The Dark Unwinding [and the slow, sensuous reveal…]

Posted by on May 6, 2018 in The Work In Progress, Untune the Sky, What Pooks is Reading, What Pooks Is Writing | 2 comments

The Dark Unwinding by Sharon Cameron“Warm sun and robin’s-egg skies were inappropriate conditions for sending one’s uncle to a lunatic asylum.”

This year is turning out to be stellar.  I keep discovering fabulous books to read or listen to, but I have neglected to share the goodies. So, let’s begin to catch up.

The book I need to share with you first?

The Dark Unwinding, by Sharon Cameron

Not only has Sharon Cameron provided us with a fabulous world and characters, but Fiona Hardingham has brought the characters to life. I love the characterizations both as written and as performed.

Let me list a few things I loved about this book.

Historically accurate diversity, for the win! The young man who at this point appears to be the love interest is mixed race, having descended from “French moors.” [I have to say the protagonist reacting to him and noticing that his skin was the color of a heavenly cream tea made me ponder. Describing POC skin tones as food is a problem.  17-year-old Katharine’s thoughts aren’t lascivious but are romanticizing. Also, cream tea is tea and scones, not tea with cream? A ‘tell’ that the author is not English!] But still, his characterization, backstory and the fact that his backstory becomes significant all are very well done.

Katharine’s uncle. Oh, Katharine’s Uncle Tully. I would love this book if for no other reason. Here is the first sentence in the book:

“Warm sun and robin’s-egg skies were inappropriate conditions for sending one’s uncle to a lunatic asylum.”

He is not only a mad genius inventor, he clearly has a a neurodevelopmental disorder, most likely an autism spectrum disorder that is emotionally crippling–unless he can remain in his strictly controlled routine where he invents ‘toys,’ toys and more toys. This is so tenderly, heart-breakingly and sensitively portrayed and is central to the plot and the task Katharine has been assigned by her cruel aunt.

She is his niece. He has not seen her since infancy. And when he meets her, when he realizes who she is…

“Simon’s baby,” he said, rocking on his heels. “Simon’s baby girl. But you are too many, much too many to be Simon’s baby girl. How many are you?”

“Seventeen,” I whispered. He was still uncomfortably close.

“Lane!” he shouted. I jumped. “Do I have a niece of seventeen?”

And from that point forward, with a sweetness that makes my teeth ache in a good way, he either calls her “little niece” or “Simon’s baby.”

And I did mention mad genius, right? His affinity for numbers, amongst other things, is off the chart. But in a nice and subtle bit of family-building that never really calls attention to itself, both his sister [the ubiquitous evil aunt who wants him locked up] and Simon’s Baby [Katharine] also have their own numerical tics.

This is a very gothic novel with a mysterious and crumbling mansion complete with secret passages, the mad genius and odd servants, and the romance and danger and darkness that go along with the best of the genre. The romance is subplot but is very fulfilling.

My one complaint? Even though I knew this was the first in a series, by the time it ended the story felt so very and perfectly complete that I found myself wincing at the plot twist that leads to the next book. It was a rare situation where I loved a book and yet did NOT find myself wanting to see the story continue. Now that I’ve had a few hours to savour, I do trust Cameron to create an equally fun, dangerous, fascinating and plot-twisting sequel.

And the next book is already available, so you can dive in immediately! A Spark Unseen is already on my iPhone and I am already listening and again, I am wallowing in the experience.

If you haven’t read these books, I highly recommend you check them out. They may be available from your library if that helps.

And in the Dept. of Coming Soon?

Oh. Em. Gee.

A fourth book in the His Fair Assassin Series? Yes! The cover reveal was this week.

There’s also an excerpt from the book.

The bad news?

We have to wait until next February.

The good news?

You can pre-order now.

In the meantime, if you haven’t already read the His Fair Assassin Series by Robin LaFevers [keywords: assassin nuns!] you have plenty of time before Courting Darkness is available.

You can start with a book I’ve recced before, the first in the series, Grave Mercy.

You’re welcome.

And now, I did mention a slow, sensuous reveal?

It’s my own.

As the sidebar shows, I’ve written about 40,000 words of Untune the Sky.

And it is killing me.

How is it killing me?

With revelations.

With even more plot twists.

With even more passion.

Sometimes the characters and their actions flow in a rush of words spilling like snow melt-swollen streams spilling down the mountainside in spring.

And sometimes it barely oozes, like drops of blood from an aching wound that just won’t quite heal.

And if you think those sentences might also reflect things happening in the book? You might be half-right.

Bottom line, it is coming and it is going to be the passionate, amazing finale I have planned from the time I put the first words to paper.

And it is coming in its own time.

There will not be a December 2018 pub date, but never fear. The book is forming from ether into life and it will be worth the wait.

And if you haven’t already read the others, you start here. And if you’ve already read This Crumbling Pageant, what is wrong with you? The Dead Shall Live is just sitting there waiting to pick up the story the very next moment after the first book ends!

Now recommend some other fabulous books for me to read. Because reading fabulous books feeds my muse, and she gets very cranky and stingy with words when she’s not fed!


  1. loved your recommendations. read this when I was picking middle son, but I couldn’t respond at the time.

    • Thanks!

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