Today I’m sharing my review for A Superior Spectre by Angela Mayer as part of the blog tour. Thanks to Ruth Killick for the invite and to Saraband Books for the review copy.
About the book
“A brilliant, deeply unsettling work.” Books + Publishing
Jeff is dying. Haunted by memories and grappling with shame, he runs away to a remote part of Scotland with a piece of beta tech that allows him to enter the mind of someone in the past. Instructed to only use it three times, Jeff – self-indulgent, isolated and deteriorating – ignores this advice.
In the late 1860s, Leonora lives in the Scottish Highlands, surrounded by nature. Contemplating the social conventions that bind her, her contented life and a secret romantic friendship with the local laird are interrupted when her father sends her to stay with her aunt in Edinburgh. But Leonora’s ability to embrace her new life is shadowed by a dark presence that begins to lurk behind her eyes, and strange visions.
A Superior Spectre is a novel about curiosity, entitlement and manipulation. It reminds us that the scariest ghosts aren’t the ones that go bump in the night, but those that are born and create a place for themselves in the human soul.
A Superior Spectre is available to purchase now – Amazon UK
Jeff is dying, full of regrets and shameful memories he escapes his home in Australia and flees to Scotland. With only a robot for company and a piece of technology that allows him to see life through the eyes of someone in the past he intends to live out the remainder of his days and die alone.
Leonora is a young girl living in the Scottish Highlands in the late 1860’s with her father, she’s becoming a woman and we see her experiences through Jeff as he invades her mind.
Jeff isn’t a likeable character at all and although I found his chapters quite intriguing it was the chapters about Leonora that I really enjoyed reading. Leonora is very much a home body, she likes what she’s used to and when she is sent to stay with her Aunt in Edinburgh it’s a big change for her.
As Jeff uses Leonoras mind, the visions and his urges that she feels makes her think she is slowly loosing her mind or possessed and Leonora life starts to unravel. Jeff has the power to help but does he? You’ll have to read the book to find out.
A Superior Spectre is like no book I have ever read or will probably read again. It’s very unique and to be honest it’s quite a mixed bag. I felt disgust, shame, sad, happy and tense to name a few feelings and it’s a story that gets right under your skin.
To put a genre on this story is quite difficult too, it’s historical yet futuristic it covers possession, feminism, paranoia, fear plus many other things. It’s a compulsive read – that had me totally hooked, it’s so difficult to describe how I felt reading this story as sometimes I felt pure repulsion towards Jeff which is intended but I desperately wanted to see what would happen to Leonora and couldn’t help feeling for her.
Angela Meyer has written an exceptional story that is original and not something I would normally read but I’m so glad I did. It’s a story that is thought-provoking, uncomfortable but totally gripping and one I will be recommending.
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