This is the spoiler edition of That Inevitable Victorian Thing by EK Johnston.
In this alternate world, the coming out season is soon underway. Yes, the coming out season where girls and boys of age and class attend parties during a season. Helene is a plain jane who comes from humble means, Elizabeth is a celebrity socialite, and Margret is the princess of England and they all end up at the same party. In this world, people are matched by a Computer. You upload your DNA and it finds your perfect match. Some people live by the Computer and marry their match while some believe in free will.
So let’s begin with the okie doke-Henry and Lizzie were Helene and Margret. I didn’t see that coming and I thought Johnston set that up quite well. At the point of this reveal, I was really liking this book but I soon found myself not caring about their romance. I thought it was sweet but I didn’t have an attachment to either of the ladies (they were boring as hell) so I wasn’t invested in their romance.
I hated that the American States were not explained during the novel. All we got was that we were bigoted pirates with horrible food. There was no explanation about what happened after the failed American Revolution but Johnston added it to the author’s note. I know this book isn’t about American but considering a LARGE amount of people that will read/buy this book will be American, I think she could have added a little bit more backstory.
I was pretty confused through half of the book. I wasn’t sure how the Computer came to exist. Was it because one of the early queens didn’t want her kids to marry politically? I don’t know. I also wasn’t sure if New London was New York or Helene’s mom actual occupation.
That entire storyline about August and the pirates was so anti-climactic-COME ON!
THAT ENDING! So August, Helene, and Margret are going to have some weird polygamist situation? Is Helene going to be banging both of them? Or is August going to left out in the cold to watch? I’m so confused but at any rate; Johnston fairy tale endings are killing me.