Published by: Tor Books
Source: Provided by publisher
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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.
The Eterna Files debut is a promising start to a new series. What drew me in was the Gothic vibe, paranormal elements, and historical setting in the Victorian era. What kept me reading was the well-crafted characters, the interesting relationships, and the engaging dialogue.
I enjoyed the storyline that centered around the search for immortality and the two countries racing for control of the Eterna Compound. My complaint with this is that the pacing was surprisingly slow. Little progress is made with the overall story, the action is nearly nonexistent, and my patience was rewarded with a dozen questions and no answers. At the end of 320 pages, I realized that the story was really just beginning.
While I very much enjoyed The Eterna Files characters, there were so many introduced that I became a bit overwhelmed at first. There are a handful in London, a group in New York City, and the points of view shift between them. It felt like there were too many characters that needed attention and development and this may have been another reason for the slow pacing of the story.
There is no denying that Heiber is a talented writer. Despite my complaints, I quickly became invested in the story and devoured it in less than 2 days. By the time I was finished, I wanted more. I have to know what happens next and I'll absolutely be reading the sequel once it releases.