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The Dark Unwinding Hardcover – September 2, 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
When I read and loved Sharon Cameron's Rook, I knew it was time I picked up this series. And what a treat! Read morePublished 2 months ago by Rachel @ Paper Cuts blog
The plot kept me thinking and every time i thought I had it right the author surprised me.Published 2 months ago by Amazon Customer
This book was so immersing. I could not put it down. The story and detail of the castle was superb.Published 2 months ago by Amazon Customer
I found out about this series when browsing through books from BEA 2013 — where the sequel was being offered as an ARC. Read morePublished 4 months ago by Alyssa Marie
I really got drawn into this book! It was the most delightful form of creepy I have ever read! The main character, Katherine, is sent to inspect the livelihood of her uncle and the... Read morePublished 4 months ago by Megington
Quite gripping, but more melodramatic than I like. Likable main characters. Overall, a pleasant read. I will definitely read the sequel.Published 11 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 12 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 13 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 13 months ago by An avid reader