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The Dark Unwinding Hardcover – September 1, 2012
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Top Customer Reviews
I will tentatively say that this is my favorite young adult book of the entire year! It's definitely up with Pretty Amy by Lisa Burstein and Everneath by Brodi Ashton. The Dark Unwinding combines so many of my favorite things: action, hints of the supernatural, psychology, pretty Victorian dialogue, a capable heroine you don't want to punch, and a romance that builds slowly instead of sparking from first glance. Add some eerie children, evil aunts, and magical clockwork figures and you have one thrilling steampunk adventure. Cameron's writing is beautiful. She takes the Victorian style and gives it a modern flavor that teens can enjoy.
plot . 4.5/5
The only notch I took off here was for the ending. I wasn't quite sure if I was satisfied with the final reveal. To me, it made it a bit too real-world and I'd been enjoying the sort of magical isolation of Stranwyne. However, it's a small notch. The rest of the plot was fabulous, from the first (darkly funny) line. You never get a chance to be bored. Every time things begin to settle down, a new wrench is thrown into the mix. By the end, you realize that all those little details you discounted earlier fit together in a huge intrigue. It all makes sense, but you'd never see it coming. The twist during Katherine's party was my favorite moment. The romance was a close second; I don't like romance novels, but I love a good romance embedded in a thrilling plot. This was one where I was rooting for the pairing from the beginning and felt so satisfied at how long it took to develop. I was also expecting something supernatural to happen the whole time; Cameron plays a good game, keeping you guessing how much is real.
concept . 5/5
The cover blurb delivers everything it promises, and more.Read more ›
Patience pays off.
THE DARK UNWINDING slowly unfolds, opening slowly before quickly unfurling into a dramatic, strange, and unique little story that is nothing like the first 50% convinced me. After almost giving up on this one several times, and taking several weeks to read thanks to reluctance, I finally found myself engrossed by the last 100 pages or so. The conclusion is twisting and engrossing, explosive and tense.
But maybe I should start with the things I didn't like.
For the first...I dunno, 100 pages... I had a rather big problem. I had no clue what the book was about. Was it a thriller? A family drama? A steampunk fantasy? Truth be told, it wasn't much of anything. It took a hodgepodge of ideas and flung them together awkwardly while being slow, plodding, and meandering. This book is not a steampunk, mind you - a few strange toys and steam-powered items do not make a book steampunk. Other than that, there was nothing steampunk about this novel. At all.
I didn't care for Katharine, our heroine, for about 300 pages of the story. There was nothing that stood out about her outside her flip-flopping that rivals Mitt Romney on healthcare.Read more ›
Her characters are varied and intriguing. There is prim and proper Katharine, the narrator, who is forced to choose between protecting her own grim future or that of her Uncle and his 900 tenants. There is wonderfully eccentric and childlike Uncle Tully, who brightened every scene he was in while also contributing a note of sadness. Katharine's wretched Aunt Alice is the "villain" hanging over the entire story, concerned only with securing wealth for her son and making Katharine as miserable as possible, and every mention of her made me grit my teeth in frustration. Then we have the tenants of the estate, the dark and brooding Lane, with his eye for faces and unwavering loyalty to Mr. Tully; mute little Davy, who sees more than anyone realizes, and his constant companion, the rabbit Bertram; Mrs. Jefferies, who protects those she loves with a fiery fierceness; Ben Aldridge, whose fascination with Mr. Tully's automatons seemed to overshadow everything else; and Mary Brown, Katharine's maid, whose constant chatter filled many a silence.
Sharon spends just the right amount of time dropping careful clues about what's going on that I was never lost, but not so many that I knew exactly what was going on.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Quite gripping, but more melodramatic than I like. Likable main characters. Overall, a pleasant read. I will definitely read the sequel.Published 4 months ago by Linda Gundry
Asylums of the Victorian age were horrible places not only for the mentally ill, but also for those whose conditions were misunderstood or behaviors were different from mainstream... Read morePublished 5 months ago by Andrea Pfaff
Engaging characters, a touch of romance, wonderful machines, twisting story lines, the blurred line between autism and genius, and best of all a lonely but smart young girl finds... Read morePublished 6 months ago by Queen Kel
Wow, I really enjoyed this book. I paced myself and read it slowly because I didn't want it to end. Lately there has been so much poorly written, overly-hyped drivel in the YA... Read morePublished 6 months ago by An avid reader
Great book! Must read for MS and HS students who like steampunk!Published 7 months ago by stormygene
The Dark Unwinding appealed to me because of the setting and dash of mystery I got from the synopsis. Read morePublished 7 months ago by Tonyalee
I loved this book it was very good.( But if you want an honest opinion i've read better). My fav character is by far Uncle Tully his inventions are awesome. I love the romance. Read morePublished 8 months ago by Susan
Loved the historical steampunk setting! Rich details, great characters and descriptions. Lots of nice surprises and not-so-nice surprises. LOL
Well done! Read more
This review is for the audiobook recorded by Fiona Hardingham. There was only one thing to not like about this story...that it had to end. Read morePublished 10 months ago by Brad Swift