Synopsis: London, 1882: Queen Victoria appoints Harold Spire of the Metropolitan Police to Special Branch Division Omega. Omega is to secretly investigate paranormal and supernatural events and persons. Spire, a skeptic driven to protect the helpless and see justice done, is the perfect man to lead the department, which employs scholars and scientists, assassins and con men, and a traveling circus. Spire’s chief researcher is Rose Everhart, who believes fervently that there is more to the world than can be seen by mortal eyes.
Their first mission: find the Eterna Compound, which grants immortality. Catastrophe destroyed the hidden laboratory in New York City where Eterna was developed, but the Queen is convinced someone escaped—and has a sample of Eterna.
Also searching for Eterna is an American, Clara Templeton, who helped start the project after the assassination of Abraham Lincoln nearly destroyed her nation. Haunted by the ghost of her beloved, she is determined that the Eterna Compound—and the immortality it will convey—will be controlled by the United States, not Great Britain.
Review: The cover and the summary immediately attracted me as soon as I saw them and I really could not wait to get into the story. I must say that I love the novels from the Victorian era and mixing it with paranormal elements could only please me. Yet I confess that in the end I’m a little disappointed by this volume, but I’ll come back a bit to that afterwards.
After the death of Abraham Lincoln, Clara and her guardian, Senator Bishop, a man she likes a lot, have put together a team together to try to find the secret of immortality, a compound called Eterna. For years, researchers have tried to find the solution and the arrival of Louis changed that. This scientist has also a hidden story with our beloved Clara. But one morning, our heroine learns that the whole team is dead except one person. The young woman is therefore launching in a race against time to find Eterna, all with her friends. But Clara is not like any other women because she happens to have visions and sees things that no one else is able to do. Alternatively, we also follow Harold, a man who does not believe in the supernatural world and who is engaged by the Queen of England to lead a team of very special people. Their goal is to find Eterna for England and to prevent Clara and Americans to recover it before them.
Many characters are highlighted in this story, some more interesting than others elsewhere. I admit I was a little lost about some of the protagonists, not really understanding who they were. But the volume especially focuses on Clara and Harold, two completely different characters. Clara is a young touching woman. We know that she has lost her beloved, but because of their secret relationship, no one knows that, and she keeps her feelings for herself. She is determined to understand what had happened to her lover and to recover Eterna if it does exist. I admit that I was passionate about her character, to understand and discover how she was going to resolve everything. Conversely, I have not been very interested in Harold and his chapters. This is a man who does not believe in the supernatural world, but he is determined to carry out his mission. It’s quite a shame, but I found his chapters rather flat and I rather looked forward each time to return to Clara.
To conclude, I spent a good time in general with the novel even though the history of the England side interested me less. However, I am curious to see what will happen afterwards to our dear Clara who must cross one of many trials.