Vaginal Fantasy Book Club discussion

The Quick
This topic is about The Quick
304 views
Oct 2017: The Quick > MAIN: The Quick Discussion *Spoilers*

Comments Showing 1-32 of 32 (32 new)    post a comment »
dateDown arrow    newest »

Sean Lookielook Sandulak (seansandulak) | 918 comments Mod
Kiala has picked The Quick by Lauren Owen for October's main. This is a stand alone novel. As always, expect spoilers for the full book.
An astonishing debut, a novel of epic scope and suspense that conjures up all the magic and menace of Victorian London

London, 1892: James Norbury, a shy would-be poet newly down from Oxford, finds lodging with a charming young aristocrat. Through this new friendship, he is introduced to the drawing-rooms of high society, and finds love in an unexpected quarter. Then, suddenly, he vanishes without a trace. Unnerved, his sister, Charlotte, sets out from their crumbling country estate determined to find him. In the sinister, labyrinthine city that greets her, she uncovers a secret world at the margins populated by unforgettable characters: a female rope walker turned vigilante, a street urchin with a deadly secret, and the chilling “Doctor Knife.” But the answer to her brother’s disappearance ultimately lies within the doors of one of the country’s preeminent and mysterious institutions: The Aegolius Club, whose members include the most ambitious, and most dangerous, men in England.

In her first novel, Lauren Owen has created a fantastical world that is both beguiling and terrifying. The Quick will establish her as one of fiction’s most dazzling talents.



message 2: by tace (new)

tace | 36 comments I’m on chapter 3. How much more James do I have to stomach before he disappears? I want Charlotte back


message 3: by tace (new)

tace | 36 comments Oh, my. That was quite a chapter.


Katie (katie_jones) | 348 comments I'm a little over halfway through. It was dry to start with (once it dealt with them as adults), but got pretty interesting, and now things have REALLY picked up! I'm into it.


message 5: by tace (new)

tace | 36 comments Ok, so I wanted to bail early but I didn’t and I am hooked now. It got REALLY interesting during Chapter 3 and keeps getter more interesting


Katie (katie_jones) | 348 comments This book was like a good dark chocolate; notes that add a touch of bitter or sweet, but overall rich and smooth. I would LOVE to see this as a movie, or better yet, a miniseries on a network like Starz or HBO.


message 7: by Vanessa (last edited Oct 16, 2017 12:12AM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Vanessa | 8 comments Just finished and I quite enjoyed it! Beginning and end are a bit slow but if you love books from this era I think you’ll find it enjoyable. Some of the changes in POV were a bit jarring, especially (view spoiler)but overall would recommend.


Jessica (j-boo) | 182 comments I've had this book on my TBR list for quite a while, and am super excited! Many of the people who blurbed it are authors I really enjoy. Starting it now :)


message 9: by nil (new) - rated it 4 stars

nil (nilnil) I am only 25% of the way through. This is my first audiobook in a while and it is taking FOREVER. But I do think that the voice actor is doing a superb job. It did take me a bit to get into the book and I think that may have been more to my inability to get into the rhythm of listening to it as opposed to reading it, but I am very thoroughly enjoying it now. I am looking forward to the rest of the story!


message 10: by Catherine (new)

Catherine (catheybleu) | 4 comments I'm 300+ pages in, and jeebus there are so many characters. I'm having trouble keeping it all straight.


Alicia I didn't read the blurb before I started and in the first 3rd it zigged and zagged in several unexpected directions.

Would have preferred it if the different bits were woven together a bit better.


Malaraa | 335 comments Alicia wrote: "Would have preferred it if the different bits were woven together a bit better."

Agreed, it would have been less jarring to switch viewpoints if some of them had been in smaller chunks. Especially since we jumped back in time with a lot of them. Weaving them in a little more would have felt smoother.

Also would have liked more of James & Christopher (James before Christopher was a bit of a selfish pretentious bore) and less of Augustus Mould. Some of his view was certainly necessary to make him more dimensional, and it was well done, but I had had quite enough of him by the time we moved on.

A lot of themes were echoed between some of the early parts and later parts with different people, and that was very well done.

Was still enjoyable, I liked Charlotte and Arthur, I liked the ending, it felt very believable.


message 13: by Heather (new) - added it

Heather (tornadox) | 20 comments I loved the first part. It was atmospheric, all the supernatural stuff was on the edges. The rest of the book took away that mystery and a lot of my enjoyment. I got answers for questions i didn't have.

By the end, the author glossed over too much. I do not understand how the vampires fought each other. I wanted more details about Charlotte's adventures after London - it felt like the author hand-waved away those details. At the end of the book, the Aegolius Club was simultaneously too powerful and too weak.

