**Thank you Random House and Netgalley for providing this in exchange for an honest review**
I came very close to wanting to mark this DNF during the first 20%. It was too slow for my taste and the twist isn't my cup of tea. I'm so glad I plowed through it. This was a wonderful Gothic novel. I'm not sure how to write a review for this title without giving away the big secret, so this will be very short.
The story is told in alternating POVs. A good chunk of the beginning is told in James's voice. I found him to be very dull at the beginning. He doesn't have a strong personality or anything interesting going on in his life. He has just recently finished his schooling and is trying to decide what to do with his life. During this time James will meet Christopher Paige. It is Christopher who will give James the final push needed to start his poetry and give writing a stage show a try. It is also Christopher who will talk James into giving his screenplay to Oscar Wilde. It is at this point that the twist happens and the story turns in a different direction.
As I said, the twist usually isn't my type of thing. I actually actively avoid these type of books. I believe this was the only book of it's kind that I was actually sad to see it end. Even though I didn't care for James in the beginning, I did like him at the end. I actually liked all the characters, even the ....well, I'm not sure what to call them. The villains? The evil ones? Neither really properly describes them. There are only a few characters who are malicious. One is driven by instinct more then anything. Another is driven by his curiosity. All the characters and setting were beautifully fleshed out. There were certain voices I would have liked to see more of, while I could have done with less of others.
I look forward to future titles by Lauren Owen