Penny Dreadful won’t be back until next summer, and the end of the season left me with a hangover. No worries, though, there’s a plethora of novels and book series in the same vein that can give me the same fix Penny Dreadful does. Season of Mists, by Jen Corkill, is the first book in a promising historical paranormal romance series that does just that.
Young Justine Holloway, who has been recently orphaned, is on her way from school in France to live in London with her godparents, Harold and Frances Mendenhall. But it’s on the voyage from England to France that her life truly begins to change. She meets the handsome, mysterious Amun Farouk, the new Egyptian ambassador, who is en route to London to meet with her godfather about a prospective archaeological expedition in Egypt…and there is much more to him that meets the eye. But something far more dangerous haunts Justine’s footsteps as she makes her debut in London society, something dark, shadowy, and full of evil intent.
Soon Justine discovers that her godfather is part of a secret society charged with protecting humanity from the Varius, a people from a parallel universe who possess magical abilities and who have begun to make their homes in London after a dark force has overtaken their world. When the exsanguinated body of a woman is found in Whitechapel, it becomes clear that that dark force has come to London, and may be responsible for the Whitechapel murders. As Justine makes her debut in London society, she finds that she has become the obsession of a vampire who would do anything to possess her. She and Amun must find a way to thwart whatever evil has visited itself upon London…and save herself from the sinister fate the vampire has in store for her.
Corkill has borrowed from several familiar tales of the Victorian era to create her own story. The heroine is not just a damsel in distress, but grows from a frightened young girl to a young woman determined to take her fate into her own hands. Amun’s motivations are unclear at first, but as the story progresses, we see that he is on the side of good and that he’s willing to do whatever he can to keep whatever evil he is fighting from consuming Justine. Corkill is able to build the action to an unexpected climax that will leave the reader breathless.
I received a free copy of this book from the author in exchange for a fair and honest review.