The Half Killed by Quenby Olson
One part Victorian romance and one part paranormal thriller, Quenby Olson’s The Half Killed is a wonderful - and at times disturbing - read. London is sweltering under an unprecedented heat wave and bodies with distinct wounds have begun turning up. Dorothea Hawes may be the only one who can untangle the mystery, but at what cost? Thus the plot begins in The Half Killed and we experience the entire thing through the eyes of Dorothea.
Olson’s ability to allow us to feel as if we are in Dorothea’s head, sharing her thoughts, is second to none. Her characterization of the main character is absolutely stellar. As we read, when Dorothea is confused, we are confused. When she begins to see something clearly, so do we. Olson manages this without ever making the reader feel like she is keeping things back from us. Actually, quite the opposite. It feels like we are experiencing the story right along with the main character. As if we are being taken into her confidence, or reading her thoughts as she is thinking them. This adds a certain thrill at points, as Dorothea’s mind and experiences are disturbing at times. I loved the feel and ambiance this created for the story. An excellent pick for a Halloween read. I’m not often one for paranormal stories, but this one hooked me. It was engaging from start to finish and I could barely put it down. The plot is extremely interesting and the reveals well-paced. As the story unfolds you find yourself caring deeply for the main character. Not only was Dorothea’s characterization excellent, but the prose that Olson crafts is beautiful. Always evocative and at times lyrical, the prose pulls you into the story. There are very few books where I feel like the experience of the words on the page itself is enough to make me want to keep reading. This was one of them.
My criticisms are highly personal for this one. The first is that there were one or two places where I felt like things could have been tightened up just a little or perhaps moved more quickly. The second is that the novel is written in the present tense. I am not typically a fan of present tense narratives. While they can work at times, I often find myself jarred out of the story. In the case of The Half Killed this happened less than it normally does. It’s difficult to criticize this, because I think part of the reason the narrative and prose were so compelling is exactly because it was written in present tense. Yet along with this, for me, there were moments when the tense jarred me out of the story. The bottom line: if you, like me, often find present tense narratives off-putting, you shouldn’t let that stop you from giving The Half Killed a try. It’s a great novel.
Quenby Olson has given us a tremendous paranormal yarn in The Half Killed. I could barely put it down. The prose is beautiful, lyrical, and evocative. The main character is finely crafted. The mystery at the heart of the tale keeps you engaged. I’m only disappointed I can’t read it again for the first time - but you can, and you should.
This The Half Killed book review was written by Calvin Park
All reviews for: Sundered Veil
The Half Killed
Sundered Veil: Book 1
Dorothea Hawes has no wish to renew contact with what lies beyond the veil. After an attempt to take her own life, she has retired into seclusion, but as the wounds on her ...
Have you read The Half Killed?
We've found that while readers like to know what we think of a book they find additional reader reviews a massive help in deciding if it is the right book for them. So if you have a spare moment, please tell us your thoughts by writing a reader's review. Thank you.
The Half Killed reader reviews
8.8/10 from 1 reviews
There are currently no reader reviews for this book. Why not be the first?
Write a reader review
Thank you for taking the time to write a review on this book, it really makes a difference and helps readers to find their perfect book.
More recommended reading in this genre
A Brightness Long Ago
Guy Gavriel Kay
International bestselling author Guy Gavriel Kay's latest work is set in a world evoking early Renaissance Italy and offers an extraordinary cast of characters whose li...
Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell
Two magicians shall appear in England. The first shall fear me; the second shall long to behold me The year is 1806. England is beleaguered by the long war with Napoleon, a...
Guy Gavriel Kay
For two years Shen Tai has mourned his father, living like a hermit beyond the borders of the Kitan Empire, by a mountain lake where terrible battles have long been fought ...
The Yiddish Policemen's Union
What if, as Franklin Roosevelt once proposed, Alaska - and not Israel - had become the homeland for the Jews after World War II? In Michael Chabon's Yiddish-speaking ...
Hats off to Brandenburg
London, 1815 – The Roxy Playhouse is in trouble! The Roxy Playhouse Irregulars, those libertine artists and dreamers, are up to their necks in debt – “Pay...
The Master and Margarita
Moscow, 1929: a city that has lost its way amid corruption and fear, inhabited by people who have abandoned their morals and forsaken spirituality. But when a mysterious st...
Catherynne M Valente
Child of the revolution, maiden of myth, bride of darkness. A handsome young man arrives in St Petersburg at the house of Marya Morevna. He is Koschei, the Tsar of Life, an...
The Gamehouse is an unusual institution. Many know it as the place where fortunes can be made and lost through games of Chess, Backgammon - every game under the sun. But a ...
Nights at the Circus
Is Sophie Fevvers, toast of Europe's capitals, part swan... or all fake? Courted by the Prince of Wales and painted by Toulouse-Lautrec, she is an aerialiste extraordin...
Great fantasy books published in 2015
The Sorcerer's Glen
The Grand Master sat back in his chair with his blue eyes closed and sent a small prayer earthwards. The White Sorcerer had returned a little after the hour of the sabre-to...
The Hollow Boy
Lockwood & Co. might be the smallest (some might say shambolic) Psychic Detection Agency in London. But its three agents - Lockwood, Lucy and George - are exceptional T...
The Gameshouse is an unusual institution. Many know it as the place where fortunes can be made and lost through games of Chess, Backgammon - every game under the sun. But a...
For a moment, things seemed to be under control for Breq, the soldier who used to be a warship. Then a search of Athoek Station's slums turns up someone who shouldn'...
Half the World
Sometimes a girl is touched by mother war. Thorn is such a girl. Desperate to avenge her dead father, she lives to fight. But she has been named murderer by the very man wh...
Escaped from prison and back in his own body, life has taken a turn toward the domestic for Frank “Triggaltheron” Trigg. His days are filled with diapers, formu...
The Banished Lands are engulfed in war and chaos. The cunning Queen Rhin has conquered the west and High King Nathair has the cauldron, most powerful of the seven treasures...
Six of Crows
Ketterdam: a bustling hub of international trade where anything can be had for the right price - and no one knows that better than criminal prodigy, Kaz Brekker. Kaz is off...
Queen of Fire
Queen Lyrna has survived the bloody siege of Alltor. Now she must rally her troops and take back the capital from the Volarian invaders. But driving her hated enemy out of ...
Looking for more suggestions? Try these pages: