In her award-winning novel, Mostert blends alchemy, the art of memory, high magic and murder to create a highly original psychological thriller.
Gabriel Blackstone is a cool, hip, thoroughly twenty-first century Londoner with an unusual talent. A computer hacker by trade, he is also a remote viewer: able to ‘slam a ride’ through the minds of others.
But he uses his gift only reluctantly ― until he is contacted by an ex-lover who begs him to find her step-son, last seen months earlier in the company of two sisters.
And so Gabriel visits Monk House, a place where time seems to stand still, and where the rooms are dominated by the coded symbol of a cross and circle.
As winter closes in, Gabriel becomes increasingly bewitched by the house, and by its owners, the beautiful and mysterious Monk sisters. But even as he falls in love, he knows that one of them is a killer.
If you are looking for something different to read for Halloween, I would totally recommend this book. It was so refreshing to read a story told from a guy’s point of view. This is NOT horror by any means, but it is creepy and dark.
Gabriel is an interesting man. While I don’t always understand his motivation, I did like him. I wanted him to find love, even if it is with a killer. He has this unique talent called Remote viewing. In the book it was also described as Second Sight, The Gift, or The Shining. As a child he had the uncanny ability to track down missing things—to see where they were. It wasn’t until after he joined Eyestorm that he had a better understanding of this “tiny bump in his unconscious.”
I learned so much in this book. How the brain remembers things, and uses memory. If you are fan of Sherlock, then you will love this book, because it is about “mind palaces” and how they are created. I also learned about “psi space: that nebulous field of information which encapsulates the accumulated knowledge of different minds.” Gabriel is “psi-sensitive”, which means that “he already had a highly developed neurophysiological network in place. It made it possible for him to enter the psi environment and merge his thoughts with information generated by the minds of others.”
Did you know that the Greeks used art as an aid for memory? Famous alchemists, Giordano Bruno and Ramon Lull built “memory palaces” that supposedly held information about every aspect of the universe. These buildings were vast information systems constructed with mystical mathematics. They hoped to gain divine knowledge, universal memory and achieve enlightenment.
Minnaloushe and Morrighan Monk are two very unusual women with their own talents. When Gabriel gets his hands on one sister’s diary, he falls in love with her. He just doesn’t know which one.
One of the sisters created an incredible mind palace that can actually harm someone if they don’t follow the steps properly. Gabriel is hired by a ex-lovers’s dying husband who wants to know what happened to his son. The Monk sisters were the last people to see him alive. Gabriel needs to look for the answer in the mind palace of the killer.
Excerpt from Chapter 27:
“What else is magic but an attempt to grasp the laws governing the universe and apply them to your own ends?”
“That’s not magic. That’s science.”
“Yes. And alchemy is the science of the soul.”
Silence. The only sounds in the room were the crackle of the flames and the tiny secret rushes of the settling soot.
Gabriel rubbed his forehead. “This password you talked about…you have no idea what it might be?”
“No. Only the designer of this palace knows its true name. And that is locked away inside her mind.” Stallworthy shook his head almost sadly. “Of course, even if I did have knowledge of the password, I don’t think I would use it.”
“Because walking through such as palace is dangerous. The strain on the mind is stupendous. You can get lost inside, unable to return to the real world again. Once you lose the order of places, the order of things, you’ll be stranded inside the labyrinth, unable to find entrance or exit. It takes a very highly trained mind to make the journey. An alchemist of the highest order. This is not for the dabbler. It should only be attempted by a magus . Or a witch.”
This book was an amazing ride and I could not put it down.
I chose this song because of the creepy atmosphere, plus it just sounds like music that would be playing in my “mind palace”.
I gave this book 5 cool mind palace stars and put it on my “favorites” and “top shelf fantastic reads” shelves on Goodreads.
****A copy of this book was given to me from Netgalley for an honest review.***