Book Review: The Dark Unwinding by Sharon Cameron

The Dark Unwinding
The Dark Undwinding #1
Sharon Cameron
When Katharine Tulman’s inheritance is called into question by the rumor that her eccentric uncle is squandering away the family fortune, she is sent to his estate to have him committed to an asylum. But instead of a lunatic, Katharine discovers a genius inventor with his own set of rules, who employs a village of nine hundred people rescued from the workhouses of London.

Katharine is now torn between protecting her own inheritance and preserving the peculiar community she grows to care for deeply. And her choices are made even more complicated by a handsome apprentice, a secretive student, and fears for her own sanity.

As the mysteries of the estate begin to unravel, it is clear that not only is her uncle’s world at stake, but also the state of England as Katharine knows it.
It takes something as good as this to get me out of a reading slump. Yes!

The first few pages - try a hundred or so - of the book introduced me to a little miss moppet named Katharine Tulman who was under her domineering aunt's care since little miss moppet was an orphan. Aunt Alice reminded me of Aunt Petunia with her son Robert as Dudley although Robert was just a child then. Ms. Katharine was tasked by her greedy Aunt to go to Stranwyne Keep in order to see to it that her uncle, her father's brother, was committed to an asylum and Robert's inheritance secured if not then Katharine would find herself out on the streets without any prospects.

And off little miss moppet went to the Tulman estate expecting to find a raving lunatic and a rather empty place. But as all mystery and good historical fiction, it was not so.

As I said, the first hundred or so pages was for world-building, for a chance not only for the readers to settle and get a feel of the surroundings that we landed ourselves in but also for our heroine to get her bearings and to form her own perspectives at things away from the pressures of her aunt.

This story slowly unfolded, so slow that you wonder if something was going to happen at all. But when you finally laid out a map of the place, were introduced to the important characters, and got the mission you were waiting for, then the ball started rolling and quite at steady pace.

I am happy to report that the romance was very well done. No instalove! Hurray! *throws confetti* Just as the story slowly built, so do the romance between Katharine and Lane. Unlike a number of stories we can all name, the book did not focus on these two sorry individuals, it focused on the story at hand. In fact, we can say that their romance was not yet fully realized in this book and I think it would continue to unfold in the next one which I would be happy to read.

It endears you, this book. It is not paranormal. Sorry guys. It is not quite steampunk. Nope, not really. It focused more on mystery, on something more intriguing, more poignant (I love you, Uncle Tully!), more substantial that kept me glued to the couch and turning the pages as I sympathize with the main character and her dilemma and wander the labyrinthine halls of Stranwyne. 
Ayanami Faerudo

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