Hmmm, I’ll start with the positive – I thought Carl Prekopp’s narration of this novel was fabulous – I loved his soft northern accent and I thought his interpretation of the prose was spot on – like he was personally feeling the story – his soft quiet voice lent so much meaning and emotion to the words that I felt like I could listen to him saying anything. Just as well, really.
The premise was interesting – set in a version of 19th century England where books are considered evil and to be avoided because of their magical properties. I was quite interested in the first part, where the protagonist, Emmett Farmer is sent off to be an apprentice to an old woman bookbinder (considered a witch by many) because she sees in him the latent ability to create books. Emmett’s past is a ‘closed book’ to him, and when he and the reader start to find out what his backstory is, in my opinion at least, the book descends into fraught melodrama and romance novel drivel.
The final part picked up a bit, and I’ve read books that I’ve hated more, but I would not go so far as to say I liked this book. It was okay. Maybe just not my cup of tea.