I loved the reveal of the Mirror Room.


message 14: by Morwen (new) - added it

Morwen | 43 comments So the book was really well written and an interesting take on the vampire narrative but it was mostly spoiled for me because AREN'T WE PAST KILLING QUEER CHARACTERS FOR PLOT DEVELOPMENT YET ugh. Sorry got a bit yell-ie there but it really bothers me. AND it was really the only romance in the book and Owen treated Christopher (and his relationship with James) as convenient plot device discarding when no longer needed.

Other than that I'm with Sanasai I got over Mould pretty quick and really wanted him to get his comeuppance... which like none of the villanious characters had satisfying endings, or endings at all.


Alicia Morwen wrote: "So the book was really well written and an interesting take on the vampire narrative but it was mostly spoiled for me because AREN'T WE PAST KILLING QUEER CHARACTERS FOR PLOT DEVELOPMENT YET ugh. S..."

I agree. Not having had a clue what I was reading, I enjoyed Christopher and James's relationship and then... that. And to then find out that it wasn't even a deliberate attempt to separate them?

I also don't see the point of being a vampire who keeps all the injuries they had when they died.


message 16: by Sophie (new)

Sophie Buttons (sophiebuttons) | 23 comments I was expecting something a bit different, as we typically read books that involve women throughout. It made the start of the book especially slow for me, as I kept waiting for Charlotte to return. She didn't reappear until almost halfway through the story.

That said, I ended up enjoying the story and the world building.

I would have LOVED more of Christopher and James instead of what we got.


Kimberly (mskimandtwins) | 36 comments I don’t say this often, but I think the book could have been longer. I wanted to see more detail of Charlotte’s travels...maybe a companion novella of her adventures?

I was also bummed about Christopher.


Jessica (j-boo) | 182 comments I love Gothic novels and so at first I was really digging this, but then the story began to unravel for me. The writing started to slog a little, with too much unnecessary detail (we get a description each and every time they stop for tea, have bread and cheese, etc, etc). The focus of the story kept changing, and in the end I was left dissatisfied - I wanted to know more about certain threads of story that we never get to see concluded. 3 stars.


message 19: by Jessica (last edited Oct 26, 2017 05:28AM) (new) - rated it 3 stars

Jessica (j-boo) | 182 comments And what were the Alia expecting to accomplish at the Aegolius club? Sure, they were going to burn it down, but in the meantime what did they think was going to happen when 4 of them took on 15 or so of the club men?

Also, it is mentioned on at least 2 occasions that England has the perfect climate for vampires. Vampires who are eternally cold and crave heat so much they immerse themselves in flame to stay warm...


Alicia Jessica wrote: "Also, what were the Alia expecting to accomplish at the Aegolius club? Sure, they were going to burn it down, but in the meantime what did they think was going to happen when 4 of them took on 15 o..."

All that.

And did it actually mean *anything* that James was the first unwilling vampire? How much consent can children and dying people give?


message 21: by K (new) - rated it 2 stars

K | 5 comments This was such a chore for me to finish. I'd been devouring books over the course of 4 or 5 days and this took two weeks for me. Just slow and boring. The story felt so disjointed. Every time I would start to get invested, we'd change character perspectives, dropped into an entirely different timeline and setting.... Only later connecting the dots.

I can't say I would ever read this again. Even the ending left me thinking "why, why did I bother to finish this?"


message 22: by Catherine (new)

Catherine (catheybleu) | 4 comments This was a romance novel and a vampire novel, but never at the same time.

The story was exciting, but there were way too many characters and I was disappointed with the lack of romance in the second half of the book.


Rachel Benoit (rachelbenoit) | 23 comments I really wasn't a fan of this one. It took me a long time to finish. Based on the description, I thought this was going to be like a Victorian version of Neverwhere or maybe a grown up Infernal Devices, but unfortunately it feel extremely short of both in my mind.

I felt that the beginning was really slow, but I became interested in the romance between James and Christopher, which was quickly cut short. I also felt like there just wasn't that much original vampire content. As somebody who has been reading vampire fiction for years, I found it fairly redundant.

For those of you who did enjoy it, I did read that she is writing a sequel.


message 24: by Lesley (last edited Oct 30, 2017 01:35PM) (new) - rated it 2 stars

Lesley (lasagnagraveyard) | 4 comments I agree with most of the comments on this thread. I found very large sections to be boring and painful to get through, with little snippets of compelling storytelling in-between. It's like I ordered a pepperoni pizza, and only 1/3 of the slices ended up having pepperoni on them...sorry, I'm hungry right now.

There were too many characters, and the tendency to refer to them by their surname only added to the confusion for me. Several of the characters had potential to be interesting, but were barely fleshed out and then abandoned/killed off.

We all needed and deserved more James & Christopher. I wanted Adeline & Charlotte to team up and become a vampire researching/fighting duo. There were so many other more interesting or satisfying directions this book could have gone in.

