cover image The Quick

The Quick

Lauren Owen, read by Simon Slater. Random House Audio, unabridged, 15 CDs, 19 hrs., $50 ISBN 978-0-8041-6547-1

Slater delivers an excellent rendering of Owen’s debut, a tale set in a vampire-populated Victorian England. The vampire world is divided between the elite men of the Aegolius Club and a ragged band of underclass undead. The numerous characters include shy, provincial poet James Norbury and his intrepid sister, Charlotte; vampire hunters Adeline Swift and Shadwell; a rich American in danger; and Augustus Mould, who researches vampire myth and fact on behalf of the undead and is as warm and friendly as his name suggests. Slater provides a unique sound and pacing to depict the various characters, which is especially handy as the narrative jumps from one perspective to the next—often unexpectedly. His delivery eases these transitions, giving a clear and distinct feel to the different parts of the story. Slater’s performance both entertains listeners and adds clarity to Owen’s complex world. A Random House hardcover. (June)