Title: Mad Miss Mimic
Author: Sarah Henstra
Release Date/Publisher: May 5th 2015 by Penguin Canada
Finished: February 8th 2015
Pages:261-ARC paperback-given for review
Synopsis from Goodreads:
London, 1872. Seventeen-year-old heiress Leonora Somerville is preparing to be presented to society — again. She’s strikingly beautiful and going to be very rich, but Leo has a problem money can’t solve. A curious speech disorder causes her to stutter but also allows her to imitate other people’s voices flawlessly. Servants and ladies alike call her “Mad Miss Mimic” behind her back…and watch as Leo unintentionally scares off one potential husband after another.
London in 1872 is also a city gripped by opium fever. Leo’s brother-in-law Dr. Dewhurst and his new business partner Francis Thornfax are frontrunners in the race to patent an injectable formula of the drug. Friendly, forthright, and as a bonus devastatingly handsome, Thornfax seems immune to the gossip about Leo’s “madness.” But their courtship is endangered from the start. The mysterious Black Glove opium gang is setting off explosions across the city. The street urchins Dr. Dewhurst treats are dying of overdose. And then there is Tom Rampling, the working-class boy Leo can’t seem to get off her mind.
As the violence closes in around her Leo must find the links between the Black Glove’s attacks, Tom’s criminal past, the doctor’s dangerous cure, and Thornfax’s political ambitions. But first she must find her voice.
What I Thought:
I was given a copy of this from Razorbill Canada in exchange for an honest review.
When I saw the description for this book and that she could mimic voices I knew I had to read it. The fact that it’s set in a historic London was even better! I could tell that the author put a lot of research in to make it as accurate as possible, though obviously the voice thing was made up (and so awesome).
This book was a pretty quick read but I thoroughly enjoyed it. As far as I know it’s not a series and that’s a good thing because we need more fun stand-alone books out there. At the end there was even a section where the author has references for us in case we want to learn more and short descriptions of things that involve the book, like stuttering and explosives.
Leo was an interesting character. She stutters when she talks and it gets worse when she’s nervous. Her other persona Mimic comes in to save her on many occasions and it was really interesting to see that ability. She could even remember exact sentences to match those voices!
There was a cute romance between her and Tom, but through most of the book she wants to be with Thornfax, who is rich and doesn’t force her to speak if she doesn’t want to. I won’t say who my obvious choice for her would be in case I ruin anything though. There’s also a gang who like to make things explode, people who are becoming addicted to drugs without knowing it, and lots of secrets. There’s just a lot of good stuff packed into this small book.
I think the only thing I would want changed would be for it to be a bit longer, to expand on Leo’s character and to see her grow more. Also because I didn’t want to stop reading it! By the end I didn’t feel like she really knew any more about her other persona than she maybe could have. There also could have been more of a deeper discovery of the Black Glove Gang, but that’s only something small. Then again this is an advanced copy so things might be different in the final version.
This was a quick fun read and I really enjoyed it and suggest you pick up a copy. I can’t wait to see what this author writes next!