traynor. The design was Elaine Damasco and Theresa Evangelista.

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Elise (thebookishactress on wordpress)
In summary: it's a book about a world in which colonialism ended before its true impact could set in, a world in which brown people and disabled people and queer people don't have to fight for our very right to breathe. And yes, it definitely would never have happened, but it was fucking awesome to think about the world if it had - to wish for a world without the legacy of decades of systematic oppression and scientific racism. This book has a fundamental sense of hope to it, a fundamental wish ...more
Cait • A Page with a View
Ok so this book had some truly awesome rep, which I'll fangirl over in a bit! And I feel like I'm probably being obnoxiously fussy with the parts that didn't work for me, so let me first say that I think a lot of people will like the book. This is just my own personal take...

History is rewritten so that Queen Victoria made her eldest daughter her heir and then married all of her children into families from around the British Empire instead of other European families. Her subjects followed her ex
Katherine Locke
Jan 03, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I suspect this book will get a rabid cult following, and I am 100% here for it. This book deserves such a following. Bring me the fanart and the fanfic. Inevitable Fandom for the win.

I've always loved Johnston's books. There's something alluring, quirky and inviting about her prose that I don't often see in other books that are lyrical and literary. It's like having a conversation with your best friend from the corner of the room and you're watching and commenting and admiring snickering about
Sep 28, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: arcs
I have so many thoughts and feelings regarding this book yet at the same time, I'm unable to wrap my brain around everything. Here's hoping that some semblance of this review makes sense.

First off, I have to mention my love of the settings within this novel. Rarely do I ever get to read a book where I have visited or have knowledge regarding the setting. With this novel, the majority of the story is placed in locations that I regularly visit! I now understand how much more that adds to the read
Joshua Gabriel (Ever Bookish Josh)
Dear Penguin Random House, thank you so much for giving me pre-approved access to this book on Edelweiss! The cover alone is making me hyperventilate! <3 Gonna start this ASAP!
Ashley Brooks
May 21, 2017 rated it really liked it
Really interesting world building in this book. I like the futuristic Victorian feel of it. Made for an interesting blend of old and new customs. There was a huge amount of diversity in this book, both in race, gender and sexuality which also made the Victorian aspect of it more interesting.

My only complaint was really the pacing. It started out kinda slow, and then once it picked up it kinda just..ended. The resolution at the end happened so fast I went to turn the page to read more and
Sep 25, 2017 rated it it was ok
Shelves: dnf, arcs
I DNF'd this at the 43% mark.

I wanted to like this book - it's so pretty and the premise sounded really cool. But this is just is one of those situations where the book just isn't for me. Victorian London is my least favorite time period for historical books, but I wanted to give this one a try because I've liked E.K. Johnston's previous books and thought the premise of an alternate Victorian  setting would hook me enough to get me into the time period. But I was just so bored and didn't really
Sep 27, 2017 rated it it was ok
The only thing I enjoyed about this book was the representation.
Jan 31, 2017 rated it did not like it
Original review: What a title. I'm in for that alone.

After reading 100 pages: ...Too bad the title was the best part. *sigh*

I was SO excited for this book, and it disappointed me SO much. From the totally uncritical acceptance of British imperialism as an integral part of this utopian alternate future to the lack of any compelling conflict to a confusing mishmash of characters in a third person omniscient narration to the fact that the book takes place in futuristic Canada in a world with an alt
theo ⚓ Reading & Rambling
Mar 31, 2017 is currently reading it




thatttttttt titleeeeeee omggggg
Oct 15, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2017
Aw, what a lovely little story, full of twists and turns and challenges and lovely solutions.
On the one hand, it was interesting to see a very different take on the world and what it might have been like if the Empire was really the prominent governing body, as well as seeing how technological advancements would have been used for certain things. I also thought it had fun little nods to the historical romances and historical fiction I enjoy every now and again, as well as having three main characters with very different stories coming together to become one full novel. However, there wa ...more
I received early access to this via Penguin Random House's First to Read program.


While E.K. Johnston's writing commanded my attention in the first paragraph, it quickly faltered. I found it easy to get lost in some points and the narrative trudged on slowly. Not only that, but I was more interested in learning more about the world and it's alternate history (and I found the concept of Victorian culture in a modern tech setting to be interesting in itself) than the actual characters. They felt
Shae McDaniel
Jul 17, 2017 marked it as dnf
It's not the book's fault; it's me. I just couldn't get comfortable. Also, I'm not a fan of multiple POVs.
DNF at 36%

