I posted a Teaser from this book last week, and just finished it over the weekend. Shall we start with the quote on the cover? "The dark secrets of the present are living in the past...." Creepy? Intriguing? Yes.
Here's the summary, from Goodreads: What if all of London were really an amusement park—a whole city returned to Victorian times to entertain visitors from the twenty-first century? That's the wildly original premise of Ian Beck's Pastworld, a high-stakes mystery set in a simulated past.
Eve is a lifelong resident of Pastworld who doesn’t know she’s living in a theme park until a mysterious threat forces her to leave home. Caleb is a visiting tourist who finds the lawlessness of the past thrilling—until he suddenly becomes a fugitive from an antiquated justice system. And in the midst of it all, in the thick London fog a dark and deadly figure prowls, claiming victim after victim. He’s the Fantom, a creature both of the past and of the present, in whose dark purpose Caleb and Eve will find their destinies combined.
And here's what I thought (**spoilers**): I had originally picked this book up because it was on a display in our library, and then realized it had been on my TBR list for a while. I have a bit of a fascination with Victorian London, and this sounded like a cool twist on that. The premise is interesting all by itself: a London preserved into a park, where visitors are required to wear period clothing, carry period money.... and on their own in this very real world where crime (and punishment) are all very, very real. The characters of Eve and Caleb were well-written, although I sometimes found some of the supporting characters to be a little more interesting. Bible J in particular was someone I wouldn't mind getting to know better --- he'd make an interesting main character in another book. What I really felt was thought-provoking, and what stayed with me was what was revealed to be the purpose of Eve. Not just who she was, but her purpose. And stop reading now if you don't want a spoiler ---- but Jack the Ripper is alive and well in this London. And Eve is involved. Okay -- spoiler done.
This was an interesting book that made me think, and I enjoyed it. I found wonderful reviews done by other bloggers, as well: Wondrous Reads and The Book Smugglers, if you'd like another opinion.