Saturday, 5 May 2012

Saturday Spotlight: The Bonehill Curse by Jon Mayhew

Saturday Spotlight is a new feature where I'm showcasing some of the books I've reviewed for The Bookbag by posting reviews here for the first time. I'm trying to use it to promote books which people may have missed originally.

Anthony Bonehill has created the perfect plan. Seven people will together summon a djinn. Six will gain a wish each, while the seventh will use their wish to kill the djinn and avoid it taking revenge on them. But when Carlos, the seventh, double crosses the rest, and ends up sending the bottle containing the djinn to Bonehill’s daughter Necessity, she’s launched into a race against time to stop the djinn from wreaking havoc on her world.

This is the third in the loosely linked Victorian trilogy by Jon Mayhew. While they can be read perfectly well as stand-alones, there is some cross-over of minor characters and places, so I’d definitely recommend starting with Mortlock and working your way through all three.

I really enjoyed both Mortlock and the Demon Collector (the second book by Mayhew) but this is my favourite of the three. Necessity – who starts the book off as a nasty bully – develops wonderfully well as a character, while the supporting cast is fabulous. I particularly enjoyed Sergeant Major Morris, the somewhat insane old soldier who lives near the Academy for Young Ladies which Necessity attends, and helps to train her. However, the djinn was also a surprisingly well-developed character, and it was easy to see what had driven him to the lengths he was willing to go to.

As always with Jon Mayhew’s books, it’s stunningly atmospheric. It reads like a cross between Victorian horror and the Arabian Nights, blending the best of both worlds to create a presence all of its own. It’s very unpredictable, has got great action scenes, and I absolutely loved the ending. I also thought the proverbs scattered between chapters, which played the same role as the folk song lyrics Mayhew has used previously, really added to the creepy atmosphere.

This is apparently the last book planned in the world of Mortlock, and I’ll be very sorry to leave it behind. I look forward to reading more by Jon Mayhew in the future!

I think fans of this one will love Rick Yancey's wonderful Monstrumologist series, which starts with The Monstrumologist: The Terror Beneath by Rick Yancey.

Jon was kind enough to give me a guest post about his influences to celebrate the launch of the Bonehill Curse, which I'd definitely suggest you read!

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