Under the Pendulum Sun - Jeannette Ng

Another book much loved by at least one person I know, Under the Pendulum Sun didn't quite work for me - not that it's a bad book, nothing of the sort, but I'm still struggling to say what it is I actually thought about it. One positive, the cover is stunning and eye-catching, I don't think I've ever seen quite so many shades of purple used in a single image!

 

On to the book itself: it's one very much for anyone who's read a lot of Bronte or gothic novels, being set in Victorian times, with one of the main characters a missionary. Nothing unusual there, except that he's a missionary to Arcadia, the land of the fae - this is a world where there is interaction between the two worlds, at least since the time of Captain Cook, so Laon Helstone goes off to convert them and leaves his sister behind.

 

Catherine doesn't think much of this, so follows him to Arcadia only to find that the house where he should be living is empty and nobody seems to know when he will return. In time, he does, as does Queen Mab and her time in the house turns everything upside down. In the best gothic novel tradition, there is a mysterious woman in black, not to mention doors that open themselves and corridors which can't be found the second time around. 

 

The author's love of that kind of novel shines through Under the Pendulum Sun, so if that's the kind of book you dislike then this one might not be for you. It didn't quite work for me, since I saw the two main plot twists coming quite a way in the distance, but I will still be looking forward to picking up whatever this author writes next.