Author: Lisa Morton
Genre: Fiction, Supernatural
Publication Date: January 10, 2014
Recipe Variables: Sensuality
Series: Chronicles of Diana Furnaval
In nineteenth-century Victorian England, a young widow finds that she has inherited more than her late husband’s property: The Furnavals serve as the ancestral keepers of supernatural portals scattered around the globe. When demonic entities begin crossing over from the Netherworld, Lady Diana realizes that a war is brewing, and she must be the one to confront it. Accompanied by a young Chinese sailor named Yi-kin, her feline guardian Mina, and a mysterious scholar, Stephen, Diana will begin a journey to solve the mystery of her husband’s death and prevent the apocalypse.
Pow! Bam! Zap! These are common sound effects added to the antics of Batman and his trusty side-kick…or the way my mouth reacts after shoving a packet of Pop Rocks inside. Either way, the result bursts with fun and flavor, and I’m tuned in for the duration of the adrenaline kick. This is the same way I responded to the fabulous new novel from author Lisa Morton, Netherworld.
From the opening scene our heroine, Lady Diana, wields self-confidence and a gun with expertise, but tempers it with femininity and a feline side-kick, Mina. Our pistol-packin’ protagonist, with her trusty athame strapped to her leg (she’s wearing men’s trousers for ease in kicking supernatural butt), never hesitates when she either disposes of a demon with verve, closes a portal with her own blood sacrifice, or throws an innuendo at an attractive man. This is a character that I would love to sit down with for a lengthy conversation about her travels, or take with me for a night on the town; either way, it’s going to provide me with hours of entertainment.
The very few drawbacks to this incredibly well-researched novel took time to find. First, there’s Lady Di’s age, listed at 30. Although acceptable, it is not entirely believable for the era when women married much younger. Diana has been widowed for a few years at the onset of the story, making her nearly an old maid when she wed to start. Morton risks alienating some potential readers in the young adult/new adult interests by aging her lead. This is a small slip, especially when compared to the main complaint I had with the storyline, dealing with Yi-kin, Lady Diana’s newfound traveling companion. Morton spends an inordinate amount of time dealing with the racism Yi-kin faces from shore to shore. Although accurate historically (again, fabulously researched), it becomes a preachy soap-box distraction from the character study of Diana and her adventures.
In short, I couldn’t get enough of the lovely Lady Furnaval and am anticipating the next Pow! Bam! Zap! she promises to deliver in another installment.