‘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.

I found myself completely hooked from the beginning; the opening few chapters are some the best I’ve ever read. 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 ‘unique’ features 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.

Despite all this, I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend it. The author has a background in poetry, and this really shines through in his breathtakingly lyrical descriptions. He creates an incredibly rich, tangible universe, full of magical realism (which I love) and interesting details.

I’m fascinated by all things occult, and Veronica didn’t disappoint in this regard, bringing in elements of Tibetan mysticism, feng-shui, and secret Elizabethan astronomy societies, to name but a few.

Overall, not one of my favourite books, but I can see why some people love it so much. It’s certainly unlike anything else.

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