The Vespertine by Saundra Mitchell

The Vespertine by Saundra Mitchell

Published: March 7th, 2011
Publisher: Harcourt's Children Books
Series: The Vespertine, Book 1
Rating: YA 13+
Format: eGalley
Source: NetGalley
AmazonGoodreads Website

It’s the summer of 1889, and Amelia van den Broek is new to Baltimore and eager to take in all the pleasures the city has to offer. But her gaiety is interrupted by disturbing, dreamlike visions she has only at sunset—visions that offer glimpses of the future. Soon, friends and strangers alike call on Amelia to hear her prophecies. However, a forbidden romance with Nathaniel, an artist, threatens the new life Amelia is building in Baltimore. This enigmatic young man is keeping secrets of his own—still, Amelia finds herself irrepressibly drawn to him.
When one of her darkest visions comes to pass, Amelia’s world is thrown into chaos. And those around her begin to wonder if she’s not the seer of dark portents, but the cause.

**This Review is based on an ARC (Advanced Reading Copy). The final text may be different!**

I love YA Paranormal Historical Fiction, and this one is no exception. The Vespertine reminds me of The Gemma Doyle Trilogy by Libba Bray, and is just as good. An AMAZING and different story, I must say. It certainly captured me from the first page, it had me enthralled in the story and I read it non-stop.

I'm still agonizing the fact that I hadn't picked it up earlier, closer to the release date. But because of exams, other books due etc. I wasn't able to read the book until recently, around a month and a half after it's release.


The writing is so rich...almost what's expected in a classic. I love the "Victorian era" thing (although it's set in the US) but it's just so vibrant and classic that it seems so...British classic worthy. There's something about Saundra Mitchell's writing that captures the readers deep into the plot, through fantasy, romance and dark secrets. It's spine-tingling, I'll tell you that!
All her characters are top-notch (did I really just say that?) and brilliantly described. You can immediately feel close and actually know these characters. Amelia is an awesome character, not too caught up in "airs" and actually is mischievous, but is always there to help a friend. CANNOT ask for a different heroine. Nathaniel...*swoon*...that's all I can say! Deep and Mysterious, that's for sure. I really also love her cousin and her "beau" Zora and Thomas. I really liked Thomas as well, but not as much as Nathaniel! 

The story starts off in the fall of 1889, and then we travel back in a flashback with Amelia to the summer of that year where everything changes. She has these visions and it's quite creepy in the way that they are described. It gets even creepier when things start to change. There was one line which really got me freaked out...I have no idea why, but still:

Today in the Vespers, I am happy now he is dead.

I'm not gonna spoil anything for just have to see what happens in the book!

I really do love how History and the supernatural come together in this book. It really does combine two of the most amazing genres I've read and creates something more. I think it really does give it a richer, fuller purpose. The tone and mood in this book gets deeper and haunting as the book goes on, and everything starts to fall into place. There's also a VERY big twist on things...I think the ending line of the blurb kinda gives that away, but how it all plays out is really surprising!

The Vespertine is a fascinating book, one of a kind. It's hauntingly beautiful yet terrifying as the course of the novel changes from something sweet and mysterious to dark and dangerous. I Loved it so much! Can't wait for the next book, The Sweetspring.

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1 comment:

  1. Great review. I got this one from NG too, and I still haven't read it. oops, I really should, right? Sounds good


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