Sunday, May 18, 2008

The Explosionist by Jenny Davidson Review

The Explosionist by Jenny Davidson is set in 1938 Edinburgh, Scotland. The main character is Sophie, a fifteen year old student at boarding school. Unlike a traditional historical fiction novel, this book is what has been deemed “alternative history” and presents the reader with a parallel universe in which 1938 Scotland has fuel cell automobile technology, an Institute that re-programs the brains of young women so they can serve high ranking officials without any emotions, and other advanced inventions.

Spiritual mediums are commonly used by government, police, and private citizens to speak to the dead and receive messages. Sophie even discovers that she is a medium and uses her insights to uncover a slew of mysteries surrounding recent bombings, a murder, even what goes on behind closed doors to reprogram women as young as sixteen.

Several prominent historical figures are mentioned such as Freud, Pastor, Houdini, Nobel, Kelvin, Bell, and even one mention of the 12 dancing princesses. In this book historical scientists are especially respected and powerful.

Overall, I found the book to be well-written and interesting. Young readers 14-19 fascinated by science, mysteries, and history may particularly enjoy this novel. This is the first novel author Jenny Davidson has written for teens.

3 comments:

kbookreviews said...

I'm a big fan of historical fiction, and have only read one 'alternative historical fiction' book which I enjoyed. The summary of this though seems a bit out of my comfort zone. Good review, and I'm glad you enjoyed it, but I don't think I'll be adding it to my TBR list.

Anonymous said...

i read the book and really enjoyed it. i hope you write a follow up to this book

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