The Quickening by Julie Myerson

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The Quickening by Julie Myerson

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Category: General Fiction
Rating: 4/5
Reviewer: Zoe Morris
Reviewed by Zoe Morris
Summary: A thrilling story with a slightly inadequate ending, this is gripping stuff that will make you shiver
Buy? Yes Borrow? Yes
Pages: 288 Date: April 2014
Publisher: Hammer
ISBN: 978-0099580249

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Rachel and Dan are on holiday in the Caribbean, but soon after they arrive on the island of Antigua odd and disturbing things start to happen. Items seemingly move by themselves. Things break. People appear out of nowhere. And then, the attacks start. Rachel is petrified. Newly pregnant she is worrying for her baby’s safety as well as her own, and she has a nagging feeling in her stomach that the one person she should be able to trust is the one she simply cannot. Dan is acting strangely and though she begs him to let them go home early, he plays down her fears. Why won’t he believe what she’s saying, and take her seriously?

This is a tense, thrilling novel that I couldn’t stand to put down, and I ended up reading it at 5am in the morning when I woke up and couldn’t stop thinking about it. In all, it took me less than 24 hours to read from cover to cover, and the further into it I got, and the more I knew, the more I realised how much more there was to find out. The writing style may grate on some, but I loved it, with its quirky absence of speech marks and slightly odd narrative. It was always perfectly clear what was meant and who was talking, but it added the effect that something was a little off, not quite right in the world.

I really enjoy mysteries and thrillers set in exotic locales, and was expecting this to be a bit along the lines of Emily Barr's books. Indeed, the similarities were there and I enjoyed the descriptions of the destination, although the accommodation was definitely a bit higher class than where Barr generally puts her characters up. The lead in The Quickening, however, was just as neurotic as Barr’s heroines. And who doesn't love a neurotic female?

The blurb on the back and quotes from others made me expect more of a twist at the end, but ultimately the cues were not quite subtle enough and the ending wasn’t entirely surprising or out of the blue. This was a little disappointing as up until that point I had been gripped, but over the last two pages I just felt let down. It seemed too easy a way out, really, to leave the story where she did. This was the only downside though, and as it didn’t strike until the very end, it was a final let down rather than one that lasted throughout.

This is a frightening book that is creepy from the start but not so terrifying that it put off the likes of me, not much of a horror fan. It’s about a girl about my age, on holiday with her boyfriend, and I read it while on holiday with my boyfriend, but luckily the similarities ended there. It didn’t put me off wanting to go to Antigua, but it did make me very glad I’m a firm non believer in spirits and superstition.

Thanks go to the publishers for supplying this book.

Stranded by Emily Barr has a similar feel, as does the classic The Beach by Alex Garland

Buy The Quickening by Julie Myerson at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy The Quickening by Julie Myerson at

Buy The Quickening by Julie Myerson at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy The Quickening by Julie Myerson at


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