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The Vespertine by Saundra Mitchell Review

Title: The Vespertine

Author: Saundra Mitchell

First published January 1, 2011

320 pages, ebook

ISBN: 9780547573854 (ISBN10: 0547573855)

Rating: 3.44


In the summer of 1889, Amelia van den Broek arrives in Baltimore with hopes of enjoying all the pleasures the city has to offer. But as the sun sets, she experiences eerie and unsettling visions of the future.

Soon, Amelia becomes the go-to person for people seeking her prophecies. However, things take a complicated turn when she falls in love with Nathaniel, a mysterious artist who harbors secrets of his own.

As Amelia’s visions become darker and more intense, she realizes that her world is about to be turned upside down. Will she be seen as the seer of dark omens or the cause of chaos?

Find out in The Vespertine by Saundra Mitchell, a gripping tale of love, mystery, and prophecy.

About the Author

Saundra Mitchell is a prolific author who has written several books in different genres. She has penned SHADOWED SUMMER, THE VESPERTINE, THE SPRINGSWEET, THE ELEMENTALS, and MISTWALKER.

Additionally, she has authored the THEY DID WHAT!? series of books for middle-grade readers.

Ms. Mitchell has also edited DEFY THE DARK, a young adult anthology, and will have another anthology, ALL OUT, published by HarlequinTEEN in 2018.

Writing under the pen name Jessa Holbrook, she published her first romantic contemporary young adult novel, WHILE YOU’RE AWAY, with Razorbill. In 2014, she released her first young adult novel, WILD, under the name Alex Mallory.

SHADOWED SUMMER, published in 2009, won the Society of Midland Authors Book Award for Children’s Fiction in 2010 and was also a nominee for the 2010 Edgar® Award. It was selected as a Junior Library Guild pick and an ALAN pick in 2009.

Ms. Mitchell’s short story, “Ready to Wear,” appeared in Vestal Review Issue 27 and was nominated for a 2007 Pushcart Prize. Her short fiction and non-fiction have been featured in anthologies such as A TYRANNY OF PETTICOATS, FORETOLD, GRIM, TRUTH & DARE, and DEAR BULLY.

For two decades, Ms. Mitchell was the head screenwriter and executive producer for Dreaming Tree Films, where she worked on various teen filmmaking programs, including the largest teen filmmaking program in the United States, Fresh Films. During her time there, over four hundred films were produced from her screenplays, and she earned Academy Award eligibility ten times.

Ms. Mitchell has been interviewed by the New York Times and the BBC for her role in unmasking the Kaycee Nicole hoax. She has also been invited as a guest expert on Urban Legends & Folklore by several morning radio shows across the United States.

In her leisure time, Ms. Mitchell enjoys exploring fandom, studying history, making paper, and spending time with her wife and daughters.

Editoral Review

Saundra Mitchells The Vespertine is a historical fantasy novel that transports readers to the lush world of high society Baltimore in the 19th century. As a renowned YA author, Mitchells latest work delivers a compelling blend of romance and fantasy that will enchant both young and adult readers alike.

Set in the summer of 1889, the plot follows the young and naive Amelia van den Broek as she navigates the dizzying world of Baltimores upper class society. When she develops a mysterious ability to see visions of the future in the blush of sunset, she becomes embroiled in a dangerous game of love, betrayal, and tragedy that threatens to tear apart her newfound friendships and her sense of self.

The novels strength lies in its vivid depictions of the gilded world of the late 19th century, showcasing the sumptuous details of fashion, art, and architecture that defined the era. Mitchells language is rich and evocative, capturing the essence of the era with a befitting level of opulence and intrigue.

The main characters are well-drawn and memorable, with Amelias naive and lovelorn personality contrasting sharply with the enigmatic and charismatic Nathaniel, a fellow visionary who seems to know more about Amelias powers than he lets on. The supporting cast is equally well-realized, with each member of Baltimores social elite bringing their own hidden secrets and desires to the fore.

One of the novels main themes is the tension between fate and free will, as Amelia grapples with the burden of her visions and the choices that they set in motion. Through her journey, the novel explores the emotional and moral complexities of power and responsibility, making it a thought-provoking read for those interested in exploring the deeper themes of the series.

However, the pacing of the novel is somewhat slow at times, with the build-up to the crucial moments feeling a bit too drawn out. Additionally, the novel may be too focused on romance for readers who prefer more action-oriented plots.

Overall, The Vespertine is a beautifully imagined and well-executed historical fantasy novel that will appeal to fans of Jane Austen and Cassandra Clare. It combines a sumptuous world-building with well-drawn characters, making it a true page-turner for those seeking a unique take on the genre.

This 4.5 out of 5 stars novel is sure to thrill readers looking for a captivating escape into a world of fantasy and romance.