Saturday, 30 June 2018

The Electrical Venus by Julie Mayhew

Synopsis (from Goodreads

Pages: 368
Publisher: Bonnier Zaffre
Released: 19th of April 2018 

Can this shocking new feeling be love, or is it electrickery?

In a lowly side-show fair in eighteenth-century England, teenager Mim is struggling to find her worth as an act. Not white, but not black enough to be truly exotic, her pet parrot who speaks four languages is a bigger draw than her. But Alex, the one-armed boxer boy, sees her differently. And she, too, feels newly interested in him.

But then Dr Fox arrives with his scientific kit for producing 'electrickery' - feats of electrical magic these bawdy audiences have never seen before. To complete his act, Fox chooses Mim to play the 'Electrical Venus'. Her popularity - and the electric-shocking kisses she can provide for a penny - mean takings are up, slop is off the menu and this spark between her and Fox must surely be love. 

But is this starring role her true worth, or is love worth more than a penny for an electrifying kiss?

What I Have to Say 

In general, I liked this book. I liked the characters and the way they spoke. I felt that the way that it was written as them talking to various animals was very interesting and made it feel quite different from a lot of the books I've read recently. 

My main hang up was the amount of racism in the book. Obviously it's a topic that should be discussed, but when reading historical books such I this, I do wonder if it shouldn't be discussed more sensitively. There's showing racism as an every day occurrence and there's writing it as though it doesn't matter when words and insults are thrown at these characters. With just a few tweaks to show the damage and upset that it's causing the characters, I feel like it wouldn't have seemed like the racism was just being dismissed as normal. 

Other than that, I really have no complaints. I liked the story and it was the gripping, suspenseful kind of writing that I've come to expect from Julie Mayhew. A good book in general. 

My thanks go to Netgalley and Hot Key Books for providing me with a copy for review. 

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