Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Wrapped by Jennifer Bradbury

Bradbury, Jennifer. Wrapped.
Agnes is an unusual girl for 1815. She speaks ten languages, has a curious mind, and is not all that thrilled about making her debut in London society. She is even less thrilled about Lord Showalter, the dashing young, wealthy man to whom her mother hopes she will become engaged. While attending a mummy unwrapping party at Lord Showalter's house, Agnes finds a small metal figure, and takes it home without being noticed. After this party, the attendees are systematically attacked, and Agnes approaches Caedmon, a young clerk at the British Museum who was working at the party, to help find out why. Their sleuthing quickly takes them in to dangerous territory, both in terms of a plot by Napoleon to harness ancient Egyptian magic to win the war against England, and in terms of a thrilling but forbidden romance.

Strengths: ***SIGH*** This was fabulous! While many historical fiction books that insert strong female characters into periods when this sort of personality was frowned upon, Bradbury makes Agnes reluctant enough to be believable. The language also was appropriate-- not overly formal and Jane Austen-esque (although the author is frequently cited), but without slips into modern colloquialism that are jarring. This put me in mind a bit of the Elizabeth Peters' Amelia Peabody series.
Weaknesses: Bradbury's Shift is so popular with the boys that I had hoped for another such book from her. That, and I could tell early on about the brewing romance. There HAS to be a sequel to this one!!!

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