Emily Chambers is a seventeen year old orphaned spirit medium who lives with her older sister in Regency London.
When Emily and her sister accidentally unleash a shapeshifting murderous demon from another dimension on London, the Administrators from the Waiting Area send a solid ghost called Jacob to Emily to help defeat the demon. But Jacob has secrets of his own, and Emily is determined to help find his killer.
I love how slow these books are forced to move plot wise because no one’s got a telephone and the characters have to walk everywhere to ask their suspects questions. While light on plot, this book is strong on character development, and especially on the romantic development that quickly happens between Emily and Jacob. Jacob is possibly the most handsome man Emily has ever seen, and since she’s only seventeen with all the emotional maturity of a teaspoon, she falls head over heels in love with him, even though sometimes he’s borderline abusive when he gets mad or orders her around and sometimes quite childish when he disappears on her.
Emily is our resident spirit medium. Not only is she an orphaned seventeen year old girl in Regency London, but she’s also mixed-race and not nearly pale enough to pass off as white. Luckily her sister, Celia, is white, and the two live very modestly as barely middle-class workers, charging to Emily to hold séances. Because of the nature of the business, most people think it is light entertainment or possibly fraud.
Celia is Emily’s overprotective big sister by about sixteen or so years. Too old to settle down and get married, her main goal in life is to marry off Emily and to keep her away from Jacob because obviously, what with him being dead and all, they can’t be together.
Jacob is Emily’s resident ghost, a young man who was unfortunately killed in a twisted revenge plot. For some reason he is much more solid than other ghosts, to the point where he and Emily could be intimate, if they wanted to be. He falls in love with Emily, too, and finds her exotic looks beautiful, and her brain smart and interesting.
I love the writing in CJ’s books. Even though CJ is Australian, I always read them with very distinct English accents in place. I love the words CJ uses to describe the settings and fashion. I love the dialogue. I love the manners and the wit used against foes. I love how the genre is a mashed-together mix of historical, paranormal, urban fantasy Young Adult kind of thing.
Probably the only thing I don’t really enjoy about this book is the repetitive tendency to have to find someone’s address, approach them, interview them, and possibly return because they didn’t tell the truth the first time. After a while it gets slightly tedious. Also, the romance sometimes gets in the way of ‘there’s a murdering demon loose in London and we’ve got to stop it.’
I really enjoyed The Medium and I do wholeheartedly recommend it to anyone who likes mash-up genres, historical, paranormal, romance and YA.