I just couldn't get into the world or writing. Maybe it's my mood? Not sure. I'll be curious to read reviews and see if I should pick it back up.
This sounds amazing! I adored EPBaB and the cover is beautiful and the synopsis sounds like heaven. October better come quick!
Jessi ♡
Jul 19, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: arcs
a fun, cute, interesting romance story in an intriguing setting. although it has a slow start and some parts where i just wanted the story to move along... it has a beautiful well developed relationship that makes this worth reading.
Rachel Strolle
There are some books that defy explanation—they enter your world and lodge themselves in your brain, heart, and soul and become a part of you. That Inevitable Victorian Thing is one of those books. Victoria Margaret, Helena, and August are a trio of characters living in a near future world based on an alternate history—a setting that Johnston creates and handles magnificently. Honestly though? This is one of those books you throw at people with no explanation, because you know that they’ve never ...more
Apr 10, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: ya, queer, poly, sf
I liked this story, mostly for the very readable prose and the quietly competent characters who, despite being dumb teenagers for plot points occasionally, felt very realistic. The historical worldbuilding was a very nice utopia, and as an erstwhile American I deeply enjoyed the occasional offhand slagging on America that happened in this book. I'm not quite sure the worldbuilding holds much together on close inspection, especially the Computer and the combination of religions/historical harmony ...more
Sep 13, 2017 rated it it was ok
Shelves: fiction
First to Read sent me an advance copy of this book (thank you) to review, and so even though I wasn't familiar with the author, I decided to read it. In my line of work as a teacher, it never hurts to read more YA, and the cover is gorgeous, so I was tempted.

There were some good parts to this book, notably the twisty part (both the twist and the inclusion of a character like this) around Helena's chip. I also realized, reading the book, how little Canadian fiction US readers read, mostly as a r
Elizabeth Parks
Oct 04, 2017 rated it it was ok
I DNF'd this at about 40%. Did this book have an editor at all? It felt very underdeveloped, like it was published far too early in the writing process.

I impulse ordered this despite the truly awful title because the setup sounded so interesting. However, this book suffered from infodump after infodump, stilted language, and mini-conversations that didn't build characterization but muddied it.

You know when some authors talk about how, for a 200 page book, they wrote 600 pages and cut the rest as
Madalyn (Novel Ink)
Oct 13, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2017
Hmm. I have... such conflicting feelings on this book. On a personal level, I really, really enjoyed this story. The world is fascinating and so richly imagined. However, at the same time, I feel like this book... glorifies colonialism a little? Or a lot? And though it's clear this is an alternate history that's less problematic than actual history, it isn't completely free of issues. I also have some questions about the representation and the fact that a character's identity is treated as kind ...more
Oct 08, 2017 rated it really liked it
3.5 stars
Amanda Hanson
I was really excited about this book until I read more into it and discovered that the premise revolves around a utopia where the British Empire still exists. I can't with that, I'm sorry. I'm still planning on reading other books by the author, but I'm passing on this one.
What a lovely, surprising story.
Jun 06, 2017 rated it liked it
Solid writing, good character development and world building, but I was left with a lot of questions. It's turning out to be one of those books that is more frustrating the more I take time to think about it.
Oct 13, 2017 rated it liked it
This is You've Got Mail set in a YA alternative history timeline where Victoria-Margaret, the heir to the British Empire, takes on the anonymity of Margaret Sandwich over the course of a summer in Toronto that changes her life forever when she finds herself falling in love with another young woman with a situation far more complicated than either realized. I enjoyed the story but it did not come without its flaws. First and foremost, stories like this are important. This novel contains several m ...more
what a strange and interesting world! what if queen victoria named her daughter heir instead of her son and then married the rest of her kids off to powerful people across the British empire instead of just other white Europeans? what if these actions stabilized the British Empire and kept them going strong til our current century? what if the us never gained power and instead was failing and broken? I mean, that sounds dope right? I just wish there had been more anti-colonialism, but that wasn' ...more
I loved it!! Picture this: England still controls most of the globe, the Revolutionary War failed, and the UK and Canada are the stronghold of the world. Peacefully - Queen Victoria married her children into various royal/important families all around the globe to diplomatically clinch the control over the nations. Things are great - thanks for not being a dystopia! The world is genetically varied, and the computer can help you find your genetic matches all over the world, if you so choose. You ...more
Oct 08, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: 3-star
This was an interesting, but a very strange book.

I liked it, but at the same time, it just wasn't that great. The writing was okay, the plot and the concept were interesting but not written well enough to keep my attention at all times. I also had a bit of trouble swallowing the alternate history in which the British Empire never fell, and in fact, expanded and is a benevolent force in the world. Granted, it is doing good things from what we see in the story, but it just ... made me a little unc
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E.K. Johnston had several jobs and one vocation before she became a published writer. If she’s learned anything, it’s that things turn out weird sometimes, and there’s not a lot you can do about it. Well, that and how to muscle through awkward fanfic because it’s about a pairing she likes.

You can follow Kate on Twitter (@ek_johnston) to learn more about Alderaanian political theory than you really
More about E.K. Johnston...