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Second Sight (The Arcane Society, Book 1) Mass Market Paperback – March 27, 2007
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An Amazon Book with Buzz: "Sweet Sorrow" by David Nicholls
"With fully fleshed-out characters, terrific dialogue, bountiful humor, and genuinely affecting scenes, this is really the full package of a rewarding, romantic read."—Booklist Learn more
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“Clever dialog, well-handled paranormal elements, and an intriguing plot merge with Quick’s lively wit in this thoroughly entertaining romance.”—Library Journal (starred review)
“A clever and entertaining tale about secrets...With her witty dialogue, multidimensional characters complete with eccentricities and psychic abilities, clever plotting, and generous humor, the perennially popular Quick has penned another surefire winner.”—Booklist (starred review)
“Polished, proficient romantic suspense.”—Kirkus Reviews
“Delightful Victorian romantic suspense with a touch of the paranormal...a quick-paced fun thriller.”—Midwest Book Review
“It doesn’t take ‘psychical abilities’ to see this one’s a winner...Second Sight is the opening book in the ‘Arcane Society’ series, and if it’s any indication of what’s to come, the series may be one of Quick’s best.”—The State (Columbia, SC)
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If it hadn’t been for the second half, I would have given it 3 stars, if I had even finished it.
I realize these regency type mystery/romances require a suspension of reality, but this one pushed it past that much more than usual.
The whole plot revolves around the main character setting out to have sex right at the first of the book for one time only. Considering she was a virgin and what the consequences could have been to have her character ruined and lose her ability to make a living to support her family, it was totally implausible. I won’t further give my other reasons.
I almost quit reading after the first few chapters, but held on until the end.
What I did like about it was that unlike many of her books, the main male character is the one who falls in love with the heroine first. It would have improved the book so much more if more time had been spent at the first of the book to show a burgeoning attraction. Not just this immediate “lets get down a dirty” for the sex itself.
The plot picks up and if you can get past the whole premise of what happens at the beginning, it becomes much more like Amanda Quicks other books. That is why I ended up giving it 4 stars instead of 3. Yes, just like Quick’s other books, it is a cookie cutte romance with a varying mystery.
She is an excellent writer and I never figure out the ending, which is what makes the book. I still can’t figure out how I can love these books, but find the Jayne Ann Krentz books totally lacking in a good plot and expert writing, because it sure doesn’t seem to be possible that they are written by the same author. I find those books to have both two dimensional characters and plots.
As I have said before, her explicit description of the sex between them goes way too far.
I agree with another reviewer who recommended reading the books in an order other than chronologically in order for the whole Arcane Society to “make sense.” If you had no prior knowledge of the Arcane Society, the explanation in this one is pretty lame.
Of course, this barely scratches the surface of an intricate plot involving artifacts, secret society, and several attempts on Venetia's life.
Quick never makes a misstep threading her way through the intricacies of plot, all the while weaving a skein of thread around the growing love between Venetia and Gabriel.
Top international reviews
Gabriel Jones and Venetia Milton, the main characters in this book did not manifest well in my imagination, and the connection between them felt lacklustre – I was indifferent to seeing how things would play out. I also felt that the relationship starts too quickly and a lot was skipped over when it came to the development of the relationship between the two. And when it come to the writing or the love scenes, especially towards the end, it just didn’t work, the writing didn’t flow smoothly.
The book takes place during Victorian era, and the Arcane Society is an organisation made up of individuals who have extra-sensory abilities. Gabriel, a member of the organisation, has an extra-special gift.
Gabriel and his cousin Caleb have discovered the vault where their ancestor Sylvester Jones was buried. Sylvester was an alchemist and the founder of their organization. They hire Venetia, a photographer, to document their collections. Almost one week goes by and Venetia is close to completing her job, and focuses on her goal of seducing Gabriel and ridding herself of her pesky virginity. Gabriel is unaware of her intent and reasons, but he senses their special connection and is growling mine pretty quickly – usually that would work for me, but it didn’t here. Before the evening is over trouble arises, but it was trouble that didn’t ensnare my attention.
The mystery and paranormal elements of the book needed teasing out and layers. There was also a sharp need for some world-building, and for the story to flow better than it did.
I found myself easily forgetting what I had read as soon as I took a break from the book, and the plot and characters didn’t draw me in.
After the 55% mark I skim read A LOT on the commute home, something I hate doing but I wanted to see if things would get better – for me they didn’t, although there were some fleeting moments where my interest was raised, but then it plummeted.
I’m still startled that I couldn’t get into this book given who the author is, 2 stars as I’m somewhat indifferent to the book and super disappointed by it, rather than hating it.
I didn't want to stop reading this book; it is part of a series of similar books so I can read on. Ms Quicks' books are not inexpensive but worth every penny - you won't be disappointed.
I like this book and it is a way of finding out about the beginings of Arcane.
Insights into how a sort of secret society guards it’s secrets