Books

‘Veronica’ by Nicholas Christopher

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Veronica is told from the perspective of Leo, who is suddenly thrust into a world of magic and time travel after a chance encounter on the snowy streets of Manhattan.

The opening few chapters of Veronica were some of the best I’ve read in ages, totally unlike anything I’ve read before. Everything was described in crystal clear detail, which makes for a somewhat bizarre reading experience, as so much information is being passed onto you.

However, as it went on the magic that was present at the start kind of dissipated, mostly due to the lack of character development. Whilst the characters were ‘interesting’ (although some of their characteristics felt a bit gimmicky, in particular those of Otto, a character obsessed with the number eight) they didn’t seem to posses human emotions. This was especially true in the narrator’s case: he came across as a very cold, dispassionate character. And don’t even get me started on Veronica herself- she’s like an occult manic pixie dream girl.

I expected the book to be full of esoteric references, and it didn’t disappoint in this regard, bringing in elements of Tibetan mysticism, feng-shui, and secret Elizabethan astronomy societies, to name but a few. In the end though, it felt like the author was just name-dropping ideas, as if he was working his way down a checklist of ‘unusual’ schools of thought.

Overall, Veronica  was a huge disappointment; the epitome of ‘style over substance’. Anything that it did well, other books have done better (The Night Circus, to name one). Save yourself some time and don’t bother reading it.

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