I would like to thank Little, Brown Book Group for providing me with an advanced reading copy of this book.
I went into this book not sure what to expect. It was initially the beautiful cover that caught my eye and on reading the blurb it piqued my interest even more, but I knew nothing more about the book. I didn't know if it was a mystery, crime, or a thriller etc. I had no inkling of what genre it fit into so I didn't have any expectations going in, and I certainly didn't expect it to enthral me as much as it did.
I was completely captivated by this book. The imagery was so vivid that I was transported completely to another time. I was so wrapped up in the dark and gloomy world of victorian London, surrounded by the sights, the smells, and the crumbling old buildings, that the world around me ceased to exist. When I wasn't reading I found myself thinking about the world and the people that I had left behind on the pages, eager to get back to them.
The writing style played out in my head like a movie. I could picture everything, the sights, the smells, the characters, the environment, and I was completely taken over by the book the whole time it was in my hands. The characterisation was fantastic. Every character was so well written and fleshed out, especially those of Jem and Will. Jem is an amazing character, she enveloped me and drew me into her world, she was as real as I was and I was right there with her from start to finish. Her voice was a light in the darkness and I was drawn to it and couldn't turn the pages fast enough.
I want to say Beloved Poison is a character driven story, the characters are a huge part of the book and feel as real as you or I, but it's also very world driven. Victorian London surrounded me the whole time I was reading, I was there amongst the old buildings, breathing in the tainted air and passing the people on the street like I was one of them. To me, this was a story that I lived rather than a story read. Even though there is a mystery running throughout, and of course I wanted to know who the guilty party was, it was the experience of living and breathing in Victorian London and my love for Jem's character that made this an outstanding read.
Quite unexpectedly, Beloved Poison is one of my favourite reads of 2016. I never thought I would ever say that about a historical fiction book. I can't wait to get my hands on the next instalment!
Beloved Poison is going to be a hard book to follow. I'm going to have to choose my next read very carefully.