Not horrible, but meh 100%.


message 25: by K (last edited Oct 30, 2017 01:47PM) (new) - rated it 2 stars

K | 5 comments Lesley wrote: "...We all needed and deserved more James & Christopher. I wanted Adeline & Charlotte to team up and become a vampire researching/fighting duo. There were so many other more interesting or satisfying directions this book could have gone in...."

I really wanted the Adeline-Charlotte duo too! Or even pairing. There was so much potential... only to be dashed.


message 26: by nil (new) - rated it 4 stars

nil (nilnil) This is my first book here and I also decided to attempt an audiobook. I have only managed to get half way through (audiobooks and I apparently are not friends) and so I am super bummed that I feel so behind. D:


message 27: by Matthew (last edited Nov 02, 2017 04:42PM) (new) - rated it 3 stars

Matthew Kitson | 68 comments This kind of felt like 2 books in 1.

Found the first half really sluggish, but the pacing got better once charlotte ran into swift and shaldwell.

And for as important as the price gang was to the fall of the club, it felt like you didnt know much about them. You were kind of just thrown into them without much introduction.

Thought the dialogue was good though. As mentioned, the 2nd half made for a quick read.

Ending was a bit predictable, but intrigued on james' whereabouts


message 28: by Jo (new)

Jo | 69 comments Malo Bee don't judge all audio books by this one. It was a very slow read. Try again with something like Iron Druid Series or Kingkiller Chronicles.


Amber Kinsey | 58 comments I found everything pre-attack to be quite slow and a bit boring. Once Charlotte re-enters the story, it picked up.

I really liked Shadwell and Swift - they were probably my favorite characters - and we all know what happened to them. From the way it was written, I had a small hope that Swift would survive, but it was not to be.


message 30: by Jules (new)

Jules | 9 comments Loved this book. Heart-broken for James and Christopher. Charlotte and Arthur could have used a bit more romance or something. I guess I wish that we had had more of James post-"Exchange". Is there a sequel? James is the heart of the book for me.


message 31: by Aimee (new) - added it

Aimee Jo wrote: "Malo Bee don't judge all audio books by this one. It was a very slow read. Try again with something like Iron Druid Series or Kingkiller Chronicles."

I loved both those series


message 32: by Trina (last edited Jun 12, 2018 10:49AM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Trina Dubya (trina_dubya) I finally finished reading this seven months after the hangout, which I saw first, so I was spoiled about a few things and surprised about others.

I got to page 240 (or so) and was so freaking confused by all the characters that I actually went back to the beginning and took notes as I skimmed over the parts I'd already read. Who was in the Aegolius, who was Alia, what each person does. Despite this, I liked the story, even though the pacing was weird: one part dragged, the next part zoomed past, then it dragged again.

I found myself liking James more than I thought I would. Perhaps because I'm as quiet and as apt to be unsocial as he is, and it takes a determined extrovert with a crowbar to get me out and about. So I empathized and was happy he'd found someone to love despite his shyness. (view spoiler) I admired Charlotte's courage -- and Arthur's, too -- even though I kept shaking my head over their willingness to dive back into danger. But it's understandable in both cases, and we wouldn't have a story if they were more sensible.

I liked most of the supporting characters -- the ones I was supposed to like, anyway -- and I was intrigued by their backstories. I was a bit baffled by Liza staying childlike for so long, instead of her mind developing in the child's body. (I haven't read Anne Rice, but I saw the Interview with a Vampire film once, so I remember that character. It made sense to me.) Adeline and Shadwell were brilliant, and I really wish we'd had more time with both of them, both on their backgrounds and the time Charlotte and Arthur spend with them. (view spoiler)

I noticed that there were green owls in the nursery at Charlotte and James's childhood home, and then green owls grace the cards from the Aegolius Club. I briefly wondered if that was a deliberate choice on their father's part, because it was a far less subtle hint than James being locked in the closet/priest hole (thanks, Kiala). But I couldn't think of any reason for that, so I'll chalk it up to a coincidence in the universe of the book and blatant foreshadowing on the author's part. I definitely think Mr Norbury Senior was looking to join the Aegolius, however. I reread the scene where Charlotte sees him after I finished the book, and it's all there. I'm not convinced he died of the Exchange; maybe he'll show up in the sequel, like Bootstrap Bill Turner in the Pirates of the Caribbean movies.

All in all, a good book, especially for a first novel. I may read it again at some point so I can absorb more details that I didn't notice this first time, but I can't renew this copy again, so it has to go back to the library.

P.S. Thank you, Bonnie, for calling Brideshead Revisited "Brokeback Oxford." I will refer to it as "Brokeback Oxford" from now on.


back to top

unread topics | mark unread


Books mentioned in this topic

The Quick (other topics)

Authors mentioned in this topic

Lauren Owen (other topics)