meilufay’s #CBR4 review #54 The House on Durrow Street by Galen Beckett
Anyone who has read my review of The Magicians and Mrs. Quent knows I disliked that book. Yet, for whatever reason, I continued to read the rest of the trilogy. Perhaps because I already had them (they were given me as a gift), perhaps some small part of me hoped the books would get better. Perhaps I simply enjoyed disliking them too much to stop reading. Whatever my motivations, I did indeed read Galen Beckett’s entire trilogy. What a waste of time.
In my review of the first book, I took on the novel’s uncomfortable mashing up of Jane Austen’s and Charlotte Brontë writing styles and Beckett’s sexist premise. I do not think I mentioned the author’s dissatisfying world-building. The society he portrays is one that is meant to mirror early 19th century English society. That being so, I’m not really sure why Beckett did not simply use the titles, forms of address and social hierarchy then in currency. Instead he uses similar titles in what seems like a less structured way. It is unclear to me whether or not Beckett simply did not do his research, and did not understand the differences between the different titles and forms of address; or if he simply created his own, simplified social hierarchy without thinking his rules through. Whatever the case, each instance of irregularity, of inconsistency, or of inaccuracy was like nails on a chalkboard to me. I understand that for many people, who do not have a heightened awareness of 19th century English history, or who do not care about world building, this may seem like a nitpick, but this little irritation enhanced what was already a dissatisfactory reading experience.
I really do not recommend this series